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GOP Rep Shares Why He Rejected Biden's Invitation to the White House

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Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.) will not be visiting the White House and shared the reasoning behind his decision.

On Tuesday, LaLota issued a statement that he would not be attending the White House’s reception for freshman House members due to COVID-19-related requirements.

“Even though four months ago the President told ‘60 Minutes’ that the pandemic is over, the White House is today enforcing arbitrary, outdated, and unscientific pandemic protocols upon Members of Congress who accepted the President’s invitation to meet him at the White House,” LaLota said.

The lawmaker noted Biden is requiring a negative COVID-19 test 24 hours prior to the event and either being vaccinated or subject to mask-wearing and social distancing.

LaLota added, “The time for arbitrary and unscientific pandemic protocols should be far behind us and I am forgoing a historic trip to the White House to raise awareness of this punitive policy in hopes that President Biden will reverse it and other arbitrary, outdated, and unscientific restrictions across the federal system.”

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Read the statement below:

Earlier this month, the president extended the COVID-19 public health emergency until April.

“The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency remains in effect, and as HHS committed to earlier, we will provide a 60-day notice to states before any possible termination or expiration,” a Health and Human Services Department spokesperson said at the time.

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The extension came amid the spread of the omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant.

During an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” in September 2022, Biden had a different take on the pandemic.

“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s – but the pandemic is over,” Biden said during the interview.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said just one week prior that the end of the pandemic was “in sight.”

He said at the time, “Last week, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 was the lowest since March 2020.”

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Ghebreyesus added, “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic. We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.”

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