A conservative group of lawmakers has tentatively scheduled a hearing next week to hear from workers impacted by employer vaccine mandates.
“I get at least five, six calls a day from people that are concerned that they’re being threatened with losing their job if they don’t comply with mandates,” Rep. Craig Fishbein says.
Fishbein is talking about vaccine mandates.
“There’s a lot of frustration. To hear from the public that’s the intent,” Fishbein says.
Fishbein and a dozen Republicans want to hold a public hearing at the state Capitol complex, which reopened to the public in July.
The state of Connecticut is mandating that health care workers, teachers, and bus drivers get vaccinated by Sept. 27.
“I was contacted late last night by a -I think it was a bus driver - who was just the latest in the people who said I refused to get vaccinated and I’m going to lose my job next week,” Fishbein says.
At least one Democratic lawmaker doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
“ I’m not sure the state Capitol, and the Legislative Office Building should be used to peddle misinformation,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff says.
“It’s dangerous. It’s costing people their lives and it’s costing taxpayers money,” Duff says.
Duff says the science about vaccination is clear.
“Frankly, we’d probably be out of this Covid mess had it not been for the selfish anti-vaxers who refuse to get vaccinated,” he added.
Fishbein says lawmakers need to hear from these workers.
“If all those people are not working they’re going to be seeking unemployment benefits,” Fishbein says.
“That’s the intent of the public hearing, is to hear from those people who are being negatively impacted by all of this and seeing where we go from there,” Fishbein says.
But Duff says it gives a vocal minority too much credibility.
“To give misinformation especially at our state Capitol where it’d look like we’re giving some sort of seal of approval,” Duff says.
Duff says when faced with penalties or job loss he thinks people will choose vaccination.
“Some of this is more hype than it is realty,” he says.
He added: “if we all want to get back to our normal lives again and not feel like we’re under this cloud of the pandemic we need to get vaccinated.”