Serving Franklin County, WA

Ordering 4-H volunteers to get COVID vaccine goes too far

Talk about a bureaucrat with delusions of grandeur.

On Sept. 3, Washington State University Extension Office Director Vicki A. McCracken took it upon herself to dictate that all 4-H volunteers now have to be “fully vaccinated” to continue in their position or face being “inactive.”

She cited Gov. Jay Inslee’s edict that everyone connected to education – from preschool through the university system – must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18.

Apparently, neither McCracken nor Inslee have attended the fantastic fairs and other 4-H programs that take place daily here in Eastern Washington.

What makes a university employee think they can tell volunteers what to do in their personal health care. Just because McCracken has a fancy title from a university doesn’t mean she has any authority to dictate personal health decisions.

If it was that important, why wait so long to write the letter? Why suggest someone else made her do it?

The governor made his coronavirus vaccination announcement Aug. 9. If it indeed was meant to include 4-H volunteers, why did she wait a month to make her own commandment?

McCracken’s letter to volunteers is clearly out-of-bounds. And her letter is typical of a government bureaucrat bucking for a raise or promotion.

Isn’t it interesting that she sent out the letter near the end of fair and rodeo season. I suspect that was so she wouldn’t hear the immediate backlash from rural volunteers who are overwhelmingly saying not to vaccination.

Her letter has some of our best representatives in Olympia concerned.

Sens. Mark Schoesler of Ritzville and Shelly Short of Addy noted the move will push out rural volunteers, and could lead to the demise of many of the activities that occur in our rural communities. It may also hurt agriculture, as aspiring young farmers and ranchers go without guidance, and agricultural education often learned through 4-H programs.

They are probably correct.

That doesn’t seem to matter to McCracken, who wrote volunteers cannot participate “until proof of full vaccination can be observed or until an exemption request has been reviewed.”

Funny how the vaccine vultures are circling the language.

Initially, getting vaccinated meant a single shot. Then “fully vaccinated” implied two shots. Now that we know two shots are not “fully” vaccinating Americans, boosters are being suggested in hopes they will last four months.

At this rate, there will never be anything close to full vaccination.

And then there’s the language on exemption requests being “reviewed” – not requested. That gives bureaucrats like McCracken an out, so they can tell exemption-seekers they never promised to allow an exemption.

It’ll be interesting to see if McCracken personally goes to 4-H functions to enforce her letter. But I suspect, she’ll sit by commanding others to try to enforce an order that even the governor admits he has not power to enforce.

4-H programs already suffer from a shortage of volunteers. This type of mandate is going to make it worse.

Roger Harnack is the publisher of Free Press Publishing. Email him at [email protected].

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

Author photo

Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 04/18/2024 20:54