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Tuesday, September 7, 2021

RI House conservative Dems join Trumplicans in letter to McKee asking for vaccine exemption for first responders

Letter does not address why frontline workers who have seen the worst of COVID don’t want shots

By Will Collette 

Famous last words
A group of conservative Rhode Island House members, mostly DINOs, plus all of Blake “Flip” Filippi’s gang of Trumplicans sent a group letter to our accidental Governor Dan McKee, asking that health care workers be exempt from the mandate to get vaccinated against COVID by October 1. 

Never mind that the medical community as a whole is vaccinated and urges all eligible people to get vaccinated, somehow these state representatives, including Charlestown’s own Flip Filippi, think anti-vaxxer health workers should get a pass. 

These are the kind of health care workers our legislators
should be supporting
Personally, I think anti-vaxxer health care workers don’t merit any consideration at all and, indeed, I think their anti-science attitude raises questions about their qualifications to work in health care. Period. 

I'm not the only one who thinks that. 

Care New England President and CEO Dr. James Fanale said:

“While Care New England truly values each member of our staff, and respects the personal choice of individuals to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, it has a responsibility offer its patients peace of mind by providing them access to fully vaccinated health care workers to preserve their overall well-being. Those who opt not to get vaccinated are choosing not to fulfill a requirement of their position and will no longer be allowed to work.” 

Dan McKee, who has been wishy-washy ever since he took office after Gina Raimondo left for Washington, may cave in to this effort to halt one of his few strong actions to slow down the pandemic. 

The letter was apparently organized by Rep. Arthur “Doc” Corvese (DINO-No. Providence). “Doc” has the nickname because he is a practicing optometrist.  

In that respect, he is similar to anti-vax Trumplican Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) who is an ophthalmologist who is himself self-certified by his own National Board of Ophthalmology

Neither Doc Corvese nor Rand Paul have any experience or training remotely related to the treatment of infectious viral diseases.

Here is the entire letter sent to McKee by Doc Corvese and his cohorts. 

FROM THE STATE HOUSE NEWS BUREAU: Below is a statement sent to the governor this morning by 33 representatives. If you have any questions, please contact Rep. Arthur Corvese at (401) 829-9986. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 

Dear Governor Daniel J. McKee: 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic of the last 18 months, those professionals that were society’s first line of defense against the virus—among the many, our nurses, doctors, CNAs, police, fire, emergency personnel—were lauded as “heroes” and “saviors” during this historic time of crisis.  Undaunted and unvaccinated, these individuals performed their daily duties at great personal risk to keep the rest of us healthy and the rest of us safe.   

However, now some of those same “heroes” and “saviors” are facing the loss of employment due to state executive orders mandating COVID- 19 vaccinations prior to October 1st.  While we strongly urge all adults to get vaccinated, we also believe none of our “heroes” should be in the unemployment line should they make the personal decision to decline vaccination. 

We, the undersigned members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, are respectfully calling upon Governor Daniel McKee to amend the October 1st deadline for termination of employment for those licensed professionals choosing not to be vaccinated, and to direct the Rhode Island Department of Health to develop appropriate guidelines for those individuals to retain their employment while maintaining the public health. 

If appropriate governmental action is not taken within the given time frame to protect these workers’ jobs, we respectfully request Speaker Shekarchi to reconvene the Rhode Island House of Representatives, in concert with the Rhode Island Senate, to address this extreme and unjust mandate, and, moreover, to set parameters for any future state, municipal, and private sector mandates concerning the commerce of daily life in the era of COVID-19.

Representative Arthur J. Corvese 

Representative Thomas E. Noret 

Representative Julie A. Casimiro 

Representative Patricia A. Serpa  

Representative Deborah A. Felella 

Representative Charlene Lima 

Representative Gregory J. Costantino 

Representative Steven M. Casey 

Representative Carlos E. Tobon 

Representative Grace Diaz 

Representative Anastasia P. Williams 

Representative Camille Vella-Wilkinson 

Representative Robert D. Phillips 

Representative William W. O’Brien 

Representative Robert E. Craven Sr. 

Representative Edward T. Cardillo Jr. 

Representative Bernard A. Hawkins 

Representative Mary Duffy Messier 

Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro 

Representative Steven J. Lima 

Representative Ramon A. Perez 

Representative James N. McLaughlin 

Representative Nathan W. Biah 

Representative Raymond A. Hull 

Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi 

Representative Brian C. Newberry

Representative Michael W. Chippendale 

Representative David J. Place 

Representative Robert J. Quattrocchi

Representative Sherry Roberts

Representative George A. Nardone 

Representative Patricia L. Morgan 

Representative Justin Price