Shipman & Goodwin is a prominent Connecticut law firm which presented a webinar on September 10, 2021 about vaccine mandates. The main audience was employers for companies of all sizes. The presenters kept commenting on the large number of companies which participated. So, there was clearly a strong interest.
The implicit questions the firm addressed were: How far can I go in demanding vaccination? Can our policies get the company in trouble?
The sometimes clear, sometimes ambiguous, answers provided by the three presenters laid bare the ongoing war between employers and employees. One would think Covid-19 is a straight forward public health emergency. It is not. Despite the insistence by some to limit all thinking to guidance from the CDC and the FDA, there is too much research, too much data, and too many people who continue to criticize the mainstream consensus.
Take teachers unions as an example. The American Federation of Teachers is fighting to protect it 15,000 teachers who work in the New York City public school system who have refused to get vaccinated. Yet other teachers unions continue to twist the arm of the CDC by demanding mask mandates and vaccine mandates. Does the left hand know what the right is doing? It would appear not.
The presenters at Shipman & Goodwin were clearly speaking from the perspective that everyone should be vaccinated, and that it is the job of employers to achieve that goal. Yet, they also made comments at different times which seemed to contradict that basic message.
The presenters outlined several risks employers need to consider. Loss of personnel, the costs of replacement are obvious. Then again, so is getting sued by the employees. What the presenters did not mention is the emerging efforts to create a job board for people who refuse to get vaccinated. NoVaxMandate.org blindsides the kind of discussion Shipman & Goodwin did. They never anticipated the idea that there are companies opposed to vaccination and that they will band together to hire like minded employees.
Instead, the presenters treated the concept of “business necessity” as holy writ. They failed to examine any assumptions about how vaccination defines “business necessity”. However, as another example of how they failed to do a proper analysis of “business necessity” came when one of the presenters suggested that companies were a small number of people are unvaccinated may not find it worth their while to pressure these hold outs. It was mentioned as something to consider, but they did not consider the implications.
Where Did That Quicksand Come From?
The presenters from Shipman & Goodwin made three big mistakes.
No Decision Analysis
No critical evaluation of conflicting data
No discussion of alternatives to vaccines
For decision analysis, there was no commentary on how biomedical authorities reached their decisions. There was no commentary on how their reasoning process affects the bringing of various lawsuits, including class action lawsuits.
It should be noted that any notion of forcing vaccination runs afoul of the Nuremberg Code and the basis for informed consent. The concept of informed consent implies some notion of having complete information or adequate information for making a medical decision.
Shipman & Goodwin was clearly not willing to “go there”. To put the problem another way, if your decision is on a weak foundation, your policy is on a weak foundation. Legally, that can only spell trouble.
A flawed policy of mandating vaccination based on incomplete information is as dangerous a place to stand as standing on quicksand. You ain’t coming back. But that is exactly what they did. The presenters made the weakest possible assumptions about the adequacy of the reasoning and evidence behind the CDC and FDA rulings.
Their failure with decision analysis only sets the stage for the second item. Anyone who takes the time, and lawyers are supposed to take the time, will dredge up a vast medical literature composed of numerous reviews and original research that contradicts and corrects CDC and FDA guidance. The fact that these agencies have avoided this information, or said nothing about it, does not mean the information is wrong. Usually, if there is no real rebuttal, such information remains valid.
Just as bad is their failure to address the debate over vaccines versus therapeutics. Again, there is this basic split between those in charge who are monomaniacal about vaccination, and medical professionals who continue to fight for alternatives to vaccination such as hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin.
Oops, Here He Comes Again
The other problem with this presentation is the bad timing of faux-President Biden’s pressing for more draconian demands for vaccination. No sooner did he call for greater efforts to bully and intimidate workers into getting vaccinated, than the threats of lawsuits from governors and others around the country started to fly everywhere. Whatever shifting sands result from the soft and inconsistent presentation from Shipman & Goodwin
Some critics see Biden’s gambit as a lame attempt to throw a Hail Mary pass while his poll ratings are cratering everywhere. It get’s better. The announcement that he is exempting the United States Postal Service 600,000 employees that shows what a phony and a hypocrite he is. If that is the kind of game playing in which he wants to indulge, how would this impact the kind of advice from Shipman & Goodwin?
When the federal government is exempting quasi-federal agencies, when union contracts may be vague on health care mandates, when there are clear concerns, though lacking articulation, about Article VII of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A Final Comment Before They are Swallowed up.
Shipman & Goodwin found a way to stand in every corner of the arguments for and against forcing vaccination. However, their inability to see the larger picture makes them the first to be swallowed up by the quicksand. They don’t see where they are walking, they are not observing the environment around them, and the next thing they know they are in trouble.
Dr. Naomi Wolf coined an interesting term, “A Bio-Fascist Coup”. Using the military to impose a mass vaccination, as well as forcing them, reflects this fascist control mindset. Steve Bannon noted that it is unheard of for the President of the United States to threaten to “get governors out of the way” who stand in the way of his push to force vaccination.
Yankee Tea News will continue to research this topic and provide additional coverage in the near future.