Dear Speaker Bedke & President Pro Tempore Winder,
It has recently been brought to my attention that you can coordinate with each other to bring the Idaho Legislature back into session after the decision was made to recess instead of adjourn the House.
I strongly urge you to bring the legislature back into session to address vaccine mandates private corporations are implementing as a condition of continued employment. These mandates will further erode the social contract Idaho citizens have with their government, divide Idahoans, ruin livelihoods, and endanger public health.
It is becoming very apparent that one of the many casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic is the destruction of the social contract between our government’s public health agencies and the citizens they are supposed to serve. All of us have opinions about the validity of the rationale used to justify our government’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis, but we can all agree that trust in public health agencies is being damaged by those public health agencies setting policy expectations only to later have ground truth prove that those expectations were false.
We were all promised that getting vaccinated would protect us from getting infected and spreading COVID-19 to others. Now we learn that after six months the vaccine effectiveness wanes and that the vaccinated are as likely or more likely to spread the virus as the unvaccinated. We were also told immunity from vaccination is more durable than the natural immunity created by being infected and then recovering. We now see studies out of Israel and Sweden that natural immunity is broader and more durable than immunity from vaccination. Now because the vaccines did not live up to the promises made by the “experts”, we are told to yet again mask up and get booster shots. When recently asked if data indicates booster shots will help, head of the CDC Rochelle Walensky said “So, there’s actually hope – we don’t have data yet”. Confusion, mistrust and fear is the result of policy based on hope instead of an objective analysis of data. It is time to stop, take a step back and look to the emerging data to drive public policy instead of letting fear brought by mismanaged expectations drive our actions. Idahoans need you to bring the legislature into session and place a pause on private vaccine mandates at least until the an objective analysis of the data can overcome the fear that is driving these policies that will hurt and divide Idahoans.
Very soon thousands Idahoans will be losing their livelihoods as the private companies they work for implement vaccine mandates as a condition of their employment. These mandates are not a corporate extension of rational public health policy, but a reaction to the fear brought on by the false expectations set by our public health agencies. The truth of how our government handled this pandemic will eventually be brought out by the data, but how many lives will be ruined in the meantime? We must limit the damage to Idahoans as we wait for this data to come out. We must all step back and take a breather.
We are a republic based on individual rights and those rights should not be violated even if a collective public good can be credibly argued. Individual rights must certainly prevail during this time of confusion and fear created by poor policy. Medical ethics have always protected the individual patient and center around ‘advise and consent’. Each individual must be informed of the risks of any medical procedure and then consent to treatment. These are difficult decisions without having one’s livelihood become an additional consideration.
It is frightening to watch Idaho healthcare providers announce vaccine mandates that will terminate staff at the very same time Governor Little is calling out the National Guard to assist with the surge in patients admitted to our hospitals. Idahoans know this makes no sense, endangers public health and that it is immoral to terminate the very frontline workers who have risked their own health to care for Idahoans throughout this pandemic. Will you allow our amazing healthcare workers, who saved the lives of Idahoans, to be terminated for exercising ‘advise and consent’ when it comes to their own health?
Speaker Bedke and President Pro Tempore Winder, you are the only Idahoans who can keep thousands of your fellow citizens from losing their livelihoods while the experts throw darts at this virus and “hope” one of them hits its target. Currently available data proves the false logic of dividing Idahoans by vaccination status since this data shows that both the vaccinated and unvaccinated are being infected and spreading COVID-19. You must call the Idaho Legislature into session and pass legislation banning vaccine mandates for both public and private entities in the State of Idaho. Every day more and more data proves vaccine mandates are not only a violation of our individual liberty, but also have no benefit to public health.
By not calling the Idaho Legislature into session so our elected representatives can address private corporate vaccine mandates, you become responsible for the harm done to your fellow Idahoans when they lose their livelihoods and our hospitals become short staffed. Nothing good will come from your lack of action. On the contrary, your lack of action will only further harm and divide Idahoans. It will also further erode the social contract between the citizens and their government.
Please call the Idaho Legislature into session.
Tags: Chuck Winder, Covid-19, Idaho Legislature, Joseph Gish, Scott Bedke