U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis in her monthly newsletter reiterated her stance on COVID-19, the deadly virus which has hospitalized as many Wyoming patients in recent weeks as it did at the height of the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is serious. It has already taken the lives of too many people in Wyoming, and each death is a travesty. My heart breaks for those who have lost family members to this devastating illness,” the Wyoming Republican said in her letter to constituents.
Despite that loss, the senator said she still doesn’t support “overreaching” vaccine mandates.
“This pandemic does not make the Constitution irrelevant. It does not mean our rights as private citizens are up for discussion,” she wrote. “I believe getting vaccinated, like any medical decision, is a decision you should make in consultation with your doctor, not because of a mandate from the federal government.”
Lummis’ stance is consistent with other Wyoming leaders, including Gov. Mark Gordon. Mandates for masks and vaccines are not politically popular, especially in Republican states. Local counties (and school districts) making difficult safety decisions have received outspoken opposition from constituents at public meetings and through written letters.
Even in Teton County, which is majority Democratic, nearly 300 people wrote in opposition to a countywide mask mandate.
Sen. Lummis said she has received similar correspondence from people who are “concerned about COVID-19, the vaccine, and mask and vaccine mandates.”
Lummis is vaccinated against the virus and expressed confidence in the vaccine’s effectiveness, but she also said vaccinations have become political. If vaccine mandates are enforced, employees might quit their jobs, the senator suggested.
She also said “each state should be responsible for managing their reaction to the pandemic,” rather than a federal government led by President Biden.
“I care deeply about each person in Wyoming, and I do hope you’ll consider getting this safe, effective vaccine to ensure that you are protected against this deadly virus, but I will oppose any mandate that forces you to take it,” the senator wrote.