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GOP Lawmaker Locked Out of WA State Capitol For Refusing to Show Vaccination Papers

GOP Lawmaker Locked Out of WA State Capitol For Refusing to Show Vaccination Papers

Rep. Jim Walsh (R-WA) posted a video of himself on Wednesday in which he complains that he has been locked out of the state’s Capitol complex because he has not followed rules about presenting proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Walsh is just the latest member of the Republican Party whose non-compliance with vaccine and mask mandates has impacted their ability to work. Virginia GOP state Senator Amanda Chase was required to sit behind plexiglass while the chamber was in session over her refusal to wear a face mask. And Alaska state Senator Lora Reinbold was banned from Alaska Airlines for not following mask directions and missed several votes. Reinbold ultimately got COVID-19 herself.

 

The continued public vaccine and mask resistance from GOP officials–most of whom are vaccinated–is troubling at a time when the nation is struggling to reach a high enough immunity threshold to lift most, if not all, restrictions. Washington State House leaders passed an interim rule in September that says starting October 18th, “access to House facilities (the Capitol Campus and district offices) is limited to members and staff who have provided documentation of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Absent verification of being fully vaccinated, members and staff will not be permitted into House facilities and will continue to work remotely.”

In the video shared on Twitter by attorney Ron Filipowski, Walsh pretends like he doesn’t know there were new COVID protocols in place in the Washington State Capitol.

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“Today I can’t get in the John L. O’Brien Building,” complains Walsh in the video. “Normally my key card will open this door. It doesn’t open this door today. What’s happened? Well, the House Executive Rules Committee has come up with what they call an ‘interim policy’ that prevents members from getting in the buildings on the Capitol campus if they don’t present COVID vaccine papers. And I have not presented COVID vaccine papers. So I can’t access my office, I can’t access the floor, the main chambers over under the dome — I can’t do work from the Capitol as a legislator in this state. This is unusual!”

Walsh will be welcome back at work once he’s vaccinated and can provide the proper documentation.

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