A Republican representative slammed his fellow members of Congress for being among the first recipients of the coronavirus vaccine.
"Asking Americans to wait to get vaccinated while Congress cuts the line is the opposite of leadership," Florida representative Brian Mast (R.), an Army veteran, said in a statement Friday. "Congress needs to stop treating itself as a special political class, and the mere suggestion that Members of Congress are in any way more important than the very people who gave us the privilege of serving in Congress is appalling."
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On Thursday, congressional physician Brian P. Monahan announced that a batch of COVID-19 vaccines will be immediately available to members of Congress. The federal government approved the Pfizer-produced vaccine last week, but it will be available to most Americans next year.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Thursday that she will receive the vaccine in the coming days. In the same statement, she called it "imperative that we ensure that the vaccine will be free and delivered in a fair, equitable manner to as many Americans as soon as possible."
In his statement, Mast criticized Pelosi for receiving the vaccine ahead of the rest of the country.
"Leaders eat last; it's one of the first lessons a soldier learns as early as basic training," said Mast, who lost his legs to a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan. "Speaker Pelosi apparently never learned this lesson."