In one of her first votes as a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Val Hoyle voted with Republicans on Jan. 31 in favor of HR 497, the “Freedom for Health Care Workers Act.” This act has just one provision, which repeals the current federal rule requiring all workers at health care facilities that receive federal funds to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Hoyle was one of just seven Democrats (along with OR-6’s new representative, Andrea Salinas) to support this Republican anti-vaccine bill.
This bill is anti-science and an insult to the health care workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic. Further, Oregonians deserve to know that, when they walk into a doctor’s office or hospital, the health care professionals treating them are not conspiracy theorists. I supported Hoyle in 2022 to carry on Peter DeFazio’s legacy of common-sense leadership in Washington, not to be a supporter of Republican’s COVID denial and other attacks on science. Eugene and Corvallis are the center of Oregon’s scientific community and deserve better from their representatives. I sincerely hope that Hoyle will take steps going forward to vote with fellow Democrats and vote with the facts.