AMSTERDAM – About 40 people attended a rally outside the Mohawk Valley Medical Arts Building on St. 27 on Sunday or are at risk of losing their jobs.
Some of the people at the “Stop the Mandates” rally held signs with slogans such as “Freedom over Fear”, “No Medical Tyranny” and “My life my choice”.
Jessica Blake from Amsterdam and Carly Vannostrand from Gloversville said they organized the rally and circulated a petition for signatures from people looking for Governor Kathy Hochul to end the request.
Vannostrand said she has worked as a certified nursing assistant at various health facilities, including St. Mary’s, at various times over the past 14 years. She said she stopped working as a CNA six months ago due to COVID-19 requirements.
“They make nurses completely ‘dressed up’, we wear face masks and shields and gowns, and we’ve all faced them,” she said. “Now we’re being told we have to take the vaccine. How do you get from hero to zero in six months? “
Compulsory vaccination for health workers in the state was first ordered on August 18 by former Governor Andrew Cuomo and later implemented through emergency ordinances filed with the New York Secretary of State on August 26 including: all hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment centers, dental clinics , Pharmacies, midwifery centers, rehabilitation clinics, home health authorities, adult care facilities, and inpatient hospices.
The emergency regulations differ from the original Cuomo mandate in that no religious exception is allowed. The State Department of Health has the power to require any health facility it regulates to provide vaccination certificates for employees, and there is the potential for fines for companies failing to do so. The vaccination mandate is also not subject to collective bargaining.
These are the deadlines set by the state:
- September 27th – All hospital and nursing home workers must be given their first dose. This includes government health care workers who do not have the option of weekly testing, an option offered to other government employees.
- Oct 7th – All employees in other healthcare facilities must receive their first dose.
Cody Anderson, chairman of the Libertarian Party of New York, spoke at the rally. He said healthcare workers shouldn’t be forced to choose between taking a vaccine or losing their job.
“What we stand for is physical autonomy, we are not arguing for or against a vaccine,” he said. “Many of you think one way or another about masks and vaccines, we don’t listen to get that message across. We are encouraged to support health care workers who are under a government mandate for a vaccine they want or don’t want for a number of reasons. “
Christopher Kinowski, from Perth, said he believed the vaccines were “poison” and not 100% protection against breakthrough infections. He said he believed people who claim “COVID-19 and other viruses to come is a master plan from the deep state”. Kinowski made it clear that the rally was political.
“I think we have some very exciting news to celebrate today, firstly that Andrew Cuomo, the genocidal maniac, is no longer governor,” he said, and was applauded throughout most of the rally.
“We’ve gotten worse now, she’s a woman, she’ll do more damage!” called a woman in the crowd.
“Yes,” said Kinowski. “The second most exciting news of the day is: Vaccines don’t work. Game over!”
Kinowski said his wife was a hospital administrator, but he wouldn’t say where. He said she would refuse to take a vaccine and stop instead of being forced to do so. He said many health care workers will turn down the mandate, creating a health care worker shortage.
Several people at the rally repeated the phrase “game over” in reference to data showing that some vaccinated people are still infected with COVID-19, although their symptoms are usually much less severe.
None of the people at the rally who gave speeches or interviews for this story said they work for St. Mary’s Healthcare, but some said they work for other hospitals like Chuck Zbytniewski, the US Marine Corps nurse’s gown and hat wore. Zbytniewski said he has worked as a licensed practical nurse for 27 years but will be fired before injecting a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We saw some of the short term effects. We have seen myocarditis in patients, ”he said. “You keep making this argument, ‘Well, we’ve vaccinated millions of people,’ that’s fine, but what guarantee do you have that I won’t get myocarditis? Or that I don’t die and leave my children. You know it’s my life I only get one. Nobody will make the decision for me, and nobody should make the decision for you. “
The extremely rare side effect mentioned by Zbytniewsk was the subject of a review of clinical records published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Aug. 4. A review of data from 40 hospitals in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Los Angeles County, California showed that out of 2 million people who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 20 people developed “vaccine-related myocarditis,” which is inflammation the middle layer of the heart wall.
According to JAMA review, 15 out of 20 vaccine-related myocarditis cases were male with a mean age of 36 years, four of them developed symptoms after the first vaccination, 16 developed symptoms after the second vaccination, 19 of them were hospitalized but all were discharged after about two days.
“There have been no readmissions or deaths,” the JAMA article reads. “Two patients received a second vaccination after the onset of myocarditis; neither had any worsening of symptoms. At the last available follow-up visit, 13 patients had symptom improvement and seven improved. “
Zbytniewsk said he is skeptical of the accuracy of reporting side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, and thinks they are likely higher and worse than reported. He also believes the death toll from COVID-19 is exaggerated. He said he volunteered to work among COVID-19 patients at St. Luke’s, but he doesn’t think he ever contracted the virus. He said his biggest concern about the COVID-19 vaccines is that no one is aware of the long-term effects of their ingestion.