1/31/2021 Update: The General Assembly's ruling majority voted down every attempt to limit, even slightly, the Health Commissioner’s and the governor's unilateral powers over our personal, private healthcare choices, setting the tone for religious and workplace discrimination at a time when it couldn’t be more critical to be inclusive, equitable, and provide accommodations for all people.
All nine good medical freedom bills that would have restored religious exemptions during a public health crisis and provided protections from employer discrimination based on COVID vaccination status have failed. While this is discouraging and your efforts to make an impact may feel futile, please consider the following:
➖We have formed relationships with several legislators who advocated for us in an unprecedented way this session. ➖We received positive media coverage highlighting our concerns and amplifying our voice. ➖We’ve surpassed 20,000 collective subscribers and social media followers. People are clearly tired of legislators – not doctors – making their healthcare decisions for them and their families. ➖The bills we fought so hard for were positive and proactive instead of the opposite which is all we’ve been used to in recent years. In other words, things didn’t get better, but they didn’t get worse.
What's next?Stay connected with us - we have more action items in the pipeline and will keep you posted. Please also consider joining our Action Team to establish First-Amendment sanctuaries in Virginia.
Also, please consider sending a thank-you email or card to the following bill patrons who fought tirelessly for health freedom this session:
Sen. Mark Peake - SB 1116 & SB 1117 Pocahontas Building, Room E615 900 E Main St Richmond, Virginia 23219 email@example.com
Sen. Amanda Chase - SB 1449, SB 1450 & SB 1451 Pocahontas Building, Room E523 900 E Main St Richmond, Virginia 23219 firstname.lastname@example.org
Del. Dave LaRock - HB 2242 Pocahontas Building, Room E413 900 E Main St Richmond, Virginia 23219 DelDLaRock@house.virginia.gov
Del. Mark Cole - HB 2268 Pocahontas Building, Room E202 900 E Main St Richmond, Virginia 23219 DelMCole@house.virginia.gov
Del. Wendell Walker - HB 2335 Pocahontas Building, Room E310 900 E Main St Richmond, Virginia 23219 DelWWalker@house.virginia.gov
Del. Bill Wiley - HB 2336 Pocahontas Building, Room W430 900 E Main St Richmond, Virginia 23219 DelBWiley@house.virginia.gov
1/27/2021 Update: Just like SB1116 and SB1117, Senate Bills 1449, 1450, and 1451 were heard Wednesday evening and “passed by indefinitely.” This action allows the committee to reconsider legislation at a later meeting. If the committee takes no further action, the bills are “dead.” 1/21/2021 Update:Bills SB 1116 and SB 1117 failed in subcommittee on 1/20/2021 but in an unusual move, they were considered again in the full Education Committee, where they failed again by a vote of 9-Yes, 5-No to pass by indefinitely. Additional public testimony was not allowed, but there was a floor debate in support of parent's rights and First Amendment issues. During the subcommittee hearing, Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver on behalf of the Northam Administration, strongly opposed religious exemptions to the COVID and other vaccines, despite the Virginia Department of Health walking back his previous announcement last summer to mandate the COVID vaccine once available.
Bill Information and Updates: Use this checklist with action items, contact information, talking points, and sample emails to act now.
SB 1449 & SB 1450 (Failed)would prevent state and local employers from requiring COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment, thus preventing discrimination. Act now.
SB 1451 (Failed)would prevent discrimination and allow equal access to state and local public property (including libraries, parks, zoos, museums, etc.) by those who decline the COVID-19 vaccine. Act now.
HB 2242 (Failed) would prohibit any state agency from requiring any person to undergo vaccination for COVID-19 and would prohibit any state agency or business from discriminating against any individual based on their COVID-19 vaccination status. The bill would also make any person’s vaccination record in the state’s immunization information system voluntary.
HB 2268 (Failed)restores the currently-voided religious exemption from the childhood schedule and adds a religious exemption from a potential upcoming mandate from the State Health Commissioner.
HB 2335(Failed)allows for fundamental right to be free from medical mandates (another coercion-preventing bill, but covers more than just employment. HB 2336(Failed)would require all vaccines currently mandated by the Commonwealth be FDA-approved. *Note: As an organization, VFK does not support or endorse medical mandates of any kind; however the passing of this bill would circumvent the implementation of mandates prior to FDA-approval of new, non-approved vaccines. HJ 573 is a resolution that expresses the sense of the General Assembly that any vaccination for the COVID-19 virus shall be voluntary within the Commonwealth of Virginia and that it fully supports the practice of medical informed consent.
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As employers begin mandating these products that are unapproved by the FDA and travel companies begin to implement smartphone vaccine passports, Virginians should sign the petition to let our elected officials know the time is NOW to have the discussion to preserve our right to accept, delay, or decline any medical product including the COVID Vaccine. See our official statement about the COVID vaccine here.
❖ As a result of our last petition, Virginia garnered state and national attention from media outlets like The Daily Wire, Mornings on the Mall, ABC8News, NBC10, the Center Square, The Schilling Radio Show, Zero Hedge, Hear This Well, We Are Vaxxed, and more.
❖ While the Virginia Department of Health and the Governor have issued statements in an attempt to walk back the Commissioner's stance in the face of the mounting outcry against medical mandates, there is a need for open discussion on this issue. The law needs to change.
❖ We see the current administration’s claim that they do not support a COVID mandate for what it is – a diversion from the real issue that the law still allows for the Commissioner to make a mandate and it needs to change. ❖ Share your perspective on this issue with legislators or friends.
Disclaimer: Content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal or medical advice. Any funds raised through this site support Virginia Freedom Keepers C4 legislative action responses. Contributions are not tax-deductible.