July 25, 2021

MSBNC legal analyst Cynthia Alksne was asked by host Brian Williams on Friday about Dr. Anthony Fauci's statement that if we'd had we had had this kind of anti-vax sentiment against polio and smallpox, we'd still be dealing with those diseases today.

Williams asked Alksne about the "legal rules and ramifications surrounding requirements to get vaccinated," and as Alksne noted, when it comes to private companies, unless there's some health or religious exception, employers can require coronavirus vaccinations and make employees pay for non-compliance.

The NFL just informed their clubs that coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players could lead to forfeited games and some hefty fines. As Alksne discussed, expect to see more of this from other industries.

ALKSNE: Well, you know, the EEOC said your private company can require it, as long as they make some sort of arrangement if you have a health condition and can't have it or if you have some religious objection.

So private companies can do it. You know, I was thinking about this today. There really is an analogous situation with smoking, which may turn out to be interesting, and that is states and insurance companies, for example, in Texas.

In the Texas public health system there's a surcharge if you smoke. It's $30 a month. Kaiser, it's $25 a month. And it may be we have to have some of these carrot and stick things. It may have to be, that the government may have to say you can't get on a plane unless you're vaccinated.

It may be that your employer is going to have to require vaccinations, and it may be you're going have to pay more for insurance if you refuse to get vaccinated because it's costing us a lot of money, these people who are refusing to follow the science and they're ending up, you know, 20 days on a respirator and then we're all paying for it, or, any of the other terrible thing that happens to them, including spreading the disease to other innocent people.

So I think it's a multilayered approach, but there are ways to carrot and stick to try to up the vaccination rate in the country that are legal.

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