As Wyoming legislators on Wednesday discussed the pros and cons of a state bill aimed at countering President Joe Biden’s proposed federal vaccine mandate, the efficacy of vaccines and masks were debated yet again.
Often when a senator has expressed doubt about the safety of the vaccine or the benefits of wearing a mask in the battle to slow the spread of coronavirus, Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, speaks up to offer an opposing position.
The same thing happened on Wednesday. Sen. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne, said she had information that showed “the vaccine was not safe” and recipients have been effected by various side effects including paralysis, heart attacks, and death.
“We need to think about lives being lost,” Hutchings said on the Senate floor. “People are dying from this vaccination.”
“An employer being able to tell somebody you will take this vaccination or not work with me and they take it and then the next day, they die. What is that going to do? What is that going to do to our cities and towns when police officers, firefighters, and medical workers who are no longer there?” she said.
Case responded shortly after Hutchings’ remarks and said because legislators were speaking to “all of Wyoming today . . . it was important that we try to be as accurate as we can be especially about things like the vaccine.”
Case said it is important that lawmakers rely on the advice of the medical community “not with the junk that comes about on the Internet that’s been passed around 1,000 times about data that doesn’t exist.”
“You’re more likely to survive COVID-19 If you’ve been vaccinated,” Case said. “Most of the people severely ill in our hospitals right now are unvaccinated.”
Case said he was aware that not everyone in the medical community supports the use of masks and vaccinations, but most do.
“I’ve heard from them, you’ve heard from them, and I respect them,” Case said. “The vaccines are pretty safe. If you are going to survive COVID, you’re better off vaccinated,” he said.
Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, told his colleagues the Senate should not be discussing he effectiveness of the vaccines at all.
On Tuesday, he said discussing the mandate is one thing but discussing if vaccinations work was “dangerous.”
“It’s dangerous when a body of non-experts start debating science and judging what is and what isn’t correct,” Rothfuss said.
Rothfuss’ pleas were not heard. Immediately after his statement, Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, the owner of a septic draining business, tried to explain to members why he believed the COVID vaccine is imperfect.