Rep. Thomas Massie Won't Get Vaccine Until It 'Improves' Immunity After COVID Infection

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has said he will not get vaccinated against COVID-19 until he sees data that demonstrates the shot will "improve upon" post-infection immunity.

Massie made the remarks during a press conference held on Tuesday by House Republicans who are supporting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-GA) Fire Fauci Act, of which he was the first GOP co-sponsor.

When a reporter asked whether he had received the vaccine, the congressman responded: "Well, first of all, it's none of your business, but I'm gonna tell you."

"I'm not vaccinated, and until there's some science—by the way I have a master's of science degree from MIT, I'm not a virologist but I can read data."

Massie, who holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering, continued: "Everybody just needs to read. Don't put your head in the sand. Look at the data."

"I'm not gonna get the vaccine until there's data that shows that it will improve upon the immunity that's been conferred to me as a result of a natural infection that I had."

In August 2020, Massie announced that he had recovered from COVID and tested positive for antibodies.

#nunya, the full clip. pic.twitter.com/tjTBdjZCfn

— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) June 17, 2021

Earlier in Tuesday's press conference, Massie accused Dr. Anthony Fauci—director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the president's chief medical adviser—and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of a "cover-up" around "the effectiveness of immunity that's conferred after a natural infection."

"They want everybody to be vaccinated, even those who don't need [to be] vaccinated," Massie said.

The congressman clarified that he was not encouraging people to catch COVID instead of getting their shots, adding that the vaccine "can save lives."

"But there's no need—the science shows this—there's no need to get the vaccine if you've already recovered from COVID," he said. "There's no need to expose yourself to that danger."

Despite its name, the Fire Fauci Act would not dismiss Fauci from his position at the NIAID, but reduce his salary to $0 until someone else takes over his role. The bill comes as Republicans increase their attacks on the nation's top infectious diseases expert after a trove of his emails from the early months of the pandemic were released under freedom of information law.

During the press briefing, Greene said Fauci owed Americans "a lot of answers" for the emails, from which she had concluded that COVID was "very much a man-made virus in a lab."

In May, Massie and Greene were among a number of House Republicans who were issued warnings for refusing to wear face masks on the House floor.

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Massie's office, the CDC and the NIAID for comment.

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Rep. Thomas Massie speaks during press conference
Rep. Thomas Massie (C) speaks to reporters in D.C. on June 15. The press conference was organized by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) to call for the dismissal of Dr. Anthony Fauci. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images