Asking the Tough Questions About COVID

I have continued to raise questions regarding the vaccine mandate for federal employees with those in my chain of command. Last week, I directly engaged another level of management; I am up to the fifth level of management, our CIO (our organization has a bunch of levels of management, one of our organizational weaknesses I believe). I was also lucky enough to be invited to a small group discussion with the head of our agency, and I hope that I can raise some of these concerns directly with him next Monday. Last week, I asked our CIO as well as our Human Capital executive seven questions regarding our policy. I focused more on policy issues rather than the science and the numbers as I know they will not likely to comment on issues that they do not have the expertise for. They are, however, responsible for implementing a fair, just, and ethical policy for all of our organization.

I asked seven very detailed multi-part questions. They are fair and within our executives purview to answer, but I honestly do not expect to receive good answers to any of my questions because there are no good answers. In my view, the only good response is to resist and push back on policy makers–or at least attempt to mitigate the worst of the effects of this mandate. I believe our executives value their current positions of power too much to take any risks or to stick their necks out to advocate for what is best for the organization or for the employees they manage. They are better off ignoring our questions and waiting for the firestorm to pass.

I shared my questions with a number of other like-minded individuals in my organization and collectively we were able to illicit a direct response from our CIO. It appears that only low-level peons like me and my fellow colleagues are willing to take the risk of speaking out. We all have a lot to lose, but not a vaunted position of authority like those in executive management.

Our executives actually initiated this discussion by conducting a town hall for all employees. I expected that employees would be able to engage executives directly, but they had a moderator who would read questions entered into a chat box. I captured all the questions entered and there were more than 60 comments during a 15-minute stretch devoted to COVID policy questions. One of my questions was one of the few that were asked, but it was not read verbatim and was watered down by the moderator. Afterwards, I complained in an email:

Why can’t there be a forum devoted simply to the concerns we have with COVID policies? Why can’t you devote more time to this issue when there are obviously so many people with concerns, concerns that are as serious as we have ever had to deal with?   Why do you give us 15 minutes and 100 characters in a text box to address our legitimate and serious concerns?

After several others of my colleagues joined in support of this, we did get promises that our questions would be considered and that a special forum for COVID policy questions would be created.

I hear you. I have elevated and shared every question and concern, and our colleagues in the Human Capital Office and EDI are working diligently to respond and keep Source updated as new information becomes available. While we didn’t address all the questions you have, we believe the resources on the COVID-19 Vaccine Page do contain the needed details. I encourage you to take the time to review those resources.

I also know that you need a forum to get information. I hear you and am trying to create that. These are very trying times, and as much we share, there will continue to be questions.

After three months of asking questions of leadership and receiving nothing substantive, I am doubtful that there will a serious response. Furthermore, our CIO made clear that she was unwilling to buck the trend when she said the following:

Respectfully, none of us set this policy and as federal employees, we must follow the Executive Order, which allows for reasonable accommodations for disability, medical condition or sincerely held religious belief.

As one of my colleagues pointed out, she took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, not Executive Orders. Not surprisingly, there was no response to this challenge because again there is no good response except to acknowledge the truth of this statement.

Discussion with Colleague

I share my seven questions to executive leadership in the last section below. I will add more after we hear back from leadership (or if we don’t hear back) and after my upcoming small group meeting with the head of our organization. In the meantime, I once again engaged my liberal friend in a discussion of COVID policy. He is, of course, on the opposite side of the issue and in favor of these vaccine mandates. Still, it is interesting to hear what others who oppose us think. I don’t hear as much from our executives because they are ever-so-careful in their responses. My friend will, however, share the logic and views from the other side and, as always, I think that is instructive. Our conversation, of course, drifts a bit, as our discussions always do.

Again, I try to ask the tough questions of him as I do as of our leadership:

  1. Why are federal employees being denied due process rights for our religious and medical exemption requests?
  2. Why are effective, safe, and cheap COVID treatments being restricted and trashed by our government? How many lives could we save? How many lives have been sacrificed already? Why are so many silent regarding this? (more on this below in an interview with Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front-Line Critical Care Alliance)
  3. Why should my religious beliefs be subject to arbitrary government standards implemented by someone who is not a religious expert?
  4. Who is making money on COVID medicine? How is government COVID policy supporting those who are making money and why is this in direct opposition for what is best for the public health?
  5. Why are pharmacies, insurance companies, and the government getting in between me and my doctor? 
  6. Who is following the science and who is not?
  7. Why are you letting your politics (i.e. hatred of Trump) influence your views?


Superhero Cartoon Meme

Clearly there are situations where it isn’t a good idea to get the vaccine and it is a matter that each individual has to make that determination based on evidence and that is why the mandate has exceptions.  I’m allergic to penicillin – at least the last time I took it I got a pretty bad case of hives and such.  Technically I don’t know if I’m allergic to penicillin because I haven’t been tested, but there are other equivalent medicines. I did this for a minor reaction and if I had a potentially life-threatening reaction to the first of two shots, mandate or not, I wouldn’t get a second one.  I’d make sure I got it documentation from my doctor because of mandates and such, but no second shot.  I’d appeal the heck out of any denial.  All of this is unchartered territory and I’m sure they will have an appeal process and make sure an medical denial is reviewed by responsible medical personnel. 

I don’t know enough about the religious exemption because I thought it was about the religion being against vaccines, but clearly if that were the case it would only apply to a few people.

I think that it all comes to personal responsibility and I get it that for you, and many others it isn’t about the numbers but is about personal choices.  One thing I learned as I grew up is just because something is popular, or isn’t, or is the law or mandate or somehow being “forced” on me doesn’t mean that I have to choose the opposite.  To me it seems a lot of people have been duped to thinking the only way they can think for themselves is to do the opposite of this, or any other mandate.


What do you mean by this: “To me it seems a lot of people have been duped to thinking the only way they can think for themselves is to do the opposite of this, or any other mandate.”

My view is that the vaccines are good for some people, but not necessarily for everyone.  It is totally inappropriate for the government to set some arbitrary standard by which they force people to do something that may not be in their best interests.  Every individual is different.  It was clearly not in the best interest of the employee I mentioned, yet she felt coerced into getting the second shot and has been out sick for more than a week.

Is there an appeal process for denials?  Some of what I’ve heard is that there may not be.  If true, this would be another violation of rights; one of the first ten amendments covers our due process rights.


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Let me see, I’ll start from the bottom.  When has there ever not been an appeals process?  Even murders that are fully documented go through an automatic appeal.  If I were trying to spread fear I’d put out there a rumor of no appeals.  I’m not sure this rises to the level of the Constitution or Amendments to it, but sure go for it.

Moving up to not thinking for themselves – people are making a choice to take medicine, such as Ivermectin, which has a primary use as a parasitic deworming medicine mostly for big animals, for dealing with a virus.  This doesn’t even make sense.  I understand how hydroxychloroquine got on the hit parade because it deals with inflammation which is one of the symptoms of COVID, but a parasitic medicine sounds more like people are being punked.

What would explain a large number of people choosing to take an unproven medicine for the use over another that has extensive studies and put into hundreds of millions of arms?  Even your evidence shows the vaccines are effective in reducing death even though they aren’t stopping people from getting COVID.

I think you are wrong about the government having no right to make standards.  That is exactly what the purpose of the government.  Imagine if we didn’t have standards for the roads we drive on.  Imagine if there were no standards for radio waves.  How about if there were no standards for aviation.  Would we even be flying now?  I know I wouldn’t get on a plane.  I probably wouldn’t get in a car if there were no standards for them either.


Appeals Process:

I’m not spreading rumors regarding the appeals process.  I found the following regarding the appeals process in the COVID FAQ document distributed to all employees.  This is not logical.  Effectively, there is no appeals process if you can be fired while appealing your case.

If my agency denies my request for a reasonable accommodation and I challenge/appeal that decision, can the agency begin disciplinary steps while the challenge/appeal is pending?

If you challenge the denial, you can expect to be directed to get vaccinated while your challenge is pending. If you don’t follow that directive, you will likely face disciplinary action.


Ivermectin won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2015. It is an unproven Nobel Prize winner? You need to stop listening to news outlets with an agenda.  They are lying to you.  Read more of my posts if you want the straight scoop.  Ivermectin has been prescribed to humans billions of times before COVID, probably more times than the COVID vaccine itself.  It is one of the most widely prescribed of all drugs available. I talk about extensively about Ivermectin and other early treatments in my posts and I have quoted numerous doctors who describe it as a miracle drug and as one of the safest drugs we have, even safer than HCQ (see also the interview with Dr. Pierre Kory below who reiterates these same points).  They also talk about its proven effectiveness against COVID.  I have a couple doctor friends who I have spoken to about Ivermectin.  One of my doctor friends actually prescribed the drug to me, and we have it in our kitchen cabinet if ever needed.  I am not worried about COVID in the least anymore.

The drug is, in fact, also given to horses and other animals.  The dosage is based on weight and it is the exact same drug and the exact same dosage regimen for humans as it is for animals.  My doctor friends say the only notable difference is in how it is administered: pill, liquid, or paste.

Merck, who developed Ivermectin, is now actively downplaying it, saying it is not safe.  Why? Because the drug is now generic.  It makes them little money any longer.  They want to come out with a new drug which can be used as a COVID treatment, but will be under patent and will make them billions of dollars.  Because Ivermectin is cheap, it is no longer touted.  My doctor friends say this is a scheme used by pharmaceutical companies all the time.  Drs. Fauci and Wallensky appear to be in bed with Pfizer, Merck, and the rest (along with Novant Health, Kiser, Wal-Greens, CVS, and other health care conglomerates).  They should all be prosecuted. 

What is going on is truly criminal.  Ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies could be saving thousands of lives, but our government is not promoting them, and, in fact, is actively downplaying them.  India, Mexico, and other third world countries are having success with Ivermectin while we allow people to continue calling it a horse de-wormer.  Yet, again this week another nit-wit, Terry Bradshaw, went on national TV to call Ivermectin a cattle de-wormer.  He doesn’t know what he is talking about.  Listen to Joe Rogan’s recent interview of CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  Gupta admits to Rogan that CNN anchors Lemon and Cuomo, who said the exact same thing as Bradshaw, were wrong for making this claim.

[from my last post: There are so many questions to be asked as to why more has not been done to promote early treatments. Joe Biden actually highlighted the positive impact of one early treatment, monoclonal antibodies, during his September speech to the nation on COVID, but since then Biden, Fauci, Wallensky, and the rest of our public health establishment have ignored COVID treatments.

I wonder if Biden spoke about monoclonal antibodies only as a means for regulating them and limiting the supply? Why has the administration ignored them since then?

I wonder too if Dr. Fauci will finally support early treatments when new medications from Big Pharma receive patents? Will he tout their new products as better than the less profitable, but equally effective, treatments we currently have? We already have hints from Pfizer and Merck of such a drug on the horizon. Is Dr. Fauci downplaying the impact of the current (non-profitable) early treatments to buy the drug companies time to come up with their new miracle drug that will make them billions? I don’t know, but his behavior is suspect. This next clip is less than a minute. Please listen to this and ask yourself: what shenanigans are going on here? Is our government, in conjunction with our one-channel media, downplaying early treatments in favor of vaccines and new soon-to-be-patented, ever-so-profitable medicines? All this has been hidden in plain sight, but it is shocking to hear:

The one state that has been outspoken in pushing monoclonal antibodies as an early treatment is Florida. It is another shocker to see how they have reduced their death rate since making this announcement in mid-August.

Florida is a state of more than 21 million with just 4 deaths a day from COVID! If this could be replicated throughout the nation as a whole, we would have a nationwide daily COVID death of just 64 per day rather than the current rate of more than 1,000 per day. How many lives could we save? How many lives have been sacrificed already? Why are so many silent regarding this?

Note: the Florida death number was adjusted slightly upward after I posted last week, but was still at just 10 per day after adjustments, still a remarkably low number for the third most populous state in the country.


I meant to say the government should not be imposing standards by which to judge my religious exemption request.  This is in the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. 

So, we have a committee, established by our Human Capital Office, an agency which is overseen by Congress, setting a standard by which to judge the validity of my religious exemption request.  Don’t you think that violates my First Amendment rights?  This is the question I directed to our CIO and the HCO Director.  I expect no direct answer from them, because there is no good answer to my question:

  1. I have entered a religious exemption myself and I feel very uncomfortable with someone in the Reasonable Accommodation office evaluating my request.  What qualifications do the folks in the RA office have for determining the legitimacy of my request, the sincerity of my beliefs, or the tenets of my faith?  Have they received training for this task?  Do you have clergy under contract to help them in evaluating requests?  What standards will they be using to make their decisions?  Why should my religious beliefs be subject to arbitrary government standards implemented by someone who is not a religious expert?  What do they know about me, my faith or the faith, background, and conviction of others who have entered an exemption request?

I am clearly not against standards.  However, I am often against government being the one to impose those standards.  We have lots of standards, valid and effective standards, which are set by organizations other than government.  Government standards are often sub-standard and not aligned with what is best for the public good or maybe just what is best for a select few individuals who are aligned with the political interests of those in power.  If we can get by without government standards, then we shouldn’t allow government to poke its nose where it is not needed.


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I get it that Ivermectin is an award winning drug and has been used worldwide, mostly in undeveloped countries.  Yes, it is safe, I get it.   Ivermectin even has some antiviral properties making it interesting to study for use against COVID.  The problem is people started taking the Ivermectin not under doctor supervision and taking doses that were for large animals and ended up in the hospital.  Somehow using a medicine for an untested purpose seems like a good idea versus a vaccine that had been tested for the purpose and already in use by several hundred million people.  Many of these same people happen to be followers of Trump and somehow when other people weren’t promoting the use of untested medicine outside of doctor supervision it became political.

Monoclonal antibodies are good for a treatment, but not a prevention.  The powers are pushing the preventative approach more so than the treatment because it is less costly than treatment.  Looking at cost, the vaccine for 2 doses is less than $100 and the treatment is about $2500 plus either inpatient or outpatient services.  I’m not sure if I can conclude from your research that hospitalization is reduced by the vaccine, but certainly it shows death is reduced.  Just for comparison flu shots are $50 and the COVID vaccine cost will go down over time as it becomes generic if we need periodic boosters. 

Perhaps you might want to look at who is making money off the monoclonal antibody treatment.  $2500 + inpatient or outpatient services versus $100, I know which horse I would get on if it was all about the money.  Have you looked at anyone’s financial picture to see who is making coin off the treatments? 


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Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies treatment is not so cheap, but Ivermectin is.   You mixed the two in your comments, implying both are expensive.  Nobody is getting rich on Ivermectin, and that’s a problem for many.

Ivermectin costs less than a dollar a pill.  The cost has gone up now since demand has risen and supply is being limited, thanks to the FDA.  Even still, I was able to obtain a 10-day supply for $140. My doctor said all that is needed is a 5-day supply, which would have been $70.  I wanted extra in case several in my family were sick at the same time. I also paid a little bit extra for the convenience of the liquid version; each pill is 2mg, so my dosage, if I got sick, would be something like 15 pills per day.

Monoclonal antibodies are a bit more expensive and not as easy to administer.  Still, I found this article from Yahoo News which indicates the federal government will cover the cost: Regeneron says half its COVID-19 treatment doses are being sent to 4 low-vaccination states (

Health officials agree that if you are newly infected with COVID-19 and have an above-average risk of getting seriously ill, you should quickly seek treatment with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ monoclonal antibody therapy. The federal government is covering the costs, some states have set up free infusion centers, and the antibody cocktail has been shown to reduce hospitalization rates by 70 percent for high-risk COVID-19 patients treated within 10 days.

The Regeneron cost may not be as high as the $2500 number you stated.  I found some estimates around $1500, but I am sure that will vary depending on several factors, so let’s just say it is not cheap, but it is also not prohibitively expensive and there are government subsidies so nobody should be denied treatment because they cannot afford it (by the way, my health insurance would not pay for my Ivermectin prescription. I wonder why.) This is one government investment which I think is worth cost.  Let’s call it infrastructure in order to justify the government’s cost of subsidizing it.

Did you notice too that the Yahoo article took a shot at Florida and Texas, saying they are low-vaccination states?  Florida has fully vaccinated 60% of its population and is among the top twenty most vaccinated states (and has been all year).  Texas has a slightly lower rate at 54%, but is still around the middle of the pack.  The one-channel (lying) media just cannot resist talking about Florida and Texas in a negative light.  


People who don’t like what I am saying tell me I need to look at all the facts.  How about let’s at some facts ourselves?

How about we look at the results in Florida which shows the success of using Regeneron?  Are you saying the cost of treatment is not worth saving these lives?  I think you didn’t mean that, but that’s how it came across: “The powers are pushing the preventative approach more so than the treatment because it is less costly than treatment.”   You are implying vaccines are a better course, but what’s wrong with having both in our toolbox? How many people have to die because treatment is not only not being pushed, but it is being actively denied?  This is criminal.  How can you ignore that?

Look too at the results in India, a country which has relied on both HCQ and Ivermectin for treatment.  The U.S. ranks 19th per capita in COVID deaths.  India ranks 127th.  The U.S. vaccination rate is more than double India’s.  Vaccinations help, but they are not enough on their own.  Again, we need the whole tool box.

Vermont is the most vaccinated state in the Union with 72% fully vax’d and 81% partially vax’d. Vermont’s COVID cases right now are the highest they have ever been.  Their per capita COVID case rate is one of the highest in the nation.  Go figure.  How about we get all those people who are fully vax’d and then infected some treatment?  Most of those I know who have contracted COVID in the last few months have been vaccinated.  Read my last post. I did an analysis that showed the vaccinated are contracting COVID at the same rate as the unvaccinated

Joining Vermont in the top ten states with the highest per capita infection rates at the moment are New Mexico, Colorado and Minnesota, all at 62% or higher fully vax’d.  New Hampshire at 63% fully vax’d is at number 11 in COVID case rates. The vaccines are not stopping the transmission of COVID, so why does our government continue to press vaccine mandates while downplaying, if not outright trashing, COVID treatments?  Again, let’s do both!  This is so simple.

Alabama is one of the least vaccinated states in the nation at 45%.  In the last two months, COVID cases in Alabama have declined 96%.  They currently have the lowest per capita case rate in the nation.  Go figure.  And those dastardly folks in Florida who have resisted lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates, have the second lowest per capita rate in the nation.  How can this be?  Also, joining them in the ten least infected states at the moment are Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, all states that have been trashed for their COVID policies. What do you think it means?

The higher vaccinated states collectively still have lower death rates than the lower vax’d states, but there are some anomalies that need to be explained.  For example, Oregon currently has the second highest per capita death rate in the nation.  They have 63% fully vax’d, also one of the highest in the nation.  As of November 10, their death rate is the highest it has ever been.  Why?

Are the vaccines going to continue to protect us?  Why, why, why are Fauci, Walensky, and the Biden administration banking solely on vaccines to get us out of this?  They are playing a game with some long term political strategy in mind.  It’s all very devious.

Who is Making Bank?

You are right to focus on cost.  You’ve just missed who is about to make billions and who the real villains are.  Pfizer and Moderna are making big bucks off of vaccines.  Lots of folks are now getting boosters despite the fact that the FDA recommended them only for those over 65 (by a vote of 16-2).  They’re hoping to deliver boosters until kingdom come.  Canada recently announced they have enough to last them through 2024  Canada nails down 5th deal for potential COVID-19 vaccine | CBC News.  

Did you watch this one-minute clip on the influence of Pfizer which I sent earlier?  Do you think the TV networks are making some big bucks from Pfizer as well? 

Merck, the developer of Ivermectin, is now downplaying Ivermectin.  That’s because they are about to come out with a new treatment, a treatment which will be under patent.  Why should we get this more expensive treatment rather than the less expensive, but very effective Ivermectin treatment?   British regulators approve Merck’s molnupiravir as COVID-19 treatment – My guess is this new treatment is simply a re-branding of Ivermectin.

Who is Getting Sick From Ivermectin?

Folks are being denied access to Ivermectin.  I couldn’t get it from CVS or Walgreens, two of the major pharmacies in my locale.  A doctor prescribed the medicine, yet a pharmacy believes they have the right to deny me this treatment.  Ivermectin, as I said, has been prescribed to humans billions of times.  Why are pharmacies getting in between me and my doctor? 

As I mentioned earlier: the dosage is based on weight and it is the exact same drug and the exact same dosage regimen for humans as it is for animals.  My doctor is not going to prescribe for me a concentrated pill with a dosage meant for a horse who probably weighs 5 times more than I do. I am a Trump voter, but I am not that stupid.

News flash: some people are not so smart and have taken a concentrated Ivermectin pill intended for a horse and then they get sick.  Of course, people should not self-medicate, but you, along with the FDA, want to trash Ivermectin altogether because some people are doing something most of us know shouldn’t be done.  Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19 | FDA

Come on, does this really make sense?  People do dumb things every day. For example, people do really dumb things on the highway.  Should we stop people from driving on the highway because many are dying from dangerous driving practices?

There was a big story in 2020 about someone ingesting fish tank cleaner because hydroxychloroquine was an ingredient.  He got sick and died.  This was used as justification for why we should not take HCQ as a COVID treatment, and should not listen to recommendations from Donald Trump.  Really? Coronavirus: Man dies taking fish tank cleaner as virus drug – BBC News  

It later turned out that the man’s wife was trying to poison him, but she told investigators that he was trying to protect himself from COVID. Maybe a little bit of investigative journalism before the story was printed might have revealed this? You think? In any case, the media seized on this as opportunity to trash Trump (as you appear to be be doing as well).  Maybe there really isn’t anyone stupid enough to take fish tank cleaner to cure COVID, but you wouldn’t know that from all the stories written about this. 

HCQ is a drug that front-line doctors still say is effective in treating COVID.  Dr. Fauci himself talked about HCQ as an effective treatment for the original SARS.  It makes sense that the son of SARS, SARS-COV-2, also known as COVID-19, should be treated by HCQ.  Read this article about what Dr. Fauci thought back in 2005: .  Why has he changed his mind? Whose interests is he looking out for? I assure you, it is not yours and mine.

The article mentions Dr. Didier Rauolt, considered the foremost microbiologist in the world, the most oft-quoted in his field.  He came out in favor of HCQ in March 2020, but was then trashed mercilessly because his views aligned with Trump’s recommendation of HCQ.  He didn’t even realize he was aligned with Trump on this issue. He was just giving his professional and generally very well-respected opinion. It’s very unfortunate that politics and profit motive have played such a big part in downplaying two very cheap (along with one not-so-cheap, but equally effective) COVID treatments.

Come on, Man

You also made the claim that the folks who are taking the horse dose of Ivermectin and getting sick are Trump followers.  How about some proof of this?  Do you latch on to that claim because you believe anyone who voted for Trump must be stupid and therefore would also be dumb enough to take the animal dosage of Ivermectin?  Instead, maybe you should blame Fauci and the FDA for leading people to desperation by restricting the availability of treatments?

How about you let go of your politics and look at the facts?  Has this become all about defending Biden’s approach and refusing to give Trump any credit?  You can do better than this.

More people are upset about the relatively harmless euphemism “Let’s Go Brandon” than they are about the denial of COVID treatments that could have saved thousands of lives.  What’s wrong with this picture? Why do you let your politics influence how you think about this?

More Tough Questions from Dr. Kory

If you don’t believe some of the claims I’m making, then listen to an actual doctor making them. Dr. Pierre Kory who runs a non-profit web-site, Front Line Critical Care web, is also asking some tough questions regarding Merck, Ivermectin, and vaccine policy.

  • Why is Merck lying about Ivermectin?
  • What is Merck’s motivation here? How is the profit motive involved?
  • Does Merck, in conjunction with our government and media really care about health care of the public?
  • Why is early treatment being suppressed?
  • Why are we relying so heavily on vaccines to the exclusion of all other treatments?

Dr. Kory was interviewed by Steve Deace last week. The interview begins at the 49:30 mark.

There is a lot of good information in this interview. After watching it, ask yourself: do you want to listen to Dr. Kory who is on the front-line treating patients or Dr. Fauci who hasn’t treated a patient in forever? Dr. Fauci represents our government, and many believe that our government is not driven by profit and generally has our best interests at heart. Think again, if you believe this. Again, I can’t say this enough: what is happening is criminal, but, at least, you can arm yourself with good information from folks like Dr. Kory who really do have the public interest at heart.

As Dr. Kory suggests, please get prepared in case you or someone in your family contracts COVID. My family and I are ready ourselves. You should be too.

My Seven Tough Questions to My Leadership

Because none of us could engage you directly in today’s meeting, I am emailing my questions (see below).  I also captured all the COVID-related questions asked today in a word file attachment.  Many have the same concerns as I.  Many have other legitimate concerns which should also be addressed.  I CC my leadership and all the folks who asked questions today on this email.  We deserve to be taken seriously.  If you are not going to address our concerns, I’ll continue to take them up the chain.  I am sure our Congressional representatives will be interested in hearing how our executive leadership responds to the legitimate concerns raised up to them.

Even though you did not initiate this policy, I believe you should be able to answer many of these questions.  I don’t ask questions about the science that you are not in a position to answer.  I ask questions about the policy, the policy which you are responsible for implementing. The policy that our organization implements should be efficient, address the concerns of our employees, and be fairly implemented.  You should also understand this policy which has been passed down to you, so that you can adequately explain it to those of us who report to you.  We see that as your responsibility.   I think the questions I ask below are fair and I think you should be able to answer them.  If you cannot, then perhaps you need to re-examine how you are implementing this policy. 

  1. What happened to our HIPPA protections?  The only response I have seen in regard to HIPPA is a statement in an FAQ that HIPPA does not apply in this instance.  No explanation or justification for this was provided.  HIPPA protections apply for all of us until some government tyrant proclaims that they no longer apply?  They apply only when it is convenient for the government to use them for its own interests?  More explanation for why HIPPA does not apply in this instance should be provided to our employees.
  1. Whenever there is a government shutdown over budget, we hear plaintive cries of how government services will be diminished, seniors may not receive their SS checks, and the like.  This mandate, if followed through to the end, will result in a much bigger decline in government services than any of the prior government shutdowns.  Where is the outcry?  Are you really willing to countenance this without putting up more resistance?  The impact on our organization is likely to be pretty severe.  Are you willing to let so many be terminated and our ability to continue with our mission so severely diminished without more of a fight?  In the aftermath, you will also have a demoralized remnant left behind; it will take years, if ever, to recover from the damage done.
  1. I have entered a religious exemption myself and I feel very uncomfortable with someone in the Reasonable Accommodation office evaluating my request.  What qualifications do the folks in the RA office have for determining the legitimacy of my request, the sincerity of my beliefs, or the tenets of my faith?  Have they received training for this task?  Do you have clergy under contract to help them in evaluating requests?  What standards will they be using to make their decisions?  Why should my religious beliefs be subject to arbitrary government standards implemented by someone who is not a religious expert?  What do they know about me, my faith or the faith, background, and conviction of others who have entered an exemption request?
  1. What legal standards is the RA office following?  What right of appeal do I have if the RA office denies my request?  What due process rights are you providing us?   Given the manner in which the process has been implemented to this point, I have grave concerns that any of us will be provided any due process rights which are guaranteed us by the Constitution. 
  1. I have similar concerns with regard to medical exemptions.  What qualifications does the RA office have to make determinations about medical issues?  What training have they been provided?   Do you have medical staff under contract to aid them? What if an individual has been advised by their doctor that they shouldn’t receive the vaccine or maybe just get one dose, maybe because they already had COVID and have natural immunity?  Is the RA office going to overrule that decision?  Maybe an individual is pregnant or a woman of child-bearing age and wants to put off taking the vaccine for a while yet?  Who are the folks in the RA office to overrule this decision?  What about an individual who is young and healthy and has very limited risk from COVID?   Someone in the RA office is gets to make the decision of what is best for their long term health?  Who are they to do this?  Who are you to allow this process to be imposed upon us?    There are other reasons which may legitimately decide to forgo the vaccine.  Everyone should be allowed the freedom to make their own choices.  We have all been asked to take ethics training.  By what ethical standard—or for that matter what legal or moral standard have you allowed such a situation as this one?  As our leaders, we expect you stand up for our rights when they are violated.
  1. Why should employees who have worked at home for the last two years (as I have, as well as all of the employees that I manage, and virtually all of the colleagues I work with today have), be required to be vaccinated to keep our work places safe?  This is an obvious question that everyone wants to know but nobody in management wants to address.  Surely, you could at least fight for this one eminently reasonable exemption?  Is there no place whatsoever where you are willing to push back on your leadership?  Do all the concerns have to come from low-level folks like me and our colleagues who spoke up Thursday?  Are we the only ones who willing take on any risk?
  1. A colleague of ours received medical advice not to obtain the second shot of the vaccine.  This advice was from multiple sources.  I also asked doctor friends of mine about her situation and they gave me the same advice.  She even entered a medical exemption.  I won’t go into more detail regarding her situation; however, because she felt intimidated and was afraid for her job and didn’t fully understand the directions she was provided, so she proceeded with getting a second shot.  The consequences have not been good for her and she is still dealing with the complications—more than a week later. The bottom line is this.  Our employer is using fear and intimidation to compel people to act.  People are afraid: afraid for their health, afraid for their jobs, and afraid to speak up.  I don’t want to lose my job either.  You should know when people are afraid, they often do not act rationally, and do things they would not normally otherwise do.  This person put herself into a situation that was detrimental to her health out of fear of protecting her job.  I can’t support such a regime that would do something like this to people like her or many others in our organization.  I appeal to you and to your conscience as well.  How can you justify supporting this policy?

4 thoughts on “Asking the Tough Questions About COVID

  1. Your very first paragraph described a person I would never trust. It’s the attitude. You do not understand what real freedom and true individuality is. Your motives, from what we see, have never been truly free to choose. You seem a guy who works hard for attention, for pats on the back and to seem wise in others’ eyes, though you secretly know you couldn’t make it in a completely private world or be happy in it. You’re security comes from finding “the place” to be, exist in that, and work the world around you by understanding the “rules.” I can’t find honesty in that. **Okay, before you think these are barbs, they aren’t. It’s a description, and you can find the answer to that, if you really want to. All the best.


    1. The first paragraph was intended to convey that I continue to engage those in my chain of command, going ever higher up the chain, and so far I have had no substantial response to any of my questions or concerns. Maybe you think I am trying to ingratiate myself with the higher ups and get noticed by them, but I assure you, I am making no friends among that crowd. I am being a pest and asking them questions that I know they have no good answers for because that’s the best way I know how to get their attention and to try to prick their consciences.

      People want to blame the Biden Administration for these vaccine mandates, but the fact is there are lots of folks in agencies like mine who are making this possible. Without support of executives and the relative silence of so many in the ranks, they could not implement this policy. If there were just a few in the senior ranks who would push back on policy makers and say no, it would make a difference. If there were more rank and file standing up and complaining to their leaders and standing up for their colleagues who are being hurt by this, it would also make a difference. I haven’t found any execs who are willing to admit this policy is wrong or to put their careers on the line, but I keep making myself a pest and keep trying to reach more of them. They value their positions of authority and taking a stand would risk their movement up the ladder. I also keep sharing my message with more folks in the rank and file as well, so they realize that collectively we can apply a lot of pressure and force our leaders to take notice and possibly take action. It may not be the best strategy, but it is the only thing I know how to do and so I will keep trying.

      I don’t want to stay on the sidelines and complain only to those who agree with me. I know my chance of success is slim, but I don’t know what else to do, so I keep asking the tough questions, keep pounding on the door, keep making those in our leadership feel uncomfortable, and keep encouraging those around me to do the same. Maybe over time it will make a difference. If you have a better way, please let me know.


      1. I’ll leave it here. You’re first paragraph did it again. You can’ t hear yourself. It’s an attitude. I have pondered how people get to that point. Thought to bring it up. Look. If you disagree, just say so and go on with your life. I’m nobody. It shouldn’t bother you.


      2. I try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me. I wish I knew what you were talking about because I might be able to learn something from it, but I have no idea what you are talking about. You are very protective of your secret formula. I will leave it at that. I wish you well and I hope you are able to help others.


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