Yesterday’s frontline heroes could be tomorrow’s unemployed, thanks to Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate

A large number of state and private healthcare employees plan to rally Sat., Aug. 21 in Snoqualmie, Washington, at the capitol in Olympia, and outside PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.

Jessica Wilkinson
For ClarkCountyToday.com

Jessica Wilkinson
Jessica Wilkinson

A large portion of the state’s “frontline heroes” of 2020 are set to be the state’s unemployed of 2021, unless they give in to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s most recent threat of termination. On Aug. 9, Gov. Inslee issued Proclamation 21-14 in which he extended his emergency powers under RCW 43.06.220 to include a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all healthcare workers in the state. According to the proclamation, every healthcare worker is prohibited “from engaging in work for a State Agency after Oct. 18, if the worker has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” 

“I am unequivocally opposed to this mandate,” says Sen. Lynda Wilson of Washington’s 17th Legislative District. “Jay Inslee is the only governor in the country up to this point who is going to fire people if they refuse to bend to his will and inject a substance into their body which they object to. All other governors — Republican and Democrat — either don’t have a vaccine requirement, or if they do, they allow some other means of opting out, such as regular testing so people might keep their jobs. This is an extreme position, and I do not support it.” 

Wilson has joined her Republican colleagues in calling for a special session to reign in the governor’s emergency powers. 

A large number of state and private healthcare employees plan to rally Sat., Aug. 21, outside PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. The rally is scheduled to begin at noon. File photo
A large number of state and private healthcare employees plan to rally Sat., Aug. 21, outside PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. The rally is scheduled to begin at noon. File photo

A close reading of the governor’s powers in a state of emergency finds, “Any person willfully violating any provision of an order issued by the governor under this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.” 

Inslee’s proclamation largely rests on the July 6, 2021 legal opinion of the U.S. Department of Justice, which found a new interpretation for Section 564 of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) with regard to Emergency Use Authorizations. All COVID-19 vaccines currently fall under EUAs, which require “the option to accept or refuse administration of the product.” 

The nonprofit The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) has already formally responded to the opinion by the DOJ, highlighting the presence of coercion in employment mandates such as Inslee’s.

“Section 564 requires that this be an actual choice, which is incompatible with levying serious adverse consequences if someone refuses an EUA product, such as expulsion from school, employment, or the armed forces.” ICAN reviewed long-standing U.S. code and international law that prohibits the coercion of any individual to accept an unlicensed, experimental medical product. According to their letter, the Executive Secretary of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has also specifically stated, in regard to the COVID-19 vaccines, “Under an EUA, vaccines are not allowed to be mandatory. “… Patients and individuals will have the right to refuse the vaccine.”

A group of city of Vancouver employees, as well as first responders throughout Clark County and across the state, are uniting in their resolve to resist Inslee’s coercion by threat of termination. A large number of state and private healthcare employees plan to rally Sat., Aug. 21 in Snoqualmie, Washington, at the capitol in Olympia, and outside PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. Each rally is scheduled to start at noon Saturday.

City of Vancouver firefighter/paramedic of 15 years, Nate Cook, is part of Washington State Firefighters United, a group of firefighters that grew to over 400 members in just a few days. The group has united to stand for bodily autonomy and medical freedom. 

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew nothing about the severity of the virus and how it would impact us or our families,’’ Cook said. “We suited up for 18 months and continued to serve our communities, because we felt called to do it and because we love to do it. But the same public that trusted us to critically think and make decisions of risk and benefit for the last 18 months, is now encouraged to view us as their enemy. After Inslee’s order, I am no longer assessing a personal medical decision based on risk and benefit for my personal health. I am weighing the loss of employment, which I use to support three generations.”

Melissa Kolb, an employee of PeaceHealth for 29 years and a nurse for the last 25, could not agree more. “I was safe to work with patients for months and months throughout this pandemic and throughout my career, while utilizing proper PPE and procedures. Now, I can be deemed no longer safe to be in patient care areas because of a personal health decision. It is heartbreaking.” 

Kolb belongs to a group of 7,000 employees in the state opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. MDs, naturopaths, nurses and technicians are now linking arms with other state employees, officers, and EMTS, according to Kolb. “We now know that the vaccines do not give sterilizing immunity for current variants circulating in the public. So how can we be treated like second-class citizens and an inferior population because we have waited to accept these vaccines?” Kolb asked. “Some have even suggested hospitals target unvaccinated patients after unvaccinated employees, and prioritize healthcare accordingly. That kind of rhetoric is dangerous and discriminatory.”

Washington State Representative for the 17th District, Vicki Kraft, has stated, “I understand and recognize the rights of people — that their body is their own, and as such, they should always have the right to decide what they put into their body — or not.”

In an open letter to the citizens of Washington state on Aug. 4, Kraft joined eleven other state representatives in reaffirming a commitment to protect and defend the Constitutional rights provided to Washington citizens. “No person, no emergency order and no law have the authority to remove these Constitutional freedoms and rights from the people,” the letter read. 

Regarding the topic of exemptions for those who wish to decline the experimental vaccines, Cook asks, “Who will stand up for the healthy, atheist firefighter who objects to the vaccine, but does not qualify for a religious or medical exemption? Who will stand for the fully vaccinated employees who wish to decline booster shots that could be mandated in the future? Do they have a right to continue to weigh the risks and benefits for themselves and to make their own medical decisions?”

The city of Vancouver Fire Department has already issued a letter to personnel spelling out the timeline for compliance with the governor’s recent mandate, stating employees can choose resignation in lieu of termination by Oct. 18. 

City of Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle did not return a request for comment. 

When asked about her thoughts on the recent mandates, city of Vancouver Council Member Sarah Fox stated, “I have lost friends and family over this past year to this virus … Unfortunately, many healthcare personnel remain unvaccinated … Patients in hospitals that are there to be treated for other critical health care needs are being potentially exposed to COVID or other such preventable diseases. This is unconscionable. Of course, all healthcare workers should get vaccinated for their own health, to protect patients, their colleagues, families, and our city. This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health care workers to do ‘no harm.’”

Healthcare workers were some of the first in the state to be offered the COVID-19 experimental vaccines, in December 2020, in light of their contact with COVID-19 patients. They were offered pay and time off work to receive the shots, and many did. Most estimates state that 53 percent of Washington residents are fully vaccinated and 67 percent of long-term healthcare employees.

Jessica Hofer Wilkinson is a freelance writer, home educator and mother of four and nursing home chaplain. She resides in Clark County.

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Emily
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Emily
3 months ago

I am one of the ones who can’t get it. My cardiologist told me not to. Peacehealth’s so called ‘reasonable accomodation’ for people with approved exemptions is an indefinite leave of absence until we either quit or get the vaccine. Providers at many of the major medical groups in the Vancouver area were told that they are not allowed to write medical exemptions outside of a very small predetermined list of diagnoses. As a patient with multiple chronic conditions, this is terrifying. This situation is especially infuriating given the rate of fully vaccinated patients who are testing positive for COVID-19. We are already severely understaffed, they can’t just hire more people. We have been caring for patients for almost 18 months and now suddenly it’s a problem. But they are begging us to work overtime till the 1st.

Josh
Guest
Josh
3 months ago
Reply to  Emily

I am on medication for anxiety/ADHD/OCD and depression. My doctor is limited on how much of one drug he can give me for my severe anxiety/ADHD/OCD that he has had to prescribe me 4 other medications to help me control my panic attacks, hypertension and my uncontrollable need to pick at things on my skin and keep my skin clean, that he cannot tell me what the COVID shot might do to me with all the other medications I take. Because of my “issues” I am already skeptical on what people tell me. So I asked him if he thought i should get the shot. In the beginning he was telling me to get the shot until I asked him if he new what, if any, complications could be with my other meds. Now, because he doesn’t know, he said I should not get the shot. If my doctor doesn’t know what the cocktail of meds I take would or could react with the COVID shot, how the hell does Inslee? Once people like this start being required to take whatever the hell they are injecting into us, start having massive side affects then maybe they will listen. The government does not care about what you might have going in your personal life or how something like this could effect or take away your life. When they start demanding is when we should all be afraid and should fight back. I am not willing to put something else into my body unless I know it’s not going to take me from my kids. Not only that why would we want to leave a world to our kids where big government has control. Not good no matter what.

Mitch
Guest
Mitch
3 months ago

I am an RN and had covid less than two months ago and was completely fine. My son who was 9months old was fine and my wife who is pregnant 12weeks was fine as well. They are not allowing any antibody testing or even regular covid checks they are simply firing you. Also Legacy Salmon Creek came out yesterday and said that all employees “Still employed” in October will receive a $1000 bonus and an extra vacation day off from work. They are bribing employees to get the vaccine or else they lose out. KATHERINE C. From legacy should be ashamed she continues to put profits over patient safety and many healthcare staff will be fired.

Catherine Sellers
Guest
Catherine Sellers
2 months ago
Reply to  Mitch

It’s amazing that a nurse doesn’t understand the science of how viruses mutate. There are many examples of people and children dying. When I go to any medical facility I expect ALL employees to be vaccinated. It’s sad that employers have to mandate. People like you have caused the mandates. When employees won’t do the right thing, what are employers to do? If you don’t like WA mandates, move to the Southeast where children are dying.

Gail
Guest
Gail
2 months ago

He already stated that he has previously been infected with Covid. According to the latest research, he is 13 times less likely to become infected and spread the virus than a fully vaccinated individual. Your vaccination is leaky. His natural immunity is superior. Why in the world would he get a vaccine now. The previously infected were excluded from the human trials, so getting a vaccine on top of your natural immunity has no proven scientific benefit and no assurance of safety.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas
3 months ago

All people from all professions have the right to govern their own body as well as medical decisions. This is an absolutely extreme overreach and abuse of power by our “leader” who was elected for the people, by the people. This mandate must be lifted before we collapse our entire healthcare system.

Gemma Aranda
Guest
Gemma Aranda
3 months ago

Just remember it’s not only unvaccinated nurse who can carry Covid virus 🦠 to patients . As we all know , the vaccinated nurses can carry the virus as much as the unvaccinated.

Great RN
Guest
Great RN
3 months ago

We are trained researchers! We want great outcomes for our patients! But seeing a decrease in efficacy in each vaccine, an increase in Covid cases for the vaccinated and an increase in neurological, heart, and hematology problems, screams SoMETHiNG IS WRONG! And to mandate it? The arguments of the unvaccinated spreading it no longer exist when even the cdc admits that the vaccinated have now become “super spreaders “. And the argument that if the vaccinated do get Covid, it will be just a “decrease in symptoms “ fails in comparison to the workers who were forced to get it and now have life altering side effects!

Don Mellor, Colonel, US Army, Retired
Guest
Don Mellor, Colonel, US Army, Retired
3 months ago

To require a mandatory immunization for an experimental vaccine that has not been approved by the FDA is foolish and unthinkable in our democratic society. Many of our healthcare and first responders continue to serve in response to COVID in these difficult times without immunizations and do not get the COVID virus. Why doesn’t Governor Inslee provide alternate ways to serve without this recent mandatory requirement? Forcing employees to get a vaccine today is just one step. Forcing employees to get a booster vaccine in the future would be another step to “check the boxes” to give a false sense of security to the Governor for “wellness.” When will these mandatory requirements for unproven vaccines end? Where is the common-sense approach to this problem solving?

Rubicon
Guest
Rubicon
3 months ago

It appears many here are unaware of the larger picture going on in the US and Europe.
There are many, many online sites, far away from MSM, mained by US/EU/Asian doctors/specialists who have been chronicling how many have died, or become severely ill from taking the vaccine.
http://www.globalrearch.ca, Dr. David Martin on Rumble, Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s children defense website. The list is almost endless. Please become informed.

John Roberts
Guest
John Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Rubicon

What are the numbers? Do you have fact’s that back up your statement? I know this much 620,000 dead in the USA from covid-19. Millons got sick and recoverd, but what’s the long term affect of the virus on people’s health? How long will they be sick or will they never get better. When you look at Covid-19 not one particular thing is going to stop the spread. But using mask, social distancing, smaller gatherings and vaccines together help slow the spread. I’d rather find out that I was wrong wearing a mask and getting vaccinated, Then getting covid-19 and possibly dieing from it.
So you know George Washington made his troops get vaccinated. He did it because the British had lost a lot of men to small pox. If he didn’t have his troops vaccinated this country might not exist.

Tony
Guest
Tony
3 months ago

I would be interested to see the breakdown of these protesters by political leaning. The mandate was set for October for a reason – at least one of the vaccines is expected to get full approval well prior. Then what will the excuse be? Stop with the hypocrisy of ‘my body, my choice’ – does that also apply to a woman’s right to opt for an abortion or only when it suits *you*? It’s not about *you* – just because *you* had it and *you* recovered, doesn’t mean *you* didn’t/couldn’t infect someone else in the *community* who might not have the same outcome. It’s these selfish, ignorant, politically motivated mobs that will keep us in this situation until karma catches up with them.

Luc
Guest
Luc
3 months ago
Reply to  Tony

Hypocrisy? Were you not anti-GMO and anti BigPharma back in 2019? Also, There were no political incrimination’s until you started in.

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany
3 months ago
Reply to  Tony

Unfortunately, it appears you are still listening to the news and relying on propaganda. These frontline workers know the risks of thus jab. They aren’t selfish, they are informed. The travesty in all of this is the ignorance of the greater population in understanding that what happened in the animal mRNA trials a few years ago is now happening in humans. Antibody dependent enhancement. Deaths. Bells Palsey. Myocarditis. Bleeding disorders in women…to name a few. And now, after duping millions into taking it, they admit it lacks efficacy. Our Immune systems end pandemics, not untested and knowingly dangerous experimental injections.

Rubicon
Guest
Rubicon
3 months ago
Reply to  Tiffany

Meantime, we have a number of States who have done away with mask/vaccine mandates: Governor De Santis of Florida, and many other States. Go online and get informed.
Just as California’s Gavin Newsome has been totally bought off by the racketeer, T. Fauci, we should think, likewise, if Inslee has been bought off by Bill Gates.

Kathy
Guest
Kathy
2 months ago
Reply to  Rubicon

Go online and get informed? You are not informed about Florida where they are in dire straights. They had to ask for out of state medical help. School districts and teacher union are defying the governor and requiring masks because it’s their job to protect children. Judges have sided against DeSantis when he tried to stop it. Schools have already had to shut down due to outbreaks. Children are filling up pediatric ICUs. Children have died. Florida and Texas are examples of what happens when the leaders put their far right partisan politics above people’s safety.

Jon Doe
Guest
Jon Doe
3 months ago
Reply to  Tony

Are you assuming everyone who is unvaccinated is pro-life? As a vaccinated pro-life and anti-vaccine mandate individual the my body my choice argument is valid for those wishing not to get the vaccine. The pro-life viewpoint doesn’t believe women don’t have the right to choose what they do to their own body, we believe that women don’t have the right to kill someone else body. The abortion argument is entirely about when life begins. If you believe it begins at conception, then how could anyone who isn’t a sociopath believe abortion is okay? If you believe it’s not until birth, then why would you care if someone gets an abortion or not?

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany
3 months ago

I pray that all of these front line workers, state workers, teachers, and first responders just get up en masse and leave their jobs. This madness would be over the next day. Our immune systems end pandemics, not experimental jabs. Each person should be informed fully about these shots before they choose to accept them Each person should be free to choose the medical procedure right for them. Mandates are not laws, and the more that people comply, the more mandates we will see in other facets of our lives.

John Roberts
Guest
John Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Tiffany

Tiffany
So what happened to our immune system with smallpox, polio, and others that we get vaccinated against. What were they all on vacation when that happened our immune system was out to lunch?

Chris
Guest
Chris
3 months ago
Reply to  Tiffany

“This madness would be over the next day . . . ”

No, it would not. It would be utter chaos.

Lewis Smith
Guest
Lewis Smith
3 months ago

I have been working in the health care settings doing essential construction projects throughout the “pandemic”. I have had projects in all the systems, Kaiser, Providence, Legacy and PeaceHealth. Last week we were informed of the vaccination mandate and that contractors would be included in the requirement. My company reached out to give me the chance to get the jab as I have voiced loud opposition. I responded I don’t need time, I will not take the vaccination. As these restrictions take affect I will be given an indefinite unpaid leave of absence. I am preparing for the loss. This is the hill to die on if we don’t resist we will loose our freedom and we won’t be able to get it back.

Alisha Burns
Guest
Alisha Burns
3 months ago

What happens to “my body my choice?” Wasn’t this just forced down our throats 3 or 4 years ago?
I am all in a favor of Mrs. Kolb’s statements. The research isn’t there yet. Why has it taken year to create vaccines for other viruses? But only months for this “Covid” virus? What ever happened to “the flu”?
And it’s clear, vaccinated people are still carriers of this virus, they can still spread it. The vaccination protects yourself, not others. Therefore MY BODY MY CHOICE!

Justin
Guest
3 months ago

Those who refuse will loose their job… cool its an option much like a choice. Take the shot and keep your job or simply dont. Your body your choice huh sounds very familiar.

James
Guest
James
3 months ago

Jay Inslee’s religious exemption for state workers only applies to one religion, Scientology and only if you have never received any medical help or drugs in your adult life. The exemption form is a joke.

Catherine Sellers
Guest
Catherine Sellers
2 months ago

In a free society every citizen has rights and responsibilities. When citizens put their own selves above the greater good, and listen to propaganda instead of truth, our freedoms are curtailed by mandates. It is everyone’s responsibility to get a vaccine unless they have a credible medical reason not to. If everyone had gotten a vaccine when they were eligible, our hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Our kids wouldn’t have to wear a mask in school. Protect our children. Be a good Samaritan. Just get vaccinated for goodness sake.

Gigi
Guest
Gigi
2 months ago

So who is going to be reaponsible for any deaths or long term side affects from this Jab? Since all these maufacutes have immunity . Not only did Pfizer have a huge 2.3 Billion dollar lawsuit for mispromoting medicines and for paying kickbacks to compliant doctors as well as J&J with their millions of dollars lawsuits. There is no way would I trust these jab makers. These jabs have killed more people than any vaccines combined. They usually pull a vaccine that has a causes death in 25 to 50 people it would have been pulled. According to VAERS as of ONLY June 11th of 2021 5,993 deaths , 29,871 serious injuries and 358,379 adverse reactions. I guess that’s just for the greater good? Not in my book.

Catherine
Guest
Catherine
2 months ago
Reply to  Gigi

I agree there are injustices surrounding the pharmaceutical industry just as with other large cooperations, government, shareholders, lobbiest. We should work together to oppose the power and greed that pervades our institutions at the expense of workers and families. But isn’t being against a certain product different? Would you tell a diabetic not to use insulin because big pharma is charging too much? Would you tell a heart patient not to use life saving drugs because there may be side effects? These examples effect only one individual whereas not taking a vaccine, effects our entire society. All vaccines and medications have potential risks, but that risk is less than refusing them. VAER is an early self reporting system. It does not prove the cause of death. Reports in VAER have not been verified. It does not prove causation. Right leaning media uses VAER to spread disinformation. Because of the nature of how viruses spread and mutate, combatting them requires all of us who haven’t recovered from Covid or have a medical exemption to do our patriotic duty and get vaccinated. It can’t be an individual choice. What if the next pandemic is more virulent, disabilating and deadly? Our lives, our freedom, our civil society could be destroyed if we don’t fight our common enemy, the virus, together by voluntarily following health mandates. We shouldn’t be taking sides. We should be fighting the virus together. Building our immunity and other preventative measures should be considered, but the vaccine is the preventative our society desperately needs. God has blessed us with a vaccine, however imperfect. Receive God’s gift. “Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others.” Ephesians 4:32

Nurse jones
Guest
Nurse jones
2 months ago

Will there be unemployment benefits for those that get terminated or who choose to resign before termination? Does anybody know or do we just lose our livelihood if we don’t get vaccinated?

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