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No more Mr. Nice Guy. The U.S. government has said it won't impose national vaccine mandates, but that promise is unraveling. Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb has more on the government's shift from carrot to stick and the man who is responsible.
In a press release, the VA said it is requiring the vaccine for all frontline workers "to keep the veterans it serves safe."
This, while nearly 60 health care-related organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, issued a joint statement calling for all health care employers to mandate the vaccine for their employees.
Using the surge of Delta variant cases as an excuse, the statement said the mandate is the "logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment" of health care workers to keep their patients safe.
The man who pulled off coordinating the 58-organization joint statement is Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy.
Ezekiel Emanuel: "How are people supposed to find work if this goes on in some form for a year and a half? Is all that economic pain worth trying to stop COVID-19? The truth is, we have no choice."
Three months ago, before the surge, Emanuel was calling for a vaccine mandate.
Every health care worker ought to be vaccinated. I shouldn't have to be worried: Has my doctor been vaccinated, has that nurse been vaccinated, what about the respiratory therapist or the person drawing my blood? Those are groups, and I think employers ought to take this very seriously and consider mandating and requiring their workers to get vaccinated, especially if they are going to come back to the office.
Emanuel is also senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, an organization advocating for every socialist's favorite policy positions: voting rights, immigration, LGBTQ rights.
Emanuel: "75 seems like, you know, albeit somewhat arbitrary moment, where we'll get the maximum chance where you're still going to be vital and alive and vigorous."
Zeke Emanuel may be the most connected man on the planet. He's on President Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board and is the brother to former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood agent-to-the-stars Ari Emanuel.
Many consider Ezekiel Emanuel to be the chief architect of Obamacare.