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A Palm Beach County, Florida official has gone viral for ordering her 315 employees to obtain a coronavirus vaccine or face possible termination.
Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne M. Gannon, a Democrat who previously served in the Florida House from 2002 to 2006, reportedly told her employees last week that they can either obtain the vaccine or stay home and collect any time-off pay until the time-off pay runs out or they change their minds, according to The Palm Beach Post.
She reportedly warned though that once the time-off pay runs out, the employees will eventually be fired outright unless they get the vaccine.
Speaking with the Post, Gannon defended her tough policy by arguing that it’s a “business” decision.
“For every person who gets COVID, it costs our business money and it gives us an inability to meet our customer needs. I have a responsibility to protect my employees and the public,” she said.
To be clear, her “business” is a government agency, and her so-called “customers” are law-abiding Palm Beach County citizens who are forced by law to pay taxes to said agency.
Her policy’s only saving grace is that it does allow for exemptions based on medical reasons or religious beliefs.
The Post noted that no other Palm Beach County government agency is imposing a vaccine requirement on its employees.
“Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Public Defender Carey Haughwout, Clerk and Comptroller Joe Abruzzo, Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory and State Attorney Dave Aronberg all say are not requiring that their employees get the vaccine, instead they are only recommending inoculation and offering incentives,” according to the Post.
Abruzzo, the city’s comptroller, said that he’s merely encouraging employees to obtain the vaccination by offering them a $25 bonus.
“I ran to be the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, not the Surgeon General,” he said to the Post.
The newspaper also pointed to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s promise that the state would not force vaccines on anybody.
In an executive order signed on April 2nd, the governor explicitly stated that “[n]o Florida government entity, or its subdivisions, agents, or assigns, shall be permitted to issue vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status to a third party, or otherwise public or share any individual’s COVID-19 vaccination record or similar health information.”
Gannon’s demands, which force her employees to prove that they’ve been vaccinated, seem to violate this order.
Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports. The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon. Read my EO here – https://t.co/6QwLsLWEWm
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 2, 2021
Gannon’s demands also appear to deny the supposition that forcing someone to obtain a vaccine is, according to some critics, in effect equal to forcing them to “become a human guinea pig.”
Writing earlier this month for The Shelbyville News, an Indiana newspaper, Nathan Collins of Indiana Policy Review noted that the coronavirus vaccines currently being doled out are “experimental” technology.
“It is important to remember, the COVID-19 vaccines are being administered under emergency authorization of the FDA and are considered experimental. The vaccines have not undergone the normal extent of clinical trials or animal testing. The manufacturers of these vaccines are not liable in civil actions for damages resulting in injury or death. And the Moderna and Pfizer ‘vaccines’ are categorized as gene therapy, (mRNA),” he wrote.
“In a state of emergency, some or all of these steps may be prudent. But requiring anyone to take a COVID-19 vaccine is, in effect, requiring the recipient to become a human guinea pig,” Collins added.
The question then becomes whether it’s ethical (moral even) to force by fiat any American citizen to subject themselves to this experimental solution.
Wow. It amazes me how many people are willing and mandating something get stuck into their bodies that is not FDA approved. That is the science.
— ColoradoJoe (@ColoradoJoe5) April 27, 2021
That being said, the exact opposite phenomenon is playing out at Centner Academy, a private Florida school that announced this week that it will no longer employ anyone who’s obtained the vaccine.
“We are not 100% sure the Covid-19 injections are safe and there are too many unknown variables for us to feel comfortable at this current time. Until more is known, we must err on the side of caution when it comes to the welfare of our students and school team,” the school wrote in a blog post, according to NBC News.
Unlike Gannon’s decision, the private school’s decision attracted widespread media attention and thus widespread backlash so intense that it appears the school has shuttered its otherwise recently active Twitter account: