By Veronika Kyrylenko
It seems as if the satiric maxim “If you don’t take a temperature, you can’t find a fever” from Samuel Shem’s novel of medical residency entitled The House of God has long become a mainstream approach to the reporting of the COVID vaccine-associated adverse reactions. In other words, there seems to be an unspoken agreement at the federal level that if the cases of such reactions are not made public, there would be no need to address the issue of the experimental vaccines’ safety.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which has recently submitted a draft of the president’s emergency order requiring COVID vaccines or weekly COVID testing for companies with at least 100 employees to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, bringing the mandate a step closer to reality, discourages people from reporting vaccine-related injuries.
OSHA’s FAQ page states the administration will not enforce its own recording requirements related to work-related injuries until at least next May, since it tries not to discourage COVID vaccination in any way.
The question: “Are adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine recordable on the OSHA recordkeeping log?”
The answer is, basically, yes, but employers do not have to report them:
DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination at least through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.
Why are vaccine-related injuries considered work-related at all? Back in June, OSHA enacted an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to address the “grave danger” of COVID and made it a workplace hazard for healthcare employment, and is now tries to expand the ETS to other industries. If COVID is dubbed a “workplace hazard,” and vaccination against it becomes mandatory with limited exceptions, then, logically, COVID vaccine-related injuries should be considered work-related as well. At the same time, a large part of corporate America has already made COVID vaccination a condition of employment.
OSHA, trying to make a vaccine mandate a rule that would cover some two-thirds of the American workforce, or 80 million people, appears to not want to take any responsibility for people suffering from adverse reactions to the vaccines and losing their ability to work. The worker-protection agency does not wish to see any such records in its log out of fear of them being “wrongly perceived.”
One media report points out that there were also other changes to the agency’s approach to reporting vaccine-related injuries. Simultaneously with the aforementioned updated provision, the agency also removed three earlier FAQs, which had fully explained an employer’s responsibility to report adverse reactions depending on whether the vaccines were required or simply recommended.
The now-deleted OSHA FAQ specified that:
Note that for this discretion to apply, the vaccine must be truly voluntary. For example, an employee’s choice to accept or reject the vaccine cannot suffer any repercussions from their choice.
If employees are not free to choose whether or not to receive the vaccine without fearing adverse action, then the vaccine is not merely “recommended” and employers should consult the above FAQ regarding COVID-19 vaccines that are a condition of employment.
The agency clearly distinguished between “recommended” and “required” vaccination at the workplace. It did not mandate reporting requirements if the business had only recommended their workers take the shot. At the same time, it maintained that if the employer requires staff to get a COVID vaccine or face repercussions for noncompliance, then the adverse reactions from such shots would have to be formally reported to OSHA if they met all other recording criteria of the rule.
Departing from acknowledging workers’ right to refuse the vaccines, OSHA had a complete about-face on the issue. Back in June, OSHA stated in its ETS that violation of vax mandates by healthcare companies would result in a $13,653 fine per each unvaxxed employee, “regardless of the scope of the hazard.”
The fines may increase even more if Congress passes a $3.5 trillion spending bill that now contains a section specifically describing the penalties companies would face if they dared to not force their employees to take the “lifesaving” jab. Fines on employers could reach up to $70,000 for “serious violations,” and $700,000 for “willful or repeated violations” of the looming requirements.
Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) spotlighted the OSHA statement on Twitter, saying: “@OSHA_DOL openly advocates ignoring vaccine related injuries: no need to report them because they hurt the agenda…”
In pressing for mandatory COVID vaccinations, the Biden administration seems to be disturbingly uninterested in its own safety surveillance systems, which reported some 16,310 deaths (with 5,326 of those deaths occurring within two days following the vaccination), and 778,685 total adverse events. Those numbers are likely much higher, since only a “small fraction of actual adverse events” make it to the system, per the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which runs the database jointly with the CDC.
By continuing to ignore the legitimate concerns in regard to the vaccines’ safety, the Biden administration arguably reinforces vaccine skepticism. If the vaccines are indeed as safe as the medical/government establishment claims, why discourage reporting unless there’s something to hide?