- Rep. Matt Gaetz refused to disclose his vaccination status, focusing his attention on Britney Spears’ conservatorship.
- “I think we should be talking more about freeing Britney,” he told CNN.
- Gaetz also called CNN’s question about his vaccination status “very nosy.”
When asked about his COVID-19 vaccination status, Rep. Matt Gaetz declined to answer and instead turned his attention to singer Britney Spears’ conservatorship.
“I think we should be talking more about freeing Britney,” the Florida Republican told CNN this week, according to a report published Thursday.
Gaetz did not let the CNN reporter finish their question about whether he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Instead he replied: “That’s very nosy of you.”
The lawmaker is one of 97 Republicans who have refused to disclose their vaccination status, with many arguing that it’s a personal matter, CNN reported.
“I don’t think it’s anybody’s damn business whether I’m vaccinated or not,” Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas told CNN.
Democrats have slammed GOP lawmakers who have not revealed if they’ve gotten the vaccine. Critics view the move as irresponsible, claiming that Congress has a responsibility to boost public confidence in the vaccine as misinformation runs rampant. All Democrats in the House and Senate are fully vaccinated, per CNN.
Many congressional Republicans have also added to the hesitancy and skepticism surrounding the vaccine by spreading misinformation themselves. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for example, was suspended from Twitter for 12 hours on Monday evening after she posted claims about COVID-19 and the vaccine that the platform called “misleading.”
Recently, however, some Republicans have begun urging Americans to get the shot as the delta variant causes a spike in coronavirus infections among unvaccinated people in the US.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN last week that he is “a big fan of vaccinations” and that “it is pretty clear from all the evidence that if you get the disease, you are much more likely to survive it if you get vaccinated.”
Gaetz does not appear to be interested in the vaccination push coming from his colleagues. The lawmaker showed up to a “Free Britney” rally last week outside a Los Angeles courthouse ahead of the singer’s conservatorship hearing.
Spears, 39, has been legally under a conservatorship for 13 years, which has placed her fortune in her father’s control.
“Britney has been abused by the media, she has been abused by her grifter father and she’s been abused by the American justice system,” Gaetz told the crowd of Spears’ supporters last Wednesday.
In March, Gaetz called for Congress to hold a hearing on court-mandated conservatorships, citing the “Free Britney” movement.
Earlier this month, he also wrote a letter to Spears, inviting her to testify before Congress about her conservatorship battle and how she’s been stripped of her “life, liberty, and happiness.”
Gaetz is also the subject of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into whether he paid underage girls for sex.