California will be the first state to require all state employees to be vaccinated, while Mayor London Breed doubles down and expands the SF vaxx mandate, and you see where this is all going.
Monday morning’s announcement that the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance would require proof of vaccination to enter bars is being met with overwhelming approval and huzzahs — locally, at least. But the bar owners effectively put it out as a trial balloon last week, held their fingers to the wind, and saw that public response was quite supportive. Not so for San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who required mandatory vaccinations for all 35,000 city employees in late June, and she got shit for it from the SEIU, the Black Employees Alliance and Coalition Against Anti-Blackness, and Sup. Shamann Walton.
Starting Wednesday, anyone hired by the City and County of San Francisco must be vaccinated for COVID before they can start their new job.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) July 26, 2021
This builds on our already announced requirement for existing employees. https://t.co/D3db9gh98K
But Breed is undeterred, in fact, she’s expanding the requirement. Monday afternoon, Breed tweeted that “Starting Wednesday, anyone hired by the City and County of San Francisco must be vaccinated for COVID before they can start their new job.” Just judging on the tweet, this seems stricter than the mandate for current city employees. That requirement doesn’t kick in until the vaccines are granted full FDA approval, which will probably take a couple more months.
Breed’s wording says “before they can start their new job,” which indicates a less forgiving timeline. But the SF DPH website is currently busted, so SFist cannot review this policy’s granular details.
No other state has implemented this policy for state employees or health care providers. https://t.co/PZHdwLh0I3— SFGATE (@SFGate) July 26, 2021
It is surely far more significant that also on Monday, the state of California declared a vaccine mandate for its 246,000 employees, as well as all healthcare workers whether they’re public or private, according to SFGate. California will be the first state to implement such a mandate. Deadline clarifies that the state insists it’s not a “mandate”, it’s a requirement to verify vaccination status, and to wear a mask if the employee is not vaccinated. So it’s more of a “We’re going to make your life difficult until you’re vaccinated” policy, but a significant step among U.S. states.
"It's a choice to live with this virus, and with all due respect, you don't have the choice to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else's lives at risk," Newsom said Monday. "That's the equivalent of this moment with the deadliness and efficiency of the delta virus. You're putting innocent people's lives at risk. You're putting businesses at risk.”
We have clearly seen a turning point over the last week, with Fox News waffling on their anti-vaxx sentiment, and the NFL declaring teams would forfeit games if they couldn’t play because of COVID-19 outbreaks. And even California’s bet-hedging legalese baloney that “It’s not a mandate” may be significant too, giving other states cover to employ mandates and passports without using the loaded words “mandates” or “passports.”
And this may all be happening suddenly for a reason, besides fear of the Delta variant surge. As of today, 69% (nice) of U.S. adults over the age of 18 have received at least one shot. In other words, more than a two-thirds supermajority of the voting population is at least on board enough with vaccines that they’ve gotten one shot. Public sentiment favors vaccination by a supermajority percentage, and frankly, should be flexing its muscles as hard as possible against the intransigent, winnowing superminority.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 06: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (R) talks with San Francisco Mayor London Breed after touring the vaccination clinic at City College of San Francisco on April 06, 2021 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state of California has administered over 20 million vaccinations and currently has the lowest positivity rate in the United States. The governor also announced that California is on track for a full reopening by June 15th with continued mask wearing and people getting vaccinated. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)