Geoff Diehl To Baker Administration: End The Vaccine Mandate

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Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate and former state representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) has a message for incumbent Republican governor Charlie Baker:  end the vaccine mandate.

The Baker administration issued a coronavirus vaccine mandate for all executive branch employees  on August 19; it gave these employees until Sunday, October 17 to be fully vaccinated. The two exceptions to the mandates are medical and religious exemptions. Frequent testing is not an option.

If state employees aren’t vaccinated by October 17, the repercussions fall into two categories. Managers receive a five-day suspension without pay and “continued non-compliance” results in being fired. Meanwhile, union members get a five-day suspension, followed by 10 days of unpaid leave, and then get fired, according to the state’s web site.

Baker defended his sweeping vaccine mandate on August 19 (the day he issued the executive order) by arguing the vaccine “is by far the most effective tool we have in our toolbox to make it possible to beat this thing.” He also said the state vaccine mandate “would make a statement about the value and the importance of getting vaccinated, and I certainly hope that many other employers will take a look at what we’re doing here and follow suit.”

The statement from Diehl comes in the wake of news that a Massachusetts State Police sergeant is in the Intensive Care United at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after receiving a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as reported by The Boston Herald. The police officer, whose name is not public, claims that his hospitalization is due to a bad reaction to the vaccine, however, the hospital cannot confirm the veracity of that claim.

There have been reported blood clots from those who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; the odds of this side effect are less than one in a million, according to The Scientific American. It’s unclear if that’s what happened to the Massachusetts State Police sergeant.

Diehl wished the police officer well in his statement and said he thinks people should decide for themselves whether or not they want the vaccine.

“First of all, I am praying for this hero and for his family,” Diehl wrote. “This was a choice that the Trooper never should have had to make and I demand that the Baker/Polito administration immediately revoke the vaccine mandate. People who have developed natural immunity, or who recognize that this vaccination will put them at a greater health risk, should not be forced to choose between their livelihood and a capricious executive order tied to an arbitrary timetable.”

Diehl also takes issue with the 1905 U.S. Supreme Court precedent that gives the state the authority to mandate vaccines: Jacobsen v. Massachusetts. In it, a Lutheran minister from Sweden who came to Cambridge, Massachusetts received a $5 fine in 1905 for not getting another smallpox vaccine. The man claimed that both he and his son had adverse reactions to the vaccine; the case made it to the Supreme Court, but he lost.

Critics say there isn’t a direct parallel between the 1905 case and the current situation, because in 1905 the smallpox vaccine had been used for more than 100 years and was well understood, whereas long-term effects from the coronavirus vaccines are unknown.

Diehl’s press release pointed out another disparity, and said that calling a $5 fine in 1905 the same thing as losing a government job in 2021 is “absolutely appalling.”

A five-dollar fine in 1905 would be the equivalent of a $155.44 fine in 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator.

Diehl closed his statement by saying this:


The Baker/Polito administration is putting lives directly at risk. The fact that they are calling up the National Guard to replace the scores of law enforcement, corrections officers and others about to be fired, simply for trying to protect their personal health, creates further public safety risks and is unconscionable. The Governor needs to repeal the mandate  immediately and restore lost jobs to any state workers who have been fired or who have  submitted their resignation under duress.


Baker has not yet announced whether or not he plans to seek a third term as governor, but sources have told NewBostonPost that it’s likely.


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