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Plenty of bills died during the funnel week. One was Senate File 323, which prohibited employers from engaging in certain actions related to infectious diseases. It would have prohibited employers from inquiring about an employee’s vaccination status with certain exceptions, such as when the actions are required for their duties in accordance with federal or international law.

During the subcommittee meeting on the bill, which happened on Feb. 22, Democrat Sen. Bill Dotzler said he was concerned about the bill applying to any infectious disease that “comes down the pipe.”

“We have no idea how dangerous future infections could be and I’m deeply concerned about taking away the ability for businesses to protect their fellow employees,” he said. “I’m really concerned about this bill.”

One Iowan who spoke at the subcommittee said their previous employer mandated the COVID shot.

“Now I have myocarditis and a lung condition that I didn’t have previously,” he said.

Another Iowan who spoke in favor of the bill said each individual needs to be able to analyze for themselves whether the risk of the disease is greater than the risk from a shot. Some people, he said, get a flu shot and are just fine. Others do it on a Friday intentionally because they know they’ll be down a couple of days after and can deal with that over the weekend.

Another supporter said the Constitution provides individual rights, which he said were violated during COVID.

“I don’t think it’s right to have essential workers forced to do it as well as any individual,” he said. “We should have the right to decide what’s put into our body. Some of these vaccines, I think two of the three major ones, have mRNA that changes your DNA. And I want to keep my God-given DNA myself. I don’t want it to be changed and I don’t want it to be forced on us by some bureaucrat.”

Chaney Yeast of Blank Children’s Hospital said that vaccines are safe and effective and pushed back on the idea the bill would apply to all vaccines.

“That would be concerning,” she said. “We have made significant progress on infectious disease across the world because of our belief in vaccines and the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.”

The next speaker pointed out that the idea vaccines are “safe and effective” is just a “marketing slogan and an ad campaign.”

“There’s no independent data to back that,” she said. “The most recent data shows the vaccine has no benefit for COVID, for infection, for hospitalization or even death. But it has shown data that indicates great harm is happening, including permanent injury and countless deaths for those who are vaccinated.

“Our government is not in place to keep us safe but rather to protect our constitutionally protected liberties and our inalienable rights, including medical freedom and bodily autonomy. There are thousands of pathogens and risks on this earth that we face daily. We have an individual responsibility to make our own decisions and protect our own health. It is not our employer’s responsibility to make or mandate healthcare decisions.”

Another Iowan who wanted to see the big passed said the violations that happened to citizens the last few years were “shocking.”

An employee from an Iowa hospital testified that at her hospital all of the employees have failed to reach 50 percent vaccinated with the most recent booster.

“That is more than half of us who work at my Iowa hospital where I work who have decided that we are declining the COVID bivalent booster this last winter,” she said. “We are then treated as if we are unvaccinated so that we have to mask and do all the extra steps. And we’re all OK with that because we’ve seen what (the vaccine) does. That’s how much faith we have in this and we do enjoy our right to choose.”

J.D. Davis of ABI said the organization believes one of the things employers are required to provide is a “safe workplace.” ABI opposed the bill.

Dotzler used his closing remarks to attack some of the Iowans who showed up to testify.

“I heard a lot of testimony today here and it’s pretty clear that a lot of people are getting their information off the internet somehow,” he said. “One of the things that I have to clarify — you cannot have your DNA altered by any vaccine. Whoever is putting that information out — and I understand anybody’s concern that that would happen because if that does happen that’s terrible — but also I want to point out that this bill doesn’t have anything to do with requirement for employers to allow them to mandate to somebody that they have to have a vaccination.”

Dotzler said the bill allows Iowans to know they are infected and show up to work and willfully infect somebody else.

“I do know that vaccines work — we basically eliminated polio, smallpox through vaccination,” he added. “And your bill here basically stops any inquiry about future diseases that are coming down and I just heard about another smilier, Ebola, that’s out there that can be spread through close contact and through the air and we don’t know what that’s going to do to society.

“You don’t have the right to drive on the wrong side of the road and kill somebody because you think it’s your right to do whatever you want. If you don’t want to have a vaccine, nobody is trying to make you do it.”

Dotzler added that he knows there are “a lot of theories” out there about what the bill does, but people have to look at the vaccinations and masks and how they have protected people.

“When you look at the totality of it, it’s been a wise choice,” he said. “I’m disappointed in our general public who listened to people who aren’t experts in the field.”

Both Republican Senators Jeff Taylor and Dennis Guth spoke positively of the bill and passed it through the subcommittee, but Dotzler spoke once more toward the end.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “This is a dangerous disease. I’m just like totally frustrated over this. I’m just very disappointed in the fact that we’re having this kind of uneducated discussion.”

The bill was in the Senate Workforce Committee. If you were disappointed to see the bill die, you can contact Workforce Committee chairman Sen. Adrian Dickey at [email protected]

Author: Jacob Hall


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