Idaho Gov. Brad Little Wrong: Evidence Shows Vaccination Mandates Work and Work Well :: NPI’s Cascadia Advocate
A few weeks ago, the press office of Idaho Gov. Brad Little sent our team at NPI (and other media outlets) in the Pacific Northwest a test submission titled “The Mandate of Biden’s vaccine is not the solution. ” The six hundred word piece awkwardly attempted to take a pro-vaccine and anti-mandate stance, with Little both attacking Biden for trying to end the pandemic while defending his own inaction.
“I have always resisted the establishment of statewide mask and vaccine mandates because COVID-19 mandates from high levels of government do not work to change behavior in places where people have fiercely independent values, ”Little wrote halfway through his guest essay submission.
In addition to bashing Biden, Little also criticized Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
“Consider Washington State,” Little wrote.
Gov. Jay Inslee is quick to blame Idaho for stress in Washington’s health care system, but Spokane County and surrounding areas on its side of the border continue to be hot spots for viral activity with relatively low vaccination rates, despite Governor Inslee issuing vaccine and mask warrants. mandates.
While it is certainly true that Spokane County has lower vaccination rates than King County and other counties west of the Cascades, Spokane County has a much higher vaccination rate than the north. of Idaho.
A quick check of the data shows that 57.3% of people aged twelve and over have been fully vaccinated in Spokane County at the time of publication.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Kootenai County, home to Coer d’Alene, the percentage of people fully vaccinated is only 39.92%.
Statewide, 70.7% of Washington residents aged twelve and over are fully immunized as of October 4. In Idaho, the figure is much lower… 52.6%.
Data and anecdotal evidence suggests that not only are Inslee and Biden’s vaccination mandates working, but that they are working well and are spurring people who clearly were never going to act of their own accord to get vaccinated.
Consider the Fire Chief on Vashon Island:
Despite objections to Governor Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate, Vashon Island Fire Chief Charles Krimmert announced last week that he had received a vaccine against the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus.
Krimmert, subject to Washington’s vaccine requirement for healthcare workers – including firefighters – asked Vashon Island Fire and Rescue Commissioners to change his job description last month to remain as chief without being vaccinated.
In the end, he said, he got the vaccine for multiple reasons, including not wanting to quit his job and losing his salary and pension. “I didn’t want to leave the District behind after putting five years of blood, sweat and tears into the job. … I love doing this job and I want to keep doing it, ”he wrote.
And he can continue to do so now that he has been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, data shows that many state employees have recently received a COVID-19 vaccine. Only 49% were vaccinated in early September, but the number had risen to 68% last week, and it is undoubtedly even higher now.
As Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat observed:
The same trend occurs with most workplace vax mandates. There is strong resistance, sometimes chanting in the streets. Followed by a very calm program.
Example: PeaceHealth hospitals were among the first to require vaccines for their employees in early August.
This sparked protests in Bellingham, saying resistance inside hospitals was fierce and spreading.
What happened in the end?
Eighteen employees quit rather than get vaccinated – out of more than 3,200 in PeaceHealth’s Whatcom County system, according to a follow-up article in the excellent weekly newspaper The Northern Light.
The headline could have been: “99.5% of local health workers don’t give up because of the vaccination mandate.” “
Today comes the news that Kaiser Permanente has suspended 2,200 employees across the country who would not get vaccinated. Sounds like a lot, right?
Actually, no, because Kaiser employed around 216,700 people last year, including 8,100 in Washington state. 2,200 is only 1% of Kaiser’s workforce.
More than 92% of Kaiser’s employees are now vaccinated, up from 78% in the summer, and the company expects increased compliance with its mandate as December 1 approaches. What’s so special about December 1st? Well, this is the date that Kaiser will part ways with the suspended employees who always refuse to be vaccinated or obtain approval for a religious or medical exemption.
“That number is decreasing every day and as employees respond they can return to work,” Kaiser’s management said in a public statement.
The mandates are working. Despite all the whining, groaning and gnashing of teeth, a significant number of people who were not previously vaccinated are now. It will be extremely beneficial when the holiday season arrives and people gather more indoors.
Governor Little’s official position is that people should “consider their risk of not getting the vaccine.” He speaks, writes and acts as if most people are going to rationally think about this pandemic and make a decision based on their personal best interests. But this is not the case.
We humans are emotional – not rational beings. We use the rational part of our mind to justify how we feel as opposed to rational default behavior. Sociologists have repeatedly shown this to be true, and yet there continues to be a widely held belief that people will act in their own best interests.
Obviously they are not, otherwise Idaho would have higher vaccination rates.
“Please consider your risk” is just not a message that will make Idahoans make a good decision about their personal health and well-being. This obviously doesn’t work for the Gem State, otherwise Idaho wouldn’t have allowed hospitals to start rationing care based on crisis standards.
Many people have already concluded – based on misinformation circulating online – that they should not to get vaccinated. Too many people remain recalcitrant despite stories of death and suffering in horribly overcrowded hospitals.
That is why warrants are needed. They are forcing the issue of vaccination to its worst, separating those who are completely cut off from those who are simply resistant. Mandates put an end to procrastination and procrastination because people realize that there will be consequences for their continued inaction.
Governor Inslee’s public health policies are leading Washington state to one path while Idaho (and Alaska) is down another. Because Idaho is not doing the work necessary to dramatically increase inoculations, the stage is now set for what could be a very bad and miserable winter in Gem State.
Idaho Republicans certainly like to talk about individual freedom. And they love to say how “pro-life” they are. But they don’t seem to understand that those who suffer are not free to enjoy their freedoms. And of course, if you are dead, you have no life besides having no freedom. Vaccines offer, by far, the best protection available against COVID-19. Calling for vaccinations saves lives and keeps families from being further torn apart.
Governor Little can save many Idaho residents from tragic fate by joining Governor Inslee and President Biden in issuing COVID-19 vaccination warrants.