California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, who believes in vaccine mandates so much that he issued the first vaccine mandate in the United States targeting children in public and private schools, has a different view when it comes to the state’s prison guards, whose union donated a whopping $1.75 million to Newsom for September’s recall election. Newsom is appealing the ruling issued by U.S. District Court Judge Jon S. Tigar that stated prison guards must be vaccinated in order to protect incarcerated prisoners.
Tigar wrote in the ruling issued September 27, “… access by workers to CDCR institutions be limited to those workers who establish proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or have established a religious or medical exemption to vaccination and (2) incarcerated persons who desire to work outside of the institution or to have in-person visitation must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or establish a religious or medical exemption.”
“For months, the politically powerful union and the Newsom administration have resisted a COVID vaccine mandate for prison workers, despite the spread of the deadly virus behind prison walls,” Cal Matters reported.
On Tuesday, Newsom and the state appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
SFGATE noted, “Newsom’s hostility towards the mandate for prison guards does not align with his previous statements on COVID mitigation efforts, including vaccine mandates.” Newsom had told CBS News less than 24 hours after the attempt to recall him had failed in September, “We need to stiffen our spines and lean into keeping people safe and healthy. We shouldn’t be timid in trying to protect people’s lives and mitigate the spread and transmission of the disease.”
“The governor has also faced criticism for not mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for school staff in addition to children. Teachers unions were also large donors to Newsom’s anti-recall campaign,” SFGATE pointed out.
Cal Matters noted of the state’s unvaccinated prison workers:
State officials have tried cash incentives, behavioral science strategies, even one-on-one counseling to entice more of them to get the shots. But most resisters didn’t budge. Although more than 5,000 staff attended the one-on-one counseling sessions, a mere 262 agreed to be vaccinated. Roughly 4,300 others signed a statement of refusal.
On October 1, Newsom announced that California would become the first state to mandate eligible students attending public and private schools get vaccinated for in-person instruction.
Newsom stated, “We are all exhausted by this pandemic. We are all exhausted by this. And that is the purpose of this. We hope this encourages folks to get vaccinated. We have no trepidation, no hesitancy in encouraging local districts to move forward more expeditiously.”
He tweeted, “Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work.”
“I believe we will be the first state in America to move forward with this mandate and requirement, but I do not believe, by any stretch of the imagination, that we will be the last state,” Newsom said. “I anticipate that other states will follow suit.”