The DC Council voted on Tuesday to pass a coronavirus vaccine mandate for its members and employees, with only Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White (D) voting against the legislation.
All members and staff at the DC Council are required to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 31. Those who flout the new rule without a medical or religious exemption may face disciplinary action.
White himself is fully vaccinated, but stated that he wasn’t supporting the vaccine mandate, saying “We should not be using our power to mandate what people put inside their bodies.”
The internal council resolution was proposed by Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), who suggested in an internal memo last week that the council consider such a resolution to require members and staff to be fully vaccinated against the infectious disease by the end of this month.
“The policy was crafted based on several discussions amongst Councilmembers about enacting such a policy,” Mendelson wrote in the memo, adding that all newly hired employees should be required to provide proof of full vaccination before they start working at the DC Council.
As per the new policy, councilmembers or employees may submit an approved religious or medical exemption, but they must get tested for COVID-19 every week ahead of their entry into their workplace relating to Council work, which includes community events.