by Guy Page
At 3 p.m. today, the Joint Rules Committee of the Vermont Legislature will hear and discuss a recommendation to require vaccine passports or PCR testing for lawmakers, legislative staff and possibly anyone who seeks entrance to the Vermont State House.
At present, everyone entering the State House is required to wear a mask. As reported Dec. 13 in the Vermont Daily Chronicle, the draft vax-or-test policy as currently proposed would apply only to legislators and legislative staff, Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin) said. However, there is discussion about expanding the requirement to the general public.
Gov. Phil Scott yesterday said it’s the Legislature’s decision to impose a vaccine passport, in much the same way that business owners and employers may likewise require vaccination for workers and customers.
In opposition to any State House vaccine mandate, the following was submitted by Jennifer Stella of Health Choice Vermont regarding today’s proposal.
Dear Mme. Chair and Mme. Vice-Chair and Members of the Joint Rules Committee:
Health Choice Vermont is comprised of thousands of concerned members from throughout Vermont. I am writing in opposition to the draft proposal to require “full vaccination” or testing that is being discussed on Wednesday.
As both a private citizen and as an advocate for all of our members, I can say that health and safety is our common ground. But there are many pathways to wellness, not only those being heavily incentivized. On the “other side of the aisle” from the position supporting mandates is the founding concept of our country and our great state – which is that, Individual rights must be safeguarded. Civil liberties must be protected. I am asking you today to protect health rights. Protect medical privacy. Protect medical consent and choice. I am asking you to Stand for open debate, freedom of speech and assembly.
This can actually be a marchdown-the-middle-of-the-aisle, position – safe for everyone to take. Even our hospitals only require health checks – temperature. No mandates there. And we could have the best health care in the world, if only we could embrace true diversity in thought and opinion, as in Vermont we have always done so well.
We must come together and improve the current health situation. This includes all options, not just The One Way. There are many choices in health and these choices should not include a war on anyone. I want to emphasize here that nobody is saying that reasonable precautions shouldn’t be taken.
Health Choice Vermont has nearly four thousand members – all who believe in health and take it seriously – but believe these decisions should be made of a person’s own free will – not coerced. Policy crosses a clear and present line in the sand when law- abiding citizens are excluded from the legislative debate, and blocked from participation in day-to-day life … all for declining to take a COVID-19 vaccine and while community members turn the other cheek.
Financial rewards in medicine are usually called kickbacks. These sorts of arrangements are neither healthy nor safe. History shows us this. Just look at recent Dept. of Justice settlements regarding pharmaceutical companies. Vaccinations and tests are invasive medical procedures. C19 “vaccines” are experimental gene therapy.
And while this is not a debate on the merits of vaccination, it is about access to democracy itself being predicated on whether or not you accept an injection or an invasive test. All of the people in a democratic society must be able to participate in society. The proposed restrictions of “vax/test to enter” will indelibly harm our Citizens and the entire Legislative process if enacted – and so they must be opposed.
I urge you to step out of the political divide, and vote for “Freedom and Unity” for Vermont, in the only reasonable way: For choice. No mandates. Thank you for your thoughtful attention.
Sincerely, Jennifer Stella (Waitsfield, Vermont – December 14, 2021)