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Press Release Published: Aug 1, 2023

Wenstrup Opens Investigation into Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

WASHINGTON — Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) has opened an investigation into the development and implementation of overreaching, federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates and policies at the Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Chairman Wenstrup is requesting access to all documents, communications, and guidance utilized by these agencies to craft their coercive policies prior to forcing a novel vaccine — that did not stop the spread or transmission of the virus — on millions of Americans. At the Select Subcommittee’s hearing on vaccine mandates last week, expert witnesses highlighted the Biden Administration’s abuse of executive power and disregard for individual freedoms that resulted in employment termination, decreased military readiness, and increased distrust in public health authorities. The Select Subcommittee is seeking further information from DOD, OPM, DOL, and HHS regarding any political interference by the Biden White House and other outside organizations on federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

“In December 2020, President-Elect Biden stated he would not make vaccines mandatory. On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration implemented Executive Order (E.O.) 14043. This E.O. required federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 8, 2021, or risk removal or termination from their federal employment. OPM issued guidance that outlined how agencies should enforce the mandate,” wrote Chairman Wenstrup in his letter to OPM Director Ahuja.

Health care workers, federal employees, military service members, and hard-working Americans were forced to choose between their employment and medical freedom. The Select Subcommittee is asking DOD, OPM, DOL, and HHS to provide any relevant data on requested exemptions and terminated employment resulting from the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Although all federal mandates have since been rescinded, overturned, or otherwise ended, the detrimental consequences of these policy decisions continue to affect thousands of Americans, and the federal government’s egregious interference in the sacred doctor-patient relationship will undoubtedly have long lasting ramifications. The Select Subcommittee is committed to conducting a through investigation of any wrongdoing by government officials and seeks to deliver answers about COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the American people.

“The mandate forced DOD civilians and armed service members to comply with taking the COVID-19 vaccine or risk adverse personnel actions to include termination and separation respectively. As of March 2023, approximately 17,000 service members refused to take the vaccine. Around half of those members have been discharged and a few secured temporary or permanent exemptions. As of January 10, 2023, the armed forces had tens of thousands of pending exemption requests. This raises serious concerns regarding the vaccine mandate’s effect on military readiness,” wrote Chairman Wenstrup in his letter to DOD Secretary Austin.

Read Chairman Wenstrup’s letters to DOD, OPM, DOL and HHS below: