In spite of momentum, mandate petition appears stalled at the feet of Clark County councilors

As of Wednesday, more than 3,700 area residents have signed a petition asking the Clark County councilors to adopt a resolution prohibiting mask and vaccination mandates as well as any other COVID-related restrictions

A week after Clark County resident Rob Anderson introduced an online petition asking members of the Clark County Council to adopt a resolution prohibiting any mask and vaccination mandates or any other COVID-related restrictions, he and the petition’s growing supporters took their request directly to the councilors during Wednesday’s Clark County Board of Health meeting.

The governor’s mask and vaccine mandates have led to many protests and rallies around Clark County in recent months. File photo
The governor’s mask and vaccine mandates have led to many protests and rallies around Clark County in recent months. File photo

The councilors, who also serve as members of the Board of Health, heard an abundance of testimony from petitioners during the course of the meeting held in a virtual format and televised on Clark/Vancouver Television. Anderson, who was one of the first to address the councilors, reported that more than 3,700 area residents had signed the petition as of Wednesday morning. When he announced the effort one week earlier, he had just 100 signatures.

The impassioned pleas of the citizens went largely ignored by councilors Temple Lentz, Julie Olson, Gary Medvigy and Karen Bowerman. However, County Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien did offer comments after the public testimony encouraging a discussion among the councilors about the issue. When contacted later in the day, Quiring O’Brien explained her position on the petition effort to Clark County Today.

Eileen Quiring
Eileen Quiring

“I consider myself a ‘representative’ of those who elected me,’’ Quiring O’Brien said. “With that in mind, I cannot ignore the petition.  The old saying ‘one hand can’t clap’ may be suitable for my situation on the Council.  I do not see any of my colleagues agreeing with my point of view. I am not anti-vaccine, but am for freedom of choice in this matter and believe wholeheartedly that the mandate is wrong. If I made a motion to pass a resolution to ban mandates for masks and vaccines, I wouldn’t be able to get a ‘second’ from any of my colleagues. Therefore, I can speak out, but that is probably the limit to my ability to act or get actions on the idea of banning the mandates.’’

Quiring O’Brien expressed her frustration that the issue of mandates has become such a polarized political issue.

“I believe that this whole issue has become so politicized that many are not hearing or reading a different point of view,’’ she wrote in a written response. “In fact, social media (and frankly other media) has banned other points of view and that is squelching free speech.  There are well informed physicians and credible evidence that people are being injured by the so-called vaccine. 

“I am very disturbed that the governor has mandated state workers to get the so-called vaccine, to wear masks and encouraging businesses to do the same,’’ Quiring O’Brien said. “People are losing their ability to support themselves and their families, children are being prohibited from participating in school in a normal way. Psychological damage is happening with children having to wear masks. In so many ways, this is madness!’’

In his testimony before the councilors Wednesday, Anderson reiterated the theme of discrimination that he used as the basis to justify the councilors adopting a resolution prohibiting the mandates.

“What we are seeing in Clark County and beyond is discrimination,’’ said Anderson, who pointed out that many employers were placing employees who refuse to be vaccinated on unpaid leave rather than terminating them. 

“Why? Because it’s discriminatory actions and they know it, and they’re trying to limit their liability,’’ Anderson said. “Students are being forced to mask even though zero children, zero teenagers have died from COVID in Clark County, zero. And you can’t say that you’re protecting children when they aren’t being harmed. But they are being harmed from these mandates sociologically, emotionally, intellectually, and sometimes even physically.

“You are conducted by the Home Rule Charter to conduct public hearings on matters of public concern, to assist in performing its legislative responsibilities,’’ Anderson added. “So, I really hope and pray that you listen to over 3,700 Clark County residents. This outcry from the public is just the beginning. The Republican Party, which most of you state you represent, has passed a resolution for you to speak and act vigorously against these discriminating mandates and ban them from this county. Will you have the courage to possibly set aside your own personal fears or concerns and listen to the people that have asked, you know, begged you to act? If you fail to do so today, I dare say that your political careers will be in serious jeopardy.’’

The overwhelming majority of those citizens who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting reiterated Anderson’s themes, adding their anecdotal evidence to support those themes. One speaker spoke in stark contrast to the supporters of the petition.

“I’m here in support of the mask mandate, and in support of vaccine requirements, in support of Governor Inslee, in support of (Clark County Public Health) Dr. (Alan) Melnick, and our county Board of Health who are doing everything they can to save us from becoming Idaho, South Dakota, Texas, or Florida,’’ Nancy Schultz said. “What I have heard here today is absolutely the usual tripe that you hear that you read on Facebook, you read in on the internet, when you search the site, and that’s where most of these people are getting their information, their law and their constitutional rights that they talk about … They don’t know what they’re talking about.

“The talking points are all the usual misinformation, disinformation that we read on the internet,’’ Schultz added. “And that’s where their talking points have come from. I get my information from the CDC, from the World Health Organization, from doctors and from good science, not from the internet. The unvaccinated are not being discriminated against. To use that word is insulting to people who have been activists in the Civil Rights movement and the Women’s Rights movement for more than a century. You are not being discriminated against. You are spoiled and you’re whiny. I just can’t believe the selfishness of what we’re listening to.’’

While other councilors expressed support during the meeting for the mandates and continued efforts to vaccinate the roughly 40 percent of Clark County citizens who remain unvaccinated, Quiring O’Brien expressed frustration that the group was not thinking of new ways to address the ongoing pandemic.

“Why are those that are already vaccinated so afraid of the unvaccinated if they believe the so-called vaccine is effective?,’’ Quiring O’Brien said. “All that we have done over the last nearly two years doesn’t seem to be working.  Why do we continue to do the same thing? It’s insanity!  Governor Inslee is clearly on a power trip and those in his leftist party are ‘all in.’’’

Clark County resident Margaret Tweet also testified at Wednesday’s Board of Health meeting, reminding the councilors of some of the county’s own COVID-19 statistics.

“These are Emergency Use Authorization products,’’ Tweet stated. “They’re currently in trial being tested on Clark County residents. And many residents don’t even realize that. I also wanted to state we have no deaths under 20 years old in Clark County, just one in the 20-to-29 year age range, and in the 30-to-39 age range, and 11 in the 40-to-49 age range (and) 34 deaths in the 50-to-59 age range. And, that’s for all deaths from March 2020 until today. So, the risk of harm from a COVID infection is minimal, or death in particular, is minimal for residents, young residents, those under 59 years old. And yet, Clark County Public Health is urging teenagers, young people, university students to get vaccinated and not informing them of the serious risks, such as Myocarditis, blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, heart conditions, miscarriages.’’

“You have a responsibility to inform the public of the serious risks to vaccination with these experimental products,’’ Tweet said. “At almost every public health meeting, I hear the public health director insist these products are safe and effective without any word about the risk. You have an obligation to inform the public of the serious risks, including death, from these products. How many people in Clark County, in Washington state, are suffering adverse effects? You don’t know and it’s never discussed in your public health meetings.’’

Also read:

Advertisement
Advertisement
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
49 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jenny Stewart
Guest
Jenny Stewart
1 month ago

Is there still a way to get a hold of that petition and sign it? Thank you

Miranda Anderson
Guest
Miranda Anderson
1 month ago
Reply to  Jenny Stewart
Miranda Anderson
Guest
Miranda Anderson
1 month ago

If you are looking for the petition, sign here: https://wakingupwashington.com/antidiscrimination-petition/

Ken
Guest
Ken
1 month ago

So 3,700 people out of 500k that live in Clark County are demanding a ban on mandates for precautionary measures that are recommended by 90% of the health care providers in the country. I for one am tired of all the whining and complaining from a bunch of people who seem to have no empathy or compassion for the rest of the people in this community. If you don’t want to wear a mask or get vaccinated, fine by me. But if your refusing precautions puts others in danger then I think you should expect penalties like being refused service at business or being let go by employers. When your actions potentially put others at risk then it’s no longer about your rights. You go ahead and stay unvaccinated and maskless but don’t expect the majority of people to accept risks just because you don’t want to help trying to end this nightmare of wave after wave of COVID-19.

The Recovering Pastor
Guest
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken

One week… little effort. Anyone who knows local politics understands this represents a HUGE group of citizens.
We’re not anti-Covid, we’re anti-discrimination & anti-tyranny

Ken
Guest
Ken
29 days ago

What exactly is tyrannical about trying to help save lives and end an epidemic? Mandates for vaccination for employment are not forcing you to get vaccinated. Washington laws predating this pandemic allow businesses to fire employees without having cause.

While your complaining about your rights you seem to ignore that the majority of people are following the recommendations to get vaccinated & wear masks.

You are demanding that you be allowed not to have consequences because of your choice to not be vaccinated or wear a mask and yet you are violating those who are vaccinated rights to be safe I’m the workplace & when out in a public place.

Tell me how your rights supersede the rights of others who are following medical advice and doing the minor things needed to keep others in our community safe?

Thomas Casey
Guest
Thomas Casey
29 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Once we allow the government to mandate our health choices we are no longer free people. we are slaves. these mandates are a government over reach into our lives. It is not the governments job to tell us what is morally correct or not. it is their job to keep our decisions safe from tyranny. And health is private, not public. Once you realize that no mandates does not mean people will not go get the vaccine you can see how a government, that has lost creditability, punishing those who do not obey is a bad move. Ask yourself, if trump mandated vaccine when he was in office, would you be so for it? personally I say keep your law of my body. and that goes for abortion as well. Do not sell your freedom for safety.

Ken
Guest
Ken
29 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Casey

Unfortunately I do not see the similarities in the vaccine mask mandates and a woman’s right to an abortion. When a woman is denied an abortion it takes away her right to choose what is happening in her body and it forces her to comform to a religious ideal that she may not agree with.

Therefore legislating that she adhere to a law like the Texas law is a violation of her constitutional rights.

Vaccine mandates simply state you will not be allowed to continue working for the state or be licensed by the state to work in Healthcare. The mandate does not force you to get a vaccine or to even wear a mask. It does not force you to lose sovereignty over your own body.

We have laws that are created for public safety, speed limits, helmet laws and seat belts laws, and many other laws that dictate preventive restrictions on personal conduct in our society.

Are these laws also things you feel we should ignore or have stricken down?

Also I think you saying that you being forced to follow a mandate that is put in place to help protect the general welfare of the people of this state is the same as becoming a slave is hyperbolic to an extreme. Here is the definition of the word slave:

a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.

please explain the comparison you make. I’d be interested to know just how these things are at all the same. Looking forward to reading your reply.

Mybodymychoice
Guest
Mybodymychoice
29 days ago
Reply to  Ken

I see, when you agree some activities, they are all noble, all about human rights etc., when a narrative does not fit your ideology, then it’s all wrong, such a hypocrite, I’m watching America getting destroyed by people like you, so sad.

Ken
Guest
Ken
28 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

Yeah, me and anyone who doesn’t adhere to your believes are responsible for all that is wrong with your country. Here I thought that what’s wrong with our country was the fact that we were not actually having rational conversations with each other. We all have stopped using critical thinking. We as a whole are just so entrenched in our beliefs that are fed by the massive amount of BS sound bites thrown at us every day that we have forgotten how to have an honest conversation. I’ve ask people to explain their statements here, because I truly want to understand their point of view. I wanted to see why they are saying and thinking so very differently than I do. But if I get a response it’s just ‘Sheeple’ ‘1984’ & now ‘Your destroying America’.. So please do elaborate on how citizens who disagree with your views are ‘Destroying America’?

Thomas Casey
Guest
Thomas Casey
22 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Using public safety to mandate persons health choices is an over reach of government. It allows this emergency to step over lines into our ability to function and pursue liberty. Look what countries like Australia are doing to their citizens. If the state can mandate what you can and cannot do with your health they do own you. you are their property.

Thomas Casey
Guest
Thomas Casey
22 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Also, you don’t loose your job if you get caught speeding, or not wearing a seatbelt.

Virginia Frederick
Guest
Virginia Frederick
29 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Casey

Your words Thomas “It is not the governments job to tell us what is morally correct or not. it is their job to keep our decisions safe from tyranny. And health is private, not public. 
Thank you for that…obviously you support a woman’s right to choose.
But Vaccine mandates allow you to choose..if you don’t want the vaccine then you can choose to be tested so that those around you are protected if you do have the virus.
Wear your seat belt! Stop at stop lights.Don’t infect others with a potentially deadly virus.
It’s about the common good.

Thomas Casey
Guest
Thomas Casey
22 days ago

Do you think all the people who don’t wear their seat belt should lose their job?

Some guy
Guest
Some guy
28 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Casey

This is straight up “red scare” level nonsense.

Thomas Casey
Guest
Thomas Casey
22 days ago
Reply to  Some guy

the problem is some of you don’t think it can happen here.

Reena
Guest
Reena
29 days ago
Reply to  Ken

I totally agree with you.

Mybodymychoice
Guest
Mybodymychoice
29 days ago
Reply to  Ken

If the vaccine is as effective as it claims, how can un vaxxed put vaxxed people in danger?

Irrefrangible
Guest
Irrefrangible
28 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

No vaccine is 100% effective. Vaccines work best when everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated as it reduces the chance of outbreaks and spreading any break through cases. Viruses mutate. The more infections there are, the more viru there are, the more chance fir mutation. The next mutated strain may not be stopped by the antibodies gained from the vaccines.. Finally, since so many unvaxed people have filled up ICU beds (and morgue trucks for that matter) the Healthcare system is less able to help others in need and Healthcare staff are run ragged and are being traumatized by these tragic and horrible deaths.

Get vaccinated and wear a mask (until the outbreak is under control) or stay home.

Some guy
Guest
Some guy
28 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

The vaccinated can still contract and spread COVID. The vaccinated are not only concerned with our personal health, we’re concerned about the health and safety of our fellow citizens and the capacity of our Healthcare system. Look at the state of Idaho, our neighbors who are currently rationing critical care at hospitals all over the state. They have the lowest rate of vaccination in the country and not coincidentally they are having to make life or death decisions every single day over who should receive potentially life saving care and who should have to wait because some idiot that didn’t want to get vaccinated is now occupying the ICU bed they need. The selfish, myopic mindset you guys are still wrapped up in after a year and a half is so profoundly discouraging…what would it take to convince you that you’re wrong? Would literally anything work? Because I would be happy to dump mountains of evidence on you if you could be bothered to read it.

Ken
Guest
Ken
28 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

The more this virus infects unvaccinated people and spreads to vaccinated & unvaccinated people the more it learns and is mutating. The more we allow it to spread the more dangerous it could become. It might even make the vaccinated as vulnerable as the unvaccinated. Delta virus is an example of that. Now we have MU variant starting to show up. How many more variants will show up as this continues to mutate?

Scott Hooper
Guest
Scott Hooper
28 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

Believe it or not, many of us care about the unvaccinated to.

Not just those who are misinformed or scared, but also those who cannot get vaccinated, who are old and frail and get little benefit, who have been recently treated for cancer or other diseases that weakens their immune system.

I grew up in North County and feel a sense of family with our County’s residents. I rather no more of us die, and I know that if we all saw things that way, we could easily make it that way.

Thomas Casey
Guest
Thomas Casey
22 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

the vaccine would work if it was out before the whole world was infected. its no longer about health, its who is going to obey all the mandates and who is going to say no. Boosters or lose freedom and job, new yearly shots, or lose freedom and jobs, and thus we march on, a little more every time.

The Recovering Pastor
Guest
1 month ago

For those who are on the fence… take a look at the comments here of those who support discriminatory mandates? They are often degrading, insulting others & wishing harm. 
This is typical. This is the crowd you are joining. Please… it is discrimination to force people out of their job because of a health condition or of status (unvaccinated). 
Take a deep breath and a step back and look at it from an equality angle. 
This is not the only way or even the best way to handle a pandemic. 
We’re not anti-Covid, anti-vaccine or anti-mask… we’re anti-discrimination & anti-tyranny

Ken
Guest
Ken
29 days ago

Again I ask you nicely how your rights to stay unvaccinated and unmasked are more important than those of us who have followed the recommendations of Healthcare professionals & scientists?
No one is forcing a needle in your arm, that would be Tyranny. But you want the right to choose a minority path and not suffer consequences for the fact you have chosen not to protect yourself and others in the community. Your actions or lack of them are putting others at risk and violating their rights. Why are your rights more important than people who have chosen to be vaccinated & wear a mask?

Some guy
Guest
Some guy
28 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Because he’s a selfish, whiney baby as I believe one “Nancy Schultz” pointed out at the meeting.

Thomas casey
Guest
Thomas casey
1 month ago

Lets get these awful mandates out of Washington. Segregation is wrong.

Ken
Guest
Ken
29 days ago
Reply to  Thomas casey

Segregation : the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means.

Please explain how a mandate put in place for the protection of the health of the general public fits in to the definition of Segregation?

Words have meanings and those meanings should not be twisted or perverted to garner support for a idea that on its on merits cannot be argued in a persuasive way that makes logical sense.

Thomas Casey
Guest
Thomas Casey
22 days ago
Reply to  Ken

when you stop letting people go to stores and get jobs like in NY. Pretty sure UK passports didn’t go over well. your mandates are just another way to push people farther away.

Some guy
Guest
Some guy
28 days ago
Reply to  Thomas casey

Stop using words you don’t understand.

Ken
Guest
Ken
28 days ago
Reply to  Some guy

A better solution would be to look up the words and make sure they apply to the point you are making. Educating yourself and choosing proper words can help bring about real dialog.
But in this case I agree with your comment.

Edward
Guest
Edward
29 days ago

We need a petition to make it a felony to camp on public property.

Ken
Guest
Ken
29 days ago
Reply to  Edward

So you want people arrested & jailed felony or you want them given a fine for illegal camping?

One flaw with each of these scenarios in this is that:
if they are arrested and jailed we taxpayers have to pay for their incarnation. So it would make more sense to find housing for the people.

If it’s just a felony that fines them for trespassing on public land, I put to you this, most of the people that are homeless is because they lack the money needed to provide shelter for themselves. So giving them a criminal felony and another financial burden would just be adding to their inability to find a permanent place to live.

This is a complex issue and I totally understand your frustration with the amount of illegal camping around the country. I’m not sure what can be done to fix it. But I feel a felony will not solve this issue.

Guy
Guest
Guy
28 days ago
Reply to  Ken

I suspect the penalty would be for those camping to be transported to the county line or given a one way ticket to somewhere else.

Ken
Guest
Ken
28 days ago
Reply to  Guy

So your saying they basically sending the problem elsewhere. Yeah that can’t backfire. I have been told by a deputy sheriff here in clark county that more than once our southern neighbors PPD have been known to drop their homeless off on our doorstep. So yeah you’re probably right about them taking that option to try to fix the problem.

Some guy
Guest
Some guy
28 days ago
Reply to  Edward

Doesn’t really sound very “public” when you put it like that 🤔

SamAtkinson
Guest
SamAtkinson
29 days ago

How can such ignorance continue. Not enough deaths already for the GOP. How many children die before it’s ok act? #GOPKILLSkids.

Ken
Guest
Ken
29 days ago
Reply to  SamAtkinson

I understand your frustration with this ongoing issue. I don’t think calling people or politicians killers is a productive way to sway opinions of the people who are not following the recommendations of the vast majority of scientists & health care professionals. Negative remarks will just make people defensive and they will ignore you and/or it will entrench them to defend their behavior. I really do understand how infuriating this is and I have also become angry & said simulator things. So this is not a criticism, just a suggestion.

David Erskine Cummings
Guest

Sec. 2, Wa. State Declaration of Rights reads: “The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land “): WebstersDictionary1828com reads: CONSTITUTE, v.t. [L., to set.]
1. To set; to fix; to enact; to establish.
We must obey laws appointed and constituted by lawful authority, not against the law of God.
2. To form or compose; to give formal existence to; to make a thing what it is.
Perspicuity constitutes the prime excellence of style.
Truth and reason constitute that intellectual gold that defies …..

Ken
Guest
Ken
29 days ago

What is your point? I see no clear message in this. It’s just a jumbled word soup of questionable quotes that have no meaning when presented without a clear message for them to support.

Some guy
Guest
Some guy
28 days ago

Top shelf word salad.

Al LeFeusch
Guest
Al LeFeusch
29 days ago

What a bunch of snowflakes. Get vaccinated.

Mybodymychoice
Guest
Mybodymychoice
29 days ago
Reply to  Al LeFeusch

What a bunch of sheeples, 1984 is coming!

Some guy
Guest
Some guy
28 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

Spoiler alert: it’s not

Ken
Guest
Ken
28 days ago
Reply to  Mybodymychoice

1984 was a work of fiction written by social Democrat about the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and repressive regimentation of persons and behaviours within society. Based on Stalinist Russia & Nazi Germany. I find it interesting that those who practice disinformation (aka propaganda), historical negationism and have easily embraced a cult of personality around former president Trump or around the GOP in general trot out comparisons of democrats as the ones who are plotting to put in place a repressive regimentation of persons and behaviours within society. Legislation based on Christian beliefs are always being pushed as state and federal laws. Trump himself has called for media outlets, people and even others in his own party to be silenced by threat, removal or shunning when they dare to disagree with him. All this behavior has been parroted by others on the right and now by those of you on the personal freedom, no mandates battle.
Read the book and then look at history in the time it was written. Also take some time to look up how real totalitarianism works. Because I think you might not get the context of the material your reading.

Nela
Guest
Nela
29 days ago

Did the Recovering Pastor take up a bed in the hospital and health services that could have been used by those that were doing the right thing? Like trying to protect themselves and others that they may come into contact with? If you don’t want to be vaccinated that’s fine but it is not ‘your right’ to cause the sickness and death of others by your selfishness. When will this ignorance stop? There have been many that died unnecessarily in the last 6 wks across this country. Some died begging for the shots and were told it was too late. How sad, how selfish we have become as a society.

The Recovering Pastor
Guest
22 days ago
Reply to  Nela

in the last two week 25 CC FULLY VACCINATED died of Covid. Do you want to explain to their families how getting the shot protected them?

Scott Hooper
Guest
Scott Hooper
28 days ago

It is so disheartening to hear one of our councilors repeating the false information about the vaccine, that is is injuring people, and about masks.

Arguing that we aught not protect children because the virus doesn’t hurt them is both wrong (many children have died nationally), and also an argument unrelated to the issue. This is a respiratory virus and spreads faster than nearly any other. Stopping kids from swapping the virus protects the entire community, not just them.

I agree there should be conversation and everybody should be involved, but everybody must come to the table willing to hear–and accept–the facts. The conversation cannot just be a way for people to vent the lies they’ve read online and then leave, without anybody learning anything.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret
21 days ago

VAERS data released by the CDC includes a total of 752,803 reports of adverse events from all age groups following COVID vaccines, including 15,937 deaths and 105,758 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020 and Sept. 24, 2021. Excluding “foreign reports” filed in VAERS, 581,851 adverse events, including 7,215 deaths and 45,952 serious injuries, were reported in the U.S. between Dec. 14, 2020 and Sept. 24, 2021.
Of the 7,215 U.S. deaths reported as of Sept. 24, 11% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 16% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination and 29% occurred in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated. 19% of deaths were related to cardiac disorders. Serious adverse health events include: heart attacks, myocarditis and pericarditis, blood clots, debilitating strokes, paralysis, seizures and other neurological conditions, anaphylaxis/ severe allergic reactions, miscarriages and premature births, and deaths. see As Reports of Deaths After COVID Vaccines Near 16,000, CDC Urges Pregnant Women to Get the Vaccine • Children’s Health Defense (childrenshealthdefense.org)

49
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x