Opinion: Like Oregon, Washington should end the vaccine mandate on state workers

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center discusses Gov. Jay Inslee’s statement that he will not ease up on his vaccine mandate on state employees.
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Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center discusses Gov. Jay Inslee’s statement that he will not ease up on his vaccine mandate on state employees

Elizabeth Hovde
Washington Policy Center

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown are often doing the two-step on COVID-19 rules and guidance for their state residents. In his press conference Friday, however, Gov. Inslee broke with Gov. Brown and said he would not ease up on his vaccine mandate on state employees.

Elizabeth Hovde
Elizabeth Hovde

Gov. Brown announced she is rescinding her order that nearly 40,000 state employees have to get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their jobs, rightly noting we need to live with this virus. Oregon employees who were fired might be eligible to reapply for their old jobs. Read more in The Oregonian.

Answering a question about if there would ever be a time to abandon the mandate on government workers in Washington state, Inslee said, “We still have a deadly disease, and we still have a very high incidence in our state. We still have high hospitalization rates.” He concluded, “So today is not the day to be removing efforts to keep our people safe.” It’s interesting that he has been pointing to lower hospitalization rates and deaths as the reason why he’ll end the state’s indoor mask mandate, and now the same rates are being cited as too concerning to end his vaccine mandate.

Vaccine mandates on workers – at this point – are more than misguided. Given what we know about the virus and how it spreads, a vaccinate-or-lose-your-job policy comes across as cruel and punitive. Such mandates have wrecked life paths. Hundreds of government workers have been fired, and we’ve let go of doctors and nurses just when they are needed most.

The mandates failed to stop the spread of COVID-19, and they failed to keep vaccinated people from getting sick. Why? Science. The virus does not recognize political mandates. Vaccines do help prevent serious illness.

In his latest press conference, it seemed debatable to me which was more important to Inslee: the safety and well-being of Washingtonians or the desire to be right. Instead of adapting to how COVID-19 spreads and respectfully answering questions from the media, he attacked and blamed Republicans.

“Look,” he said, “Republicans have unfortunately failed to help us ….” He said they were continuing to do so and added, “They tried to stop us from saving lives through wearing masks. They tried to stop a way to get our people vaccinated so they wouldn’t die.” Never mind that Gov. Brown is a fellow Democrat, as are many people who have decided to try new approaches to COVID-19 in year three.

New information, science and data are not changing the governor’s mind about rules that, over time, prove misguided. I wish he’d do the two-step with Brown.

Elizabeth Hovde is a policy analyst and director of the Centers for Health Care and Worker Rights at the Washington Policy Center. She is a Clark County resident.

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Sylvia
Sylvia
10 months ago

Interesting indeed. It is time that the health profession, politicians and, in particular, the general public reset their mindset. Only then will it be possible to admit that modern medicine is most definitely not a ‘one size fits all, cure-all’ solution. In fact, there have been occasions where modern drugs ARE the problem, eg side effects and/or adverse reactions.
Taxpayer funds would be better spent on helping people develop a healthy lifestyle, rather than waste ever-increasing funds on naintaining chronic conditions.
A robust immune system will most certainly help fend off ‘dis-ease’.

Sheryll
Sheryll
10 months ago

You are setting US Washingtonians up with Oregon?!! STOP IT!! QUIT COMPARING US WITH ONE STATE!! There are many states in the US that have stopped the killer jab.if your going to say one!! SAY THEM ALL!!🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲

Margaret
Margaret
10 months ago

So many deaths and injuries have been reported to the FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, yet most are NOT reported.
See latest report summary here.
8,817 COVID Vaccine Injuries Reported to CDC Among Kids 5 to 11, as Study Shows Pfizer Vaccine Only 12% Effective in That Age Group
Oregon: Woman Died of Blood Disorder After J&J Vaccine. CDC Says the Disorder Is Rare — But Is It?

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