Miami Private School Will Only Employ Staff Open To Spreading COVID-19 To Kids
Conservatives have expressed hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as skepticism compounded with banana pants conspiracy theories. Republican Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin wondered why there was a “big push" to get everyone vaccinated, because he's too stupid to understand how herd immunity works no matter how often you tell him.
You can't reason with stupid, but you also can't ignore it. Stupidity spreads more quickly than COVID-19, and it's mutated to the point that idiots aren't just refusing to get vaccinated themselves. They're now making it harder for sensible people to do so.
Come with us now to Florida, where stupidity lounges around in resort wear. The Centner Academy, a private school in Miami's Design District, sent a letter to its faculty and staff decreeing that if they took the COVID-19 vaccine, they'd have to stay away from students.
The school's co-founder, Leila Centner, shared this news with supposedly a “very heavy heart" and, we assume, an empty head. Centner is a flake who's shared anti-vaccine screeds on Facebook. She claims in the letter that "reports have surfaced recently of non-vaccinated people being negatively impacted by interacting with people who have been vaccinated."
This is not in any way how vaccines work. Maybe she's thinking about the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode where Dr. Crusher gives Lt. Barclay a flu shot or something and that somehow winds up de-evolving the entire crew into primitive forms of life, but even neanderthal Commander Riker probably understood that vaccines don't work the way Centner suggests.
From the New York Times:
"Even among our own population, we have at least three women with menstrual cycles impacted after having spent time with a vaccinated person," she wrote, repeating a false claim that vaccinated people can somehow pass the vaccine to others and thereby affect their reproductive systems. (They can do neither.)
Centner gave employees three options of dubious legality: 1) Inform the school if they've already been vaccinated, so they can be kept physically distanced from students (only teachers lousy with COVID-19 can apparently get up close and personal). 2) Let the school know if they get the vaccine before the end of the school year because Centner won't allow "recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known." 3) Wait until the school year is over to get vaccinated.
Teachers who receive the vaccine during the summer can't return to the Centner Academy at all until "clinical trials are completed." The vaccines were already tested before their release to the general public. Again, this isn't "Star Trek" where they give you an experimental cure after 40 minutes.
Ms. Centner directed questions about the matter to her publicist, who said in a statement that the school's top priority throughout the pandemic has been to keep students safe. The statement repeated false claims that vaccinated people "may be transmitting something from their bodies" leading to adverse reproductive issues among women.
"We are not 100 percent sure the Covid injections are safe and there are too many unknown variables for us to feel comfortable at this current time," the statement said.
The Centner Academy has made continued employment contingent on refusing to take the vaccine. This seems like it would violate Florida state law, as Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this month signed an executive order banning “vaccine passports," and Centner has implemented the Bizarro World version. DeSantis claimed that it was “completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society." The specific order even stated that vaccine passports “reduce individual freedom and harm patient privacy."
Opposition to vaccine passports is widespread among Republican governors. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Georgia Governor (for now) Brian Kemp, and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey have also banned them. Yes, if you don't want to get vaccinated, you'd consider the vaccine passport bans entirely different, but the legal principle argued would apply to any private or public business requiring that employees not take the vaccine. For instance, Abbott said when issuing his executive order that Texans shouldn't have to "reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives." There's admittedly more wiggle room in Ducey's order, which does not "prohibit private businesses (who do not receive state funding) from requiring patrons show proof of vaccination for entry or to receive a service."
Republican governors were happy to jeopardize public health to appease the MAGA dummies, but there's no satisfying these people. Now they want to impose their vaccine resistance on the nation. This unfortunately reminds me of how the slavery debate actually played out prior to the Civil War.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."