Sen. James Lankford, speaking to Newsmax after his bill seeking to stop President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates was blocked on the Senate floor, said Thursday that he introduced the legislation because he strongly believes Americans have the right to choose for themselves.
"They're not Chinese citizens; they're American citizens," the Oklahoma Republican, whose bill was blocked Wednesday, told Thursday's "Wake Up America." "We as Americans get the opportunity to be able to choose. ... It is an American's free decision to be able to make."
Lankford is fully vaccinated and said he does support the shots, but he compared Biden to Chinese President Xi Jinping because of a comment he'd made in his mandate speech in September about losing patience with the people who won't get the shots.
"Everyone has to do it my way. That's something President Xi would say in China," said Lankford. "That's not something we want the president of the United States to be able to say."
Lankford filed his Stop Vaccine Mandates Act in September, seeking to repeal Biden's order requiring vaccines for federal employees and contractors.
On Thursday, he pointed out that some people have had a negative reaction to the vaccines, so the chance of that must be weighed against the risk of serious illness or death.
"Every single family, every individual has got to know their own medical history, where their greatest risk is getting COVID or taking the vaccine," Lankford said.
Further, extensive studies of natural immunity point to people being protected once they've gotten sick, he said.
"Israel has done an extensive study on this issue of about natural immunity [and] they found it 27 times more powerful than actually getting the vaccine," said Lankford, noting that Israel also stresses the importance of people getting the shots.
"Our CDC refuses to do a study on natural immunity," he continued. "They're ignoring what all science will track. If you get a virus, your body builds up immunity to that and then fights it off the second time. If you get it a second time, you're less likely to get a severe case of it. That's the basic science, right. As we always say, talk to your doctor if you have questions about getting vaccinated."
Meanwhile, Biden's order is in "several different layers," but he has a different order that's still coming about private employers, Lankford said.
"There is no mandate for private employers, but lots of lawyers and lots of these companies are saying to their CEOs, listen, we need to get ahead of this because these mandates are coming down," he said.
"It's coming down quickly, and the administration did what the Obama administration used to do, putting out a mandate that they knew could never hold up under the court but would get everyone to be able to do what they wanted them to do."
Such mandates are thrown out once they get to court, but Biden is "being a bully," Lankford said.
"They have not released a mandate," he said. "They just said that deadline is coming. … I'm very confident they're going to release their Department of Labor requirement after the deadline, well past it for everyone, and then when it gets tied up in the court they'll say oops, but you've got vaccinated anyway. That's really what's happening."
Lankford also led a group of senators in legislation seeking a moratorium on gain of function research and said it is important for China to open up about what was going on in the Wuhan Institute of Virology before the pandemic started.
"We all know that the Wuhan lab was doing research on coronaviruses and working on gain of function, literally changing viruses," he said. "We're trying to block that kind of research here in the United States. We've seen what occurred with COVID-19 [and] we're trying to focus on how can we research different viruses without actually getting a release like this in the future."
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