U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, recently told a Los Angeles television station that the nationwide increase in COVID-19 transmission could result in some form of a vaccine requirement intended to save lives.
During an interview with FOX 11 News anchor Elex Michaelson on Thursday, Waters said that more vaccinations are needed to curb the spread. Michaelson spoke to the congresswoman at a fundraiser he was emceeing, at which Waters served as a featured speaker. He shared part of the discussion on social media.
“I think we’re moving toward a mandate. This is very dangerous,” said Waters. “And I think we’re finding that people are dying, and younger people are being attacked by this virus. And so I think we’re going to have to be very careful. We’re going to have to be dedicated to the proposition that we’re going to get everybody vaccinated, and that we’re going to stop what I think could be a lot of deaths that would take place without doing it.”
"We're moving toward a mandate. This is very dangerous."@RepMaxineWaters supports more vaccine mandates to encourage vaccinations against COVID 19, including for members of Congress themselves.
"The delta variant is a killer."
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) August 7, 2021
Partial transcript as follows:
MICHEALSON: What does a mandate look like? The governor [California Governor Gavin Newsom] just today talking about that all health care workers are going to have to get vaccinated to work in this state. Should that be extended to other industries?
WATERS: Well, certainly health care workers should be vaccinated. It is unbelievable that we had health care workers that were not vaccinated, and so that is a must. And the Congress of the United States, I think we should also have the mandate that you must be vaccinated, that you must wear the masks, we must social distance, because again, the Delta variant is a [killer].
The edited conversation then shifted to the federal eviction moratorium extension, then the infrastructure bill.
On Thursday, California’s public health officer issued an executive order requiring most health care workers to be fully vaccinated or receive their second dose by the end of September. It applies to employees who provide services at most health care settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, skilled nursing facilities, and adult daycare centers.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s Meet the Press, “Mandates at the local level need to be done.”
In Waters’ home state, local entities have already announced vaccine mandates for some government workers, including in San Francisco and Los Angeles County.
There has been pushback, however, especially from law enforcement unions. The San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association warned that some members “will retire early or seek employment elsewhere” if they are forced to get vaccinated. And the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) said it “is asserting its bargaining rights” over a vaccination order issued last week, and its legal team was reviewing the mandate.
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