On Tuesday, Senator Blackburn rolled out a measure to protect essential workers from being fired due to federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, making them exempt from President Biden’s executive order.
The legislation that Blackburn rolled out is titled “Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act” (KOCHEA) is co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Bill Haggerty of Tennessee, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Mike Braun of Indiana, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
KOCHEA is set to override President Biden’s executive order amid layoffs and resignations from workers across different industries due to their personal choice not to receive a coronavirus vaccine.
Blackburn doubled down on her response to President Biden wanting to fire more unvaccinated employees, stating, “getting vaccinated is a choice that should be made between a patient and their doctor. No one should be forced by Joe Biden to be fired or get jabbed.” Sen. Blackburn insinuated that there would be more unemployment on top of the $10.4 million jobs and the potential for worsening supply chain crisis.
Senator Lummis added that the government should be “celebrating the heroism of essential workers, not punishing them for exercising their individual health freedoms.”
The legislation was endorsed by several worker groups – including the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Border Patrol Council, the president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, and the National Sheriffs’ Association, among others.
President Biden signed an executive order over the summer requiring that all workers in the executive branch be vaccinated against COVID-19, along with requiring federal contractors to mandate vaccinations and ensure workers are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8th.
Blackburn needs to continue to strike at the root of the issue. Employers and vendors have no right to know your medical history according to HIPPA, and health data should be owned by the individual, not by corporations. There is enough information and opportunity where if the American people decided to get vaccinated, they would have by now.