All members of the US Capitol Police Department’s division responsible for protecting lawmakers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by December 6 or they’ll be reassigned, according to an internal memo reviewed by CNN.
“Agents with our Dignitary Protection Division are frequently in tight spaces with groups of people for extended periods of time,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told CNN in a statement. “For their safety, and the safety of everyone around them, I am directing them to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or they can choose to transfer to a different assignment.”
There is no vaccine mandate for the entire department. A spokesperson for Capitol Police told CNN that the Dignitary Protection Division is the only component required to be vaccinated.
Since March 2020, the department has recorded 288 cases of Covid-19.
It’s unclear how many staff members or lawmakers on Capitol Hill are vaccinated. Over the summer, CNN attempted a survey to determine the number of lawmakers vaccinated, but several Republican lawmakers refused to state their status. Others, such as House Minority Whip Steve Scalise declined to tell CNN if he was vaccinated but later acknowledged he received the vaccine. He subsequently appeared on Fox News to promote the vaccine.
Members of Congress were among the first wave of people to receive a vaccine late last year, as part of efforts to maintain a continuity of government.
Some members and staff have already begun to receive booster shots, according to sources familiar with the matter.
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