There is a national debate raging over vaccine mandates and the future of work, school and daily life for Americans who choose not to get the vaccine, but a new policy in California won’t give state and healthcare employees much of a choice.
The policy, introduced Monday, will require state and healthcare workers to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status. Those who forego the vaccine or refuse to show their vaccine card will be required to undergo weekly testing. The program’s implementation will begin soon and the state aims to reach full compliance by August 23rd.
Like many other liberals, Gov. Gavin Newsom couldn’t keep himself from politicizing the issue.
“We are exhausted, respectfully, exhausted by the ideological prison that too many Americans are living under. We’re exhausted by the Ron Johnsons and the Tucker Carlsons, we’re exhausted by the Marjorie Taylor-Greenes, we’re exhausted by the right-wing echo chamber that has been perpetuating misinformation around the vaccine and its efficacy and safety,” the governor explained during a Monday press conference to announce the program. “We’re exhausted by the politicization of this pandemic and that includes mask-wearing, which has been equated to the Holocaust. It’s disgraceful. It’s unconscionable. And it needs to be called out.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) calls out right-wing pundits spewing COVID misinformation:
“The Ron Johnsons of the world, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes of the world, the Tucker Carlsons of the world … they’re literally putting people’s lives at risk.” pic.twitter.com/lEhtjckjSb
— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2021
The Tucker Carlsons of the world have a point, however. The government and Dr. Anthony Fauci refuse to address legitimate questions or concerns about the vaccine, and anyone who questions the solution is labeled as an “anti-vaxxer.”
“It’s a choice to live with this virus, and with all due respect, you don’t have a choice to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else’s lives at risk. That’s the equivalent of this moment with the deadliness and efficiency of the Delta virus,” Newsom said at the press briefing. “You’re putting other people’s – innocent people’s — lives at risk. You’re putting businesses at risk. You’re putting at risk the ability to educate our kids by getting them back in person full-time for in-person instruction.”
Why vaccine mandate: “You don’t have a choice to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else’s lives at risk. That’s the equivalent of this moment with the deadliness & efficiency of the #DeltaVariant virus” @GavinNewsom, announcing CA state mandate.pic.twitter.com/VvDe5gKTFf
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) July 26, 2021
“Your choice not to get vaccinated and to listen to these pundits who are profiteering off misinformation, intentionally misinforming you, comes at a real societal cost,” Newsom hammered, in an effort to persuade (or shame) people to get their vaccine.
There are some new reports that show the Delta variant may be less deadly than other strains of the virus.
Conservatively speaking, the death rate from the Delta surge in the UK is 10-15x less than the last wave.
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) July 24, 2021
“Too many people have chosen to live with this virus. We’re at a point in this epidemic, this pandemic, where individuals’ choice not to get vaccinated is now impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way,” Newsom argued. “That choice has led to an increase in case rates, growing concern around increase in death rates and self-evidently around hospitalization rates.”
The program will impact the nearly 250,000 state employees plus non-government, healthcare employees in both public and private settings.
While the program does not necessarily qualify as a “mandate,” its aim is to put the squeeze on workers who remain unvaccinated to submit to receive the shot.
In announcing the new vaccination verification policy @GavinNewsom says, “We’re at a point where individual choice is now impacting the rest of us…that choice has led to increase in case rates.” @KFIAM640 pic.twitter.com/KQghIwvSDg
— Kris Ankarlo (@KrisAnkarlo) July 26, 2021
Vaccine rates were surprisingly up 16 percent in the state last week according to KFIAM.
Newsom, however, stopped short of following Los Angeles’ lead and employing a state-wide mask mandate.
California is not the only state to require proof of vaccine or a negative test for state and high-risk workers. On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio mandated that all 340,000 city employees are required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing for the virus.
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