Statement sent from numerous representatives to Governor McKee
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Dear Governor Daniel J. McKee:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic of the last 18 months, those professionals that were society’s first line of defense against the virus—among the many, our nurses, doctors, CNAs, police, fire, emergency personnel—were lauded as “heroes” and “saviors” during this historic time of crisis. Undaunted and unvaccinated, these individuals performed their daily duties at great personal risk to keep the rest of us healthy and the rest of us safe.
However, now some of those same “heroes” and “saviors” are facing the loss of employment due to state executive orders mandating COVID- 19 vaccinations prior to October 1st. While we strongly urge all adults to get vaccinated, we also believe none of our “heroes” should be in the unemployment line should they make the personal decision to decline vaccination.
We, the undersigned members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, are respectfully calling upon Governor Daniel McKee to amend the October 1st deadline for termination of employment for those licensed professionals choosing not to be vaccinated, and to direct the Rhode Island Department of Health to develop appropriate guidelines for those individuals to retain their employment while maintaining the public health.
If appropriate governmental action is not taken within the given time frame to protect these workers’ jobs, we respectfully request Speaker Shekarchi to reconvene the Rhode Island House of Representatives, in concert with the Rhode Island Senate, to address this extreme and unjust mandate, and, moreover, to set parameters for any future state, municipal, and private sector mandates concerning the commerce of daily life in the era of COVID-19.
Representative Arthur J. Corvese
Representative Thomas E. Noret
Representative Julie A. Casimiro
Representative Patricia A. Serpa
Representative Deborah A. Felella
Representative Charlene Lima
Representative Gregory J. Costantino
Representative Steven M. Casey
Representative Carlos E. Tobon
Representative Grace Diaz
Representative Anastasia P. Williams
Representative Camille Vella-Wilkinson
Representative Robert D. Phillips
Representative William W. O’Brien
Representative Robert E. Craven Sr.
Representative Edward T. Cardillo Jr.
Representative Bernard A. Hawkins
Representative Mary Duffy Messier
Representative Samuel A. Azzinaro
Representative Steven J. Lima
Representative Ramon A. Perez
Representative James N. McLaughlin
Representative Nathan W. Biah
Representative Raymond A. Hull
Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi
Representative Brian C. Newberry
Representative Michael W. Chippendale
Representative David J. Place
Representative Robert J. Quattrocchi
Representative Sherry Roberts
Representative George A. Nardone
Representative Patricia L. Morgan
Representative Justin Price