Don’t forget the people on the sharp end of the mandates.
Most attention has been paid to the question of whom the state has mandated to wear masks (whether or not it has the authority), but an important point has to be made about Governor Dan McKee’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. Brian Amaral reports for the Boston Globe:
If health care workers at state-licensed facilities in Rhode Island aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 1, and they don’t have an approved exemption, they won’t be allowed in the building, according to regulations the Department of Health put out Tuesday. …
The regulations affect both private and public facilities licensed by the state Department of Health, including hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and even clinical laboratories.
What’s also newly clarified in the regulations: Health care providers even outside of state-licensed facilities must also be vaccinated.
That includes anyone licensed by the Department of Health to provide health care services, including podiatrists, physical therapists, emergency medical service providers or other types of physicians. And the definition of health care worker at a licensed facility sweeps in people with dietary, housekeeping, billing, and other roles that are not directly involved in patient care but might be exposed to “infectious agents.”
In short, just about everybody involved with healthcare in RI must put this new drug in their bodies or else lose their jobs at the sole command of the chief political executive of the state, the governor. Even if you believe that all healthcare workers should be vaccinated, this new burst of tyranny should be cause for concern.
Making it worse is the complete absence of consideration of prior infection. If the goal is actually to ensure that healthcare workers are not spreading the disease (or at least to minimize the extent to which they do), then it would be sufficient for them to show proof of vaccination or prior infection. Moreover, options could be made available for mask wearing and such. This isn’t mysterious or difficult.
The fact that this isn’t even part of the conversation suggests that the goal is something different, and that’s what has so many people concerned and distrustful.
Featured image by Adhy Savala on Unsplash.
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