Faculty required to share status as prerequisite for future merit raises

In a June 28 Mason Family Connection communique from George Mason University, President Gregory Washington invited students and faculty to share their vaccination status. 

The difference is that students are required to be fully vaccinated while it is only strongly encouraged for faculty members. Vaccination status provided to the university by August 1 is a requirement for all. Appropriate medical and religious exemptions will be observed.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Education invited colleges and universities across the country to participate in the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge. The effort will build on a program announced by President Joe Biden May 11 to match certain high-enrollment colleges with partners in the federal pharmacy program to provide vaccination opportunities, according to the website.

“Disclosure of vaccination status – whether vaccinated or not – will be a prerequisite for eligibility for any future merit pay increases” said the email. “Because these are not cost-of-living increases, the university has the discretion to decide who, when and how to award merit raises,” said Robin Parker, GMU interim vice president of Communications. She said the goal is to test unvaccinated community members – students, faculty and staff – at least once a week.

“Our requirements are consistent with guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which includes an opinion from the Office of the Attorney General that states Virginia’s ‘colleges and universities may condition the attendance of certain in-person events on having received an approved COVID-19 vaccine,” said Parker. She explained that unvaccinated students with a valid exemption may attend classes in person but must wear masks and participate in regular tests. “Students who take all of their classes online and do not come to campus are not required to be vaccinated,” she said.

“There is no basis whatsoever for GMU’s double standard of requiring students to take an experimental gene therapy vaccine, and making it optional for staff,” said Vienna Attorney William J. Olson. “Medical experiments should never have been made mandatory for anyone. The scheme to withhold pay raises from those faculty who will not disclose their vaccination status is analogous to the ‘vaccine passport idea’ – that you become a second-class citizen if you are unwilling to risk your own health in an un-monitored medical experiment.”

In a June 17 letter to 30 Virginia colleges and universities, Olson told the educational institutions that their policy is out of step with noted experts in the field. “If coerced COVID-19 vaccinations were necessary as a matter of public health, it would have been adopted by the same federal government that granted the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs),” he said. “However the federal government recently adopted a policy for its employees which is completely opposite your institution’s policy.” Olson noted that the federal government does not require employees or contractors to be vaccinated, nor do the NIH, CDC or U.S. military mandate vaccines for their employees. 

“As of June 14, 2021, George Mason University, the largest public university in Virginia with over 37,000 students, reported two student positives and zero employee positives in the past 14 days,” said Olson. “Indeed, it is our view that this coercive policy is contrary to law, contrary to science, and out of line with how other institutions are handling this issue, and therefore flawed from its inception.”

“It’s unfortunate that George Mason University has chosen to use coercion and sanctions to deny students and faculty the human right to exercise voluntary informed consent to use of the still experimental, unlicensed COVID-19 vaccines,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center. The NVIC is a non-profit organization established in 1982 by parents of vaccine-injured children. NVIC does not make use recommendations, but rather encourages everyone to become fully informed of the risks and complications and to speak with one or more health care professionals before making a vaccine decision, she explained.

“There was a time that colleges and universities looked out for the welfare of their students, but now it looks like they are willingly ignoring the risk to students, blindly following the guidance of the ‘experts’ at the CDC, when even that agency does not require its own employees to be vaccinated,” said Olson. He went on to point out that the CDC has confirmed 226 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in people ages 30 and younger and are investigating 250 more reports. In fact the FDA added a warning to two of the vaccines June 25 stating that their administration can lead to heart inflammation and potentially be fatal. The letter also stated that as of June 16 the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) has received reports of 326,239 adverse events of which 4,946 were deaths related to the vaccines. That number exceeds the 4,598 deaths for other deaths related to vaccines reported to VAERS as long as records are available up to Dec. 31, 2020.

“Amendments to the PREP Act passed by Congress in 2020 shields vaccine manufacturers and anyone who administers a COVID-19 vaccine from civil liability if a person is injured or dies,” said Fisher. “Is George Mason University prepared to financially support the students or faculty members who were coerced into getting one or two doses of COVID-19 vaccine in order to enroll or keep their jobs if they suffer vaccine reactions that leave them permanently disabled?”

The university is encouraging faculty, staff and students to share their documentation of having received a vaccination by offering a variety of incentives. Prizes include parking permits, professional development funding (up to $5,000), $500 Barnes and Noble gift cards, tickets to performances, lunch with athletic coaches, an autographed football, and Mason Money and a few other items.

“The colleges are doing nothing to obtain the ‘informed consent’ of its students based on a complete disclosure of the risk,” said Olson. “Their message is basically – get vaccinated or stay away. I think more and more students will take the second option.”

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