From the New York Times, here’s today’s snapshot:
WV House of Delegates considers banning proof of vaccination necessary for schools, hospitals
From Friday morning’s Charleston Gazette-Mail:
The West Virginia House committee on Health and Human Resources advanced a bill Thursday that would make it illegal for hospitals, colleges or state and local government facilities to ask people entering or using services to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
House Bill 4012 passed the committee through a voice vote, with Delegates Lisa Zukoff, D-Marshall; Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, Danielle Walker, D-Monongalia; Rick Griffith, D-Wayne; and Jim Barach, D-Kanawha; voting against the legislation. The bill now advances to the House Judiciary Committee.
The proposed law would not prohibit such facilities from asking questions about vaccination status or inquiring if a person is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. It would stop the facilities only from requiring proof of vaccination.
Colleges in the Wheeling area have strict policies about proof of vaccination. Here are the latest reports (that I could find) on what Wheeling-area colleges are doing:
From Wheeling University last summer:
Students will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination upon returning to campus in August.
From Bethany College:
The college announced in June that it would require students to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
From West Liberty University:
All students, faculty and staff must verify their vaccination by Aug. 13, 2021. . . .
Those not fully vaccinated and those who do not verify their vaccine status by Aug. 13 must:
• comply with COVID-19 testing for the fall semester,
• wear a mask indoors, in WLU owned or leased vehicles, and when outdoors around others,
• quarantine per CDC guidelines following close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Finally, WVNCC recently moved beyond the vaccine to required testing:
It was a new policy at West Virginia Northern Community College this semester: Vaccinated or not, you must be tested for COVID-19.
The college has had a task force in place since the start of pandemic and the decision was made before Christmas.
Regardless of vaccination status, if you're on campus, you're testing weekly.
My understanding is that area colleges have the virus under control. Why force them to change their policies and risk infecting students and employees in order to make Trump followers happy?
It wasn’t that long ago that Republicans used to be the party of small government that let locals decide what was best. Obviously, that changed when the WV GOP became the Trump Party.
(Note – I also see that the governor is looking for a waiver to the federal vaccination mandate for WV’s rural hospitals.)
The Trump Party strategy continues
Yes, encourage the growth of the virus and then blame Biden. Finally, at least one Republican newspaper in the state is willing to admit that’s been the strategy all along. From an editorial in Morgantown’s Dominion Post:
In his press release, McKinley points to Biden's failure to "shut down " the COVID-19 pandemic—as if Republicans haven't made being anti-mask and anti-vax a core part of their political ideology over the last two years.
Republican state attorneys general just took the Biden administration to court to block the OSHA vaccine mandate, which is an endeavor McKinley and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito supported. Our state Legislature is entertaining multiple bills aimed at restricting mask and vaccine rules, as well as forcing physicians and pharmacies to prescribe unproven or debunked COVID "treatments."
A single person—no matter how much authority they hold—cannot "shut down " a pandemic when a significant portion of the country refuses to take any of the steps necessary to end the spread and lawmakers actively work to undermine public health and safety measures.
Thanks for stating the obvious.