Unemployment aid for people who refuse to get vaccinated is silly

Why reward people for posing a health risk to others?

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Editorials

January 3, 2022 - 9:25 AM

Olive Krug of Topeka, age 10, gets her COVID vaccine shot. The Pfizer vaccine is available for children ages 5 and older. Photo by Louise Krug

Vaccinations have become such a politically charged issue in the United States that at least five red states are essentially paying people not to get vaccinated.

The five states — Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee — are granting people unemployment aid if they lose a job because they refuse to get vaccinated. This is not how unemployment compensation is supposed to work.

From a health perspective, vaccinations are the best protection from the coronavirus. Even former president Donald Trump has been urging people to get vaccinated because it significantly reduces the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization and death. In a pandemic where more than 821,000 Americans have died, political leaders should be doing everything they can to urge people to get vaccinated, not rewarding them for opting out.

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