Governor doubles down on government coercion with expansion of vaccine mandate, McCune says

School, college employees join state workers, health care workers under governor’s new “get vaccinated or get fired” rule

OLYMPIA – Sen. Jim McCune. R-Graham, released the following statement Wednesday after Gov. Jay Inslee extended his “get vaccinated or get fired” mandate to teachers, school staff and higher education employees. The governor’s new rule, imposed last week on most state employees and private health care workers, requires workers to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, or face termination. The governor also announced resumption of mask mandates in public places, effective Monday.

“The governor is doubling down on government coercion,” McCune said. “He crossed the line last week when he threatened state employees with dismissal, and now he’s working to eliminate freedom of choice wherever he can. COVID seems to have become an excuse for authoritarianism, and the rights of the individual are dismissed as piffle.

“I’ve heard from many state workers who tell me they won’t get the shot, and are waiting for the ax to fall. I expect we will hear many more objections from school employees and those who work at our state’s colleges and universities. We cannot ignore their legitimate concerns about vaccines that have not been fully tested and approved. This is the most personal of all decisions, whether to inject a foreign substance into one’s body, and people deserve the right to choose.

“Other states aren’t so harsh. For the unvaccinated, they offer the option of regular testing. But in this state, there is no middle ground – personal and philosophical objections are dismissed. Our courts have decided there is a right to privacy under the constitution, extending to medical decisions, and I believe this decree would be found unconstitutional if it is ever tested in court. I think this demonstrates once again that our colleagues in the Legislature made a terrible mistake when they extended the governor’s emergency powers indefinitely, and I hope the mass-termination event this October will cause them to rethink their position.”