A Washington state government worker said Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate announcement was the “last straw” in a steady decline of morale within his department.
On Aug. 9, Inslee, a Democrat, stated that all state workers, onsite contractors, and volunteers must get one of the three vaccines that allegedly protect against COVID-19 by Oct. 18, or be terminated.
This requirement, according to Inslee, also applies to teleworking state employees, and employees in private health care and long-term care settings.
The mandate was updated on Aug. 18, to include vaccination requirements for employees working in K-12 schools, childcare and early learning environments, higher education, as well as the expansion of statewide mask mandates to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, beginning on Monday.
“Now that the school year is imminent, the pandemic disease levels are extremely high and are exploding across our state unfortunately,” Inslee said in a press conference on Aug. 18.
The mandates are being implemented to prevent business and school lockdowns, Inslee said.
“We are fortunate—we are blessed—to have two tools that are effective, that are safe, that are available to essentially almost everyone in the community, and we should use them: Those are masks and vaccines,” Inslee said.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be a safety requirement as a condition of employment for the state of Washington, Inslee said.
Inslee also contributed to President Joe Biden’s and other government officials’ “pandemic-of-the-unvaccinated” narrative claiming that the recent surge of COVID-19 cases is the fault of the unvaccinated.
“I know this will frustrate some vaccinated folks who thought they wouldn’t have to do this anymore,” Inslee said. “There are not enough people vaccinated.”
Despite being fully vaccinated, Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine), and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) said on Thursday that they had tested positive for COVID-19.
On Aug. 18, President Joe Biden announced that nursing home facilities nationwide must mandate vaccines if the facilities expect to keep getting Medicare and Medicaid funding.
The three COVID-19 vaccinations have been authorized under emergency use authorization.
The King County state employee, who said he didn’t want to give his name to avoid retaliation, said, though he loves his job, he’s watched the morale of his co-workers steadily decline as restrictions carried on until this.
“There are a lot of people considering quitting,” he said. “This is a health care decision that no one has the right to force on you.”
Whether he would quit or not, he said that he will refuse to get vaccinated based on religious grounds.
He added that having someone “jamming it down your throat” doesn’t motivate him to get the vaccine, either.
“It’s come down to this,” he said. “The bottom line is that Jay Inslee took an oath of office, and he has violated that oath of office by doing what he is doing. He has violated not only the oath of office, but the Washington State Constitution, as well as the Constitution of the United States, and should be removed from office.”