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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Rhode Island COVID crimes and misdemeanors

It’s almost like some state politicians go out of their way to be stupid

By Will Collette

Tuesday, Charlestown’s embarrassing state Representative Blake “Flip” Filippi started off the new session of the RI General Assembly by bringing his best clown act.

Filippi presented his fellow members of the House with a manifesto from his minions in the House Republican Caucus that they will not wear masks on the House floor and the leadership can’t make them….nyah, nyah, nyah.

I can’t believe that with record-high new daily infections and the stress on all the state’s E.R.’s and hospitals this mask-hole would declare:

“The Minority Caucus has determined that maskless House Members may not be involuntarily relegated to the House Gallery. They have a right to conduct legislative business on the House Floor. No rule of the House can de facto usurp this right. Committees [sic] attendance is afforded the same protections.”

Charlestown – and especially Flip’s main supporters in the CCA – this jerk has got to go.

Another one who needs to go is our accidental Governor Dan McKee. News over the weekend is that McKee is allowing workers with COVID to continue to work the wards at the Eleanor Slater State Hospital as well as a private nursing home.

This drew swift condemnation from the state’s largest nurses’ union which released the following statement: 

Lynn Blais, R.N., President of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP), the state’s largest healthcare union, representing more than 7,000 nurses and health professionals, issued a statement today in opposition to the state’s recently implemented policy that allows health care workers who are COVID positive to return to work in our state’s hospitals in crisis situations.  

“The UNAP is unequivocally opposed to the state’s decision allowing COVID-19 positive health care workers to work in Rhode Island health care facilities. 

First and foremost, we believe that it's critically important to ensure a healthy workforce in which health care workers are not spreading the virus to other workers and, more importantly, to at-risk patients who are susceptible to the most harmful effects of the virus. 

Second, this policy will likely come with the unintended consequence of exacerbating staffing shortages when more workers in hospitals become infected with COVID-19, get sick, and are forced to quarantine. 

The UNAP believes that only health care workers who are asymptomatic, have a negative test, and continue to wear a mask should be returning to the workforce after 5 days. 

Lastly, we again urge all Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated and boosted if they haven’t already. This is the one proven solution to limit hospitalizations and the resulting staffing issues that these hospitalizations create, and most importantly prevent avoidable death and suffering.” 

In my opinion, health care workers who are not vaccinated against COVID are not really health care workers. I would not want any such person treating me or any member of my family nor should they be working in any health care facility or institution. 

Some say we have to let these COVIDiots continue to work so the health care system can continue operating. I agree with the nurses' union that their presence in the health care system is one of the factors driving the system to collapse. 

Then the Boston Globe discovered that McKee lied when he claimed he didn’t know COVID was spiking in the weeks before Thanksgiving and, had he knew the pandemic was surging, he would have done some things (what, we don’t know) differently.

According to a November 16 internal memo uncovered by the Globe, McKee KNEW COVID was spiking more than a week before Thanksgiving. He issued no precautions and changed no state policies before the holiday gatherings that have led to the worst surge of cases since the pandemic began. 

McKee has been a terrible Governor and I worry how badly things will go if he is allowed to stay in office. I may be premature at raising this, but the Rhode Island Constitution does offer a remedy.


Section 1. Power to impeach -- Procedure -- Suspension from office impeachment. -- The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. A resolution of impeachment shall not be considered unless it is signed by one-quarter (1/4) of the members. For the purposes of impeachment, the general assembly and committees thereof shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and production of documents. A vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members shall be required for an impeachment of the governor. Any officer impeached shall thereby be suspended from the office until judgment in the case shall have been pronounced.

Section 2. Trial of impeachments. -- All impeachments shall be tried by the senate; and when sitting for that purpose, they shall be under oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted except by vote of two-thirds of the members elected. When the governor is impeached, the chief or presiding justice of the supreme court, for the time being, shall preside, with a casting vote in all preliminary questions.

Section 3. Officers subject to impeachment -- Grounds and effect of conviction. -- The governor and all other executive and judicial officers shall be liable to impeachment. The governor or any other executive officer shall be removed from office if, upon impeachment, such officer shall be found incapacitated or guilty of the commission of a felony or crime of moral turpitude, misfeasance or malfeasance in office. Judges shall be removed if, upon impeachment, they shall be found incapacitated or guilty of the commission of a felony or crime of moral turpitude, misfeasance or malfeasance in office or violation of the canons of judicial ethics. Judgment of incapacity or guilt in a case of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office. The person convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial and punishment, according to laws.