By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new safety mandate for federal employees and contractors who work on-site at government facilities. Employees are to attest that they have been vaccinated, or agree to wear masks at all times and submit to regular screening for COVID-19. Kansas First District Congressman Tracey Mann does not support the idea.
"The federal government should not be mandating vaccines," Mann said. "The federal government should not be mandating masks and the federal government should not be mandating vaccine passports. I strongly oppose all three of those things. The federal government's role is to provide a vaccine, which they have done, provide the information, which they've done. Then, it's up to individual Americans or Kansans to decide if they want the vaccine or not."
Mann said even those employees under the mandate can push back, if they so choose.
"Per federal law, you do not have to get vaccinated, if you're a federal employee," Mann said. "Number one, if you have a note from your doctor saying you don't have to, or number two, if, for religious beliefs you don't believe in taking vaccines. My understanding is, you can then sign an affidavit, or you can attest that this is against your religious belief. At least, that's what the legal standard has been so far."
Mann and his wife are vaccinated and he said it was the right decision for him and his family.