Two state politicians support ‘pushing back’ against vaccine mandate

Aug 11, 2021, 1:56 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm
King County vaccines, vaccine mandate...
A nurse practitioner distributes vaccines at a pop-up clinic in White Center. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Governor Jay Inslee issued a vaccine mandate for state workers earlier this week, and for health care workers. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine made the same pronouncement for the workers on the county level and the city level.

Local leaders speak out after Gov. Inslee’s vaccine mandate

State Representative Jim Walsh from Aberdeen is against the mandate.

“For starters, it’s important to emphasize: Opposing this policy the governor’s making doesn’t mean you’re anti-vax. It doesn’t mean you’re anti mask,” Walsh told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “What it means is, usually, is that you’re pro informed consent. And that’s an important distinction to make. It’s not that we’re anti anything, it’s that we defend the concept of the individual consenting to undergo any kind of medical procedure, including injecting a drug into your system.”

The response Rantz says he usually hears is that there are other vaccines that are required for kids to go to school for which no one takes issue with.

“Many of us opposed that change,” Walsh said. “Federal law requires an allowance for exemptions that are religious or medical in nature. And the governor’s recent edict did allow for that, as it must.”

“But here’s the difference: Public policy needs to be made in the right, lawful, and constitutional way,” he added. “And when you hear people talking about other health care requirements, other health care policy, sometimes you’ll hear people talking, specific to vaccines, about a U.S. Supreme Court decision from last century called Jacobson v Massachusetts, where the U.S. Supreme Court said, yes, the government can require vaccination. All of these policies previously were made the right way.”

By the “right way,” Walsh means they were passed into law by a legislature, signed into law by an executive, and were “true public policy.”

“They were law,” he said, adding that for the new vaccine mandate, “what we’re dealing with here is not law.”

At this point, Walsh thinks it’s time for people to resist and peacefully protest.

“We need civil disobedience to this edict,” he said. “I think we’re seeing it already. I’m greatly encouraged by the number of really grassroots groups of health care professionals, mostly nurses but some others too, that are cropping up all around the state.”

“These are principled, professional people who don’t agree with this edict and they are going to lock arms and they are going to refuse to take a COVID shot at the command of an overreaching state governor,” Walsh added.

Snohomish County Councilmember: Mask mandate is example of ‘moving goalposts’

Joe Kent, who is running for Congress and taking on Jaime Herrera Beutler, is also strongly opposed to vaccine mandates. And he, too, believes it’s time to start peacefully pushing back.

“I think this is an incredibly important issue. It’s taking away a lot of people’s individual choice and then also really giving the government a great tool of being able to track who will and who will not comply,” Kent said about the mandates.

“Right now, the government having this level of compulsion should make everyone stop and say, what are you guys trying to do here? What comes after this? Why do they want this degree of control?,” Kent said later in the interview with the Jason Rantz Show. “I think to preserve the rights that make America unique and special, we need people to really start pushing back peacefully against these mandates.”

Meanwhile, the country last week reached the milestone of having at least one dose in 70% of adults. It came a month after President Joe Biden’s target date, even though most can easily get the shots in the U.S. As of Aug. 10, 70.7% of the eligible population in Washington state has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Two state politicians support ‘pushing back’ against vaccine mandate