Although President Joe Biden announced this week that he would officially declare an end to the COVID-19 emergency in May, many conservative critics are not convinced that he will actually relinquish the related powers he has exerted throughout his term.
For his part, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) hopes to rein in the federal government’s control over citizens with seven different bills he introduced on Tuesday.
In an interview on the matter, he asserted that Biden “continues to wield powers granted during the pandemic, and he continues to desire draconian restrictions and mandates for the American people.”
For that reason, Cruz determined that “Congress must step up and outright ban these mandates” or risk allowing “the unprecedented actions taken by the federal government to set a new normal in which politicians and unelected bureaucrats force mandates upon the American people at the drop of a hat — all under the justification of protecting public health.”
The slate of bills he unveiled this week covers a range of issues, including the No Vaccine Passports Act that would, among other things, establish a five-year moratorium on vaccine mandates for shots authorized only for emergency use. A related bill, called the No Vaccine Mandates Act, seeks to ensure that children are not vaccinated without their parents’ consent.
The Parental Rights Protect Act takes that concept even further by calling for a ban on using federal funds to impose vaccine requirements affecting children.
Another bill, named after a Texas teen who was denied a kidney transplant because he was unvaccinated, is designed to protect patients from being deemed ineligible for life-saving care strictly based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Cruz also introduced a proposal aimed at addressing claims that race and other factors were used to determine eligibility for certain COVID-19 treatments as well as a bill that would prohibit mask mandates on public property.
Finally, the Texas Republican and six co-sponsors introduced the Let Them Learn Act that would ensure kids between 12 and 15 years of age could not be denied an in-person education because of their vaccination status.
A number of other politicians and pundits reacted with skepticism to Biden’s declaration about the end of the COVID-19 emergency.
Isn’t it cool how the “science” knows that on May 10th Covid will still be a National Emergency but not on May 11th.
— Michael J. Morrison (@OfficeOfMike) January 31, 2023
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) noted that House Republicans had already scheduled a vote to end the emergency status before the president’s announcement.
“Now that Biden is trying to avoid embarrassment, how will [D]emocrats vote?” he tweeted. “What about the vax mandates?”