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Mass Resistance Arises As Washington Makes It Nearly Impossible To Get Vaccine Exemptions

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Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee does not want to grant any religious exemptions for his vaccine mandate, and his office isn’t afraid to hide it. The rules appear so extreme that affected staff are unlikely to receive a religious exemption if a doctor or nurse has ever given them ibuprofen.

Inslee ordered all state employees, health-care workers including firefighters, and both public and private school staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID by October 18 regardless of age, risk factors, or previous COVID diagnosis. If they are not injected by the deadline, Inslee vows to fire them. What’s worse, Washingtonians would not likely be eligible for unemployment benefits if fired for not getting vaccinated.

The only ways out of the mandate are via medical or religious exemptions. Inslee’s staff knew there would be resistance, and his staff grew concerned that employees would feign religious objections to be exempt. While a medical exemption would require a doctor’s sign-off, religious exemptions were more challenging to control. So they concocted a plan.

I obtained a leaked email sent from Kathryn Leathers, general counsel for the Office of the Governor. On August 3, Leathers and staff representing the governor and the attorney general discussed the vaccine mandate.

“Exemptions: medical for sure; and religious (if we have to; if yes, as narrow as possible),” Leathers wrote. Calling the resulting religious exemption “narrow” is an understatement. It is so narrow that it appears to disqualify almost anyone who would apply.

While each department uses its own forms, there is a common question popping up. Staff are asked whether “You affirm/agree that you have never received a vaccine or medicine from a health care........

© The Federalist

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