33 members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Democrat and Republicans, has sent Governor Dan McKee a letter calling on him to reverse his vaccine mandate for front line workers and to direct the Rhode Island Department of Health to develop appropriate guidelines for those individuals to retain their employment while maintaining the public health.
Here’s the full letter:
Dear Governor Daniel J. McKee:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic of the last 18 months, those professionals that were society’s first line of defense against the virus—among the many, our nurses, doctors, CNAs, police, fire, emergency personnel—were lauded as “heroes” and “saviors” during this historic time of crisis. Undaunted and unvaccinated, these individuals performed their daily duties at great personal risk to keep the rest of us healthy and the rest of us safe.
However, now some of those same “heroes” and “saviors” are facing the loss of employment due to state executive orders mandating COVID- 19 vaccinations prior to October 1st. While we strongly urge all adults to get vaccinated, we also believe none of our “heroes” should be in the unemployment line should they make the personal decision to decline vaccination.
We, the undersigned members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, are respectfully calling upon Governor Daniel McKee to amend the October 1st deadline for termination of employment for those licensed professionals choosing not to be vaccinated, and to direct the Rhode Island Department of Health to develop appropriate guidelines for those individuals to retain their employment while maintaining the public health.
If appropriate governmental action is not taken within the given time frame to protect these workers’ jobs, we respectfully request Speaker Shekarchi to reconvene the Rhode Island House of Representatives, in concert with the Rhode Island Senate, to address this extreme and unjust mandate, and, moreover, to set parameters for any future state, municipal, and private sector mandates concerning the commerce of daily life in the era of COVID-19.
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