Menu Bar

Home           Calendar           Topics          Just Charlestown          About Us

Friday, April 9, 2021

Day shocked by Flip’s answer

Filippi refuses to step up to support COVID vaccination campaign

By Will Collette

In the past few days, Charlestown’s state Representative Blake “Flip” Filippi (R-who knows?) has gone on record with just about every media outlet in the region to discuss his position on the importance of getting vaccinated so we can finally end the pandemic.

To paraphrase an old joke, the most dangerous place to be is in between Flip Filippi and a TV camera.

Anyway, in interview after interview, Flip has stated his position is that he has no position. He also refuses to say whether he has been vaccinated or plans to. As the TV news shows would tag the story, “BREAKING NEWS!”

At a time when we need to convince the vaccine-hesitant (especially Republican men of whom he is one) to get their shots for the common good, as well as their own protection, our guy Flip says get the shot if you want but he doesn’t really give a shit. 

Except I believe he does. He has been a leading campaigner AGAINST public schools administering HPV shots that actually prevent cancer. I repeat, shots to PREVENT cancer. 

Yet this hypocrite puts on a pink t-shirt to show his support for breast cancer "awareness." I guess Flip will flip his position when science comes up with a vaccine to actually prevent breast cancer - "awareness" he can support but an actual cure? No way.

I’m not surprised that Flip takes this position, given his HPV opposition not to mention his support of private armed militias, his extreme far-right views against any form of gun control and, most recently, against taking effective action to slow down climate change.
Maybe he's just scared of needles

When he first surfaced on the political scene, he appeared to have no fixed convictions on anything, other than his own self-promotion. 

As he has become the de facto head of the RI Trumplican Party, he is now all over every issue, taking the most extreme hard-right position he can.

It was interesting to read a column a few days ago in the New London Day. Though the Day is not a paper of record here, it is for our eastern Connecticut neighbors. They cover lots of story of interest to us, such as the troubled Millstone Nuclear Power plant just 20 miles away.

One of their senior writers, David Collins undertook a survey of local legislators. He reported that regardless of party, eastern Connecticut political leaders strongly supported the vaccination program for everyone.

Nearly all answered affirmatively when Collins asked if they either had been or will be vaccinated. But then he got Flip’s response and Collins wrote this: 

Most shocking to me was the response in Rhode Island by Rep. Blake Filippi of Block Island, whose district also covers Charlestown and parts of South Kingstown and Westerly, telling the newspaper it was none of anyone's business.

"Respectfully, I won't respond to any query that seeks details on such personal and private medical decisions," he told the newspaper.

If Filippi is so adamant about the secrecy of his health, especially as it pertains to public health, he ought to give up elected office and live as privately as he likes.

If the lawmaker got a shot and won't admit it because of some perceived political bias against vaccination among his constituents, then shame on him.

If he didn't get a shot because of some medical complication, he could say that and surely no one would press him for details.

Filippi is the House minority leader, and failing to address the issue of vaccinations and how they can help us all is a decided failure of leadership.

I know people on Block Island who have had to devote a day to getting a shot, going off island by ferry and then traveling on the mainland to a place where they could get an appointment.

It's too bad that Block Islanders didn't enjoy the kind of accommodation residents of Fishers Island got. New York state leaders, recognizing the challenge of getting off Fishers Island and the risks of a pandemic where there isn't full emergency care, vaccinated every resident of the island on the island.

But then it seems clear Block Island's representative wasn't going to help them get better access to vaccines.

I especially agree with this Collins’ observation: “If Filippi is so adamant about the secrecy of his health, especially as it pertains to public health, he ought to give up elected office and live as privately as he likes.”

Let’s remember that in 2022.