What’s Going on with Covid-19.
According to the latest Census, there are 252,000 residents in Idaho’s five northern counties.
As of today, our biggest regional hospital, Kootenai Health, reports 89 Covid-19 hospitalizations with 30 in critical care. 89 divided by 252,000 means that just 0.035% of the resident population is currently hospitalized at KH with Covid-19. The current wave may be breaking, as the number of inpatients has dropped 18% in the last 5 days.
The hospital has 550 jobs unfilled out of 4,150 total jobs. Meanwhile Panhandle Health District recently reported that 1/4 of the Panhandle deaths from Covid-19 since August 1 have been among vaccinated patients.
So, the problem facing our healthcare system has nothing to do with a lack of vaccinated people. The problem is that the hospital has not grown to accommodate the significant population growth and a slight statistical anomaly of the Covid-19 disease.
If the government feels the need to address an “emergency”, instead of vilifying 61% of North Idaho’s population (percentage of the total population unvaccinated), the target ought to be to facilitate Kootenai Health in expanding capacity to meet demand. Kootenai Health is a hospital taxing district with a publicly elected governing board. As such, it is a governmental entity.
Joe Biden would rather attack your freedom.
Let’s understand what Joe Biden did this week. He has so far ONLY made a speech. There is not yet an applicable law that anyone has to be vaccinated. But mandates are coming soon.
Biden has three points to his vaccination mandate plan:
- Under his authority as chief of the federal executive branch, he plans to require that all executive branch employees be vaccinated (not being the head of the Congress or the courts, he has no authority to command the Legislative and Judicial federal branches of government to be vaccinated).
But, under a law passed long ago by Congress, the Procurement Act, he plans to have all federal contracts require contracting workers to be be vaccinated. This will begin happening as soon as September 24.
- Another part of his plan is to have all healthcare workers across the nation be vaccinated. The way he would accomplish this is under the Social Security Act which was modified in 1965 for Medicare.
The provisions in that federal law allow the Secretary of the federal Health and Human Services Department to make certain requirements for the health and safety of patients whose bills are paid by Medicare and Medicaid.
The HHS secretary will issue orders that vaccinations of healthcare facility workers is necessary to protect Medicare patients, and federal funding to facilities will be withheld if they do not comply. These rules will be implemented as early as October.
This is the problem with all federal funds – they always come with strings attached designed to rob you of your liberty and rob states of their sovereignty.
- Finally, Joe Biden plans to implement vaccination requirements on employees of all private businesses across the US that employ at least 100 employees.This will be done by rule making under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a law passed by Congress in 1970.
A federal agency, OSHA, will issue fines on business that do not comply with the vaccination requirement under the guise that Covid-19 vaccinations are a reasonable requirement upon employers to keep employees “safe” in the workplace.
These rules will probably take months to fashion and implement under the pretext of an “emergency”.
What Idaho Should Do.
The real thing Joe Biden did this week is convince some employers who may have been sitting on the fence, to voluntarily act now and enforce a vaccination on their employees. Joe’s effect is through persuasion by threatened edict (otherwise known as coercion). See, any actual federal mandates, which will likely be tied up in litigation, will take years to litigate and then actually enforce. By then, Covid-19 will probably be in the rear-view mirror.
To counter the real effect of what Joe did this week, which was to push some employers off the indecision fence, the Idaho legislature should pass a law banning employer mandates in Idaho of these Covid-19 jabs. This too would possibly be litigated, but the real effect would be to cause employers to hesitate to enact such mandates, freeing the people from being victimized by the political fight that is Covid-19.
Currently there is nothing specifically in Idaho law to protect Idahoans from employer Covid-19 vaccination requirements. Literally, in a short paragraph of legislation, Idaho could prohibit Covid-19 vaccinations as a condition of employment.
Let’s hope the Idaho legislative leadership gets enough pressure from the people to get this done. Have you called your senator and representatives yet? A simple law could read like this:
COVID-19 VACCINE REQUIREMENTS PROHIBITED. No person, firm, corporation or other business entity or representative thereof, shall require as a condition for employment or continuation of employment any person or employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.