Memo Urges Discrimination Against Those Who Choose Not To Vaccinate
KAYSVILLE, Utah – The Kaysville City manager has been getting some backlash over a memo to city employee that encouraged discrimination against those choosing not to get a coronavirus vaccine.
The message showed up on social media over the weekend.
The email that was meant to reinforce mask-wearing and social distancing inside city buildings, but when city manager, Shayne Scott, started to bring up vaccines, it caught people’s attention.
At one point in the memo, he said, “It is my hope that as a society we will discriminate against those that choose not to get a vaccine.”
Once that was shared to social media, several people said there must have been a typo, so Smith clarified in another email that it’s about keeping loved ones safe.
“I want society to make distinctions between those two groups, if that keeps my loved ones, who are compromised in certain ways and have chosen to get the vaccine, as safe as they can be from this deadly disease,” he said in an email. “Perhaps the word ‘discriminate’ is too strong, but frankly I can’t think of a different word to use.”
The clarification drew quite a bit of concern from a lot of people who saw the emails posted online.
City manager, in Kaysville is getting a lot of heat over statements he made in memos to city employees over the COVID vaccines, and discriminating against those who choose not to vaccinate. He's since walked that back. What was said, and the mayor's response, on @KSL5TV at 5 & 6. pic.twitter.com/qI3hl5IHQV
— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) February 15, 2021
Michelle Johnson said she has had the chance through her healthcare-related job to get the vaccine, but decided to wait. She was also one of those who saw the memo.
“I was concerned, and I was very shocked that a leader … would be actively telling people that we should be discriminating against those who don’t have a vaccine,” Johnson said. “Just as a community going out, we should be open-minded, especially with the vaccine, with COVID. There’s lots of health issues at play – lots of personal issues – and we need to realize that people are worried and afraid on both sides.”
Scott later issued a third email, saying he was sorry, and, “I know many of us have different beliefs when it comes to this vaccine, and I overstepped in sharing mine. My intent was to just encourage and never to shame. We can disagree on this, masks, and really anything and still do great work together.”
Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt agreed Scott took his opinions too far.
“We need to respect one another, and we need to respect the decisions that we make,” Witt said.
She also said she wants to make it clear, there would be no consequences for people who choose not to get vaccinated.
“Nobody is at risk of losing their jobs or promotions, or anything else, based on whether or not they choose to get the vaccine,” Witt said.
Johnson said she has always vaccinated before, and emphasized there are other ways to avoid getting the virus, like washing hands, social distancing and staying home when sick.
“To get past COVID at a quicker rate, I think we need to work together,” she said.
Mayor Witt said Scott has been a solid city manager for five years. She did not believe this one incident should change that, or his future with the city.
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