ST. PAUL – Following the Biden administration’s decision to back away from vaccine mandates for facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid, State Representative Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea) and 37 other state lawmakers have penned a letter to the Mayo Clinic urging it to end its Covid vaccine mandates for staff and return to its original, more reasonable vaccine protocols.
“To be clear, none of us are opposed to vaccines,” Bennett said. “But most of these frontline workers willingly sacrificed and stepped-up last year, exposing themselves and their families to a then unknown virus without any protection of a vaccine. Many were sickened by the virus and now have natural immunity. Mayo is no longer under any obligation to enforce a vaccine mandate on its staff, and we are urging them to give its staff the freedom to decide if they want to receive the shot.”
According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, some of the largest U.S. Hospital systems have dropped Covid-19 vaccine mandates for staff after a federal judge halted the Biden vaccine mandate. They include hospital operators HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare Corp., AdventHealth and the Cleveland Clinic.
The reason? Labor shortages. According to the Wall Street Journal story, thousands of nurses have either quit or been terminated rather than get vaccinated. As of September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 30% of workers at more than 2,000 hospitals across the country were unvaccinated.
Bennett says the Mayo Clinic has the chance to do the right thing by finding a workable solution with its employees who, due to any number of reasons, may not want the vaccine.
“Multiple new studies from places like the United Kingdom, Israel, and Germany – and even the CDC itself - show that this is a ‘leaky’ vaccine that allows the vaccinated to become infected and transmit the virus equal to the unvaccinated,” Bennett said. “If the Covid vaccine was a sterilizing vaccine such as those for mumps, measles, and polio, the argument could be made that staff who receive it would be protecting patients. But if everyone can pass the Covid virus along, including the vaccinated, what is the purpose of forcing the vaccine?”
Bennett’s letter encourages Mayo to “take the lead on this issue by reverting back to its original reasonable vaccine policy which allows for medical, religious, and consciousness opt outs for its employees. In addition, we would be proud to have the Mayo Clinic take leadership in giving equivalent consideration to both natural immunity and artificial immunity for COVID19, which a preponderance of worldwide medical evidence now supports.”
A copy of Bennett’s letter to Mayo can be accessed here: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/goppdf/KjjzzR9JvE2GyqQV2Nc_eA.pdf