House

House Democrat: Staff is all vaccinated 'because they don't like to be dead'

A House Democrat said Monday that all of his staff is vaccinated against the coronavirus "because they don't like to be dead."

Illinois Rep. Sean Casten told Business Insider Monday that he's "made a point of not hiring knuckleheads."

"Everybody on our staff got vaccinated as soon as they got the chance to do it and didn't have to worry about it," Casten said, adding they made the choice "because they don't like to be dead."

The comments from the Illinois lawmaker were detailed in a piece by Insider about congressional staffs and their  coronavirus measures on Capitol Hill. In the article, Insider notes the ways different lawmakers have approached COVID-19 precautions and different staffers' takes on the mitigation methods.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told Insider that he has a vaccine mandate for his staff and outside visitors. 

Other colleagues of Cardin's like Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), said that he encourages vaccines, but does not mandate them. 

President Biden earlier this month announced a new rule through the Labor Department' Occupational Health and Safety Administration that will require businesses of 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or frequent testing. The move impacts millions of workers across the nation and has sparked blowback from Republican officials. 

Sixty percent of Americans surveyed in a poll released earlier this month are in favor of Biden's vaccine mandate. 

Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. has reported more than 42 million COVID-19 cases and more than 678,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

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