Video of Nancy Pelosi Saying 'We Cannot Require' Vaccinations Resurfaces

A video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying she could not "require" vaccination for members of Congress has resurfaced online following President Joe Biden's announcement of a vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees.

Pelosi made the remarks at her weekly press conference on April 29, when she informed the public that around 75 percent of the House of Representatives had been vaccinated at that time.

Biden announced on Thursday that U.S. companies that employ more than 100 people will be required to ensure that workers are either vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly.

Employers could face fines of almost $14,000 for each violation if they don't comply.

In April, Pelosi told reporters that the House could not require members to be vaccinated and that knowing who had received the shot was a "matter of privacy."

Video of Pelosi's remarks had been viewed on Twitter more than 470,000 times at the time of writing.

The Speaker said: "So—so here is the thing. We are—we cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That's just not what we can do. It is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn't."

"I can't go to the Capitol physician and say, 'Give me the names of people who aren't vaccinated, so I can go encourage them or make it known to others to encourage them to be vaccinated.' So we can't—we can't do that," Pelosi said.

Throwback to when Pelosi said “we cannot require someone to be vaccinated” and “it’s a matter of privacy to know who is and who isn’t [vaccinated]” pic.twitter.com/SDhmptGOX9

— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) August 25, 2021

"But you would hope that science would guide them to protect themselves, their family members and be good colleagues in the workplace to get vaccinated," she added.

At the press conference, Pelosi went on to say that it was not possible to require vaccines for U.S. citizens generally. These remarks were not contained in the clip now circulating on social media, however.

"So, if we could, but we can't require vaccinations for the members, much less for the American people. Some people want to say, 'Don't come into my store unless you're vaccinated, this or that. It causes commotion,'" Pelosi said.

"But we don't have too much—I mean, there are some individuals who say—and I can't even—I don't even know who they are, but if you say there are—that they don't want to social distance, and they don't want to wear a mask. But that's incidental. It's not anybody important," she said.

In response to a question about the percentage of members vaccinated, Pelosi said it was around 75 percent. She added: "But, again, the physician cannot tell us Democrats, Republicans, or who. And that's right. We should be respecting people's privacy. But that's—that's approximately what it is."

Pelosi's office issued a statement to Newsweek on Friday, saying: "The Speaker is referring to the institution in which she serves. The question is about the vaccination of Members. Read the Q&A. She's saying she cannot force Members to be vaccinated, which is true."

That Q&A is contained in the transcript of Pelosi's April 29 press conference, which is available from the website of the Speaker of the House.

On Thursday, President Biden issued two executive orders mandating vaccines for federal workers and contractors, as well as unveiling the new requirements for businesses with more than 100 employees.

Employees in health care facilities that receive reimbursements through Medicare and Medicaid will also be required to get vaccinated. The changes could affect as many as 100 million people nationwide, or two-thirds of the country's workforce.

During his speech, the president directly addressed unvaccinated people, who number around 80 million in the U.S.

"My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: what more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We've made vaccinations free, safe and convenient," Biden said.

"The vaccine is FDA approved. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot. We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us."

Update 9/10/21 9:12am E.T.: This article was updated to include a statement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

NancPelosi Speaks at a Week
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol on September 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. Video has resurfaced of Pelosi calling vaccination status a 'matter of privacy.' Drew Angerer/Getty Images