Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) is receiving widespread criticism Friday for his assertion that a $1,400 stimulus for American citizens should only be given to those who agree to his demand to take the Covid vaccine, claiming that such a restriction would be required for him to support a stimulus relief bill.
“I hope the administration will look at that option because we actually buy something with our $1,400, and that’s herd immunity,” the 55-year-old Stivers said during an interview with Yahoo Finance.
President Donald Trump authorized the first $1,200 stimulus checks in 2020, prompting the Democrat Party to hop on the bandwagon for even higher payments after noting widespread public support for the stimulus.
“It should be debt for the right things,” Stivers said of the current $1,400 stimulys proposal. “The quickest thing we need to do if we really want to help the American people, is get this economy turned back on, get people back to work, get kids back in school, get ourselves some herd immunity, get the vaccine distributed as quick as we can and get the uptake rate up. That’s why I’d be willing to accept a $1,400 stimulus check if people are willing to take the vaccine.”
.@RepSteveStivers says he’d support $1,400 stimulus checks if they go to people who get the coronavirus vaccine.
— Jessica Smith (@JessicaASmith8) January 21, 2021
Stivers has received bipartisan criticism from vaccine skeptics who view his proposal as a pathetic power grab, and from progressives who believe the vaccine requirement would be a poison pill to delay the $1,400 checks from being sent out at all.
Many Congressional officials, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have remained firmly opposed to cash relief for their constituents. The majority of Republicans have opposed President Trump’s stimulus demands while fighting for massive cash payouts to banking institutions and Big Tech corporations.
Other ideas intended to punish citizens who do not receive the COVID vaccine, such as “vaccine passports” required for purchasing power and air travel, have also been floated by members of both leading political parties.