Payton Perspective: Antioch mayor and 3 council members need to hold off on city employee vax and testing mandate

Photo courtesy of CC Health Services.

Only Barbanica wisely voted against; city doesn’t know the costs, yet; lawsuits over similar mandates filed, more expected; no meet and confer, yet with APOA; any policy must include the 3 CDC proclaimed “effective” therapies with the same FDA Emergency Use Authorization the vaccines have had

By Allen Payton, Publisher

During their meeting Tuesday night, the Antioch City Council will consider approving a “COVID-19 Mandatory Testing and Vaccination Policy” for all city employees, contractors and volunteers. It would require they get one of the COVID-19 vaccines or undergo weekly testing. According to the city staff report for the agenda item, “During the August 24, 2021 City Council meeting, the City Council directed staff to return to Council with a resolution…with costs borne by the City, time to do so would be limited to a certain duration, and the policy would include a start and end date.” (See agenda Item 13)

It was proposed by Mayor Lamar Thorpe during a press conference in August and supported by him, and all council members except District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica.”

That was in spite of the fact that two of the council members, Districts 1 and 3 Councilwomen Tamisha Torres-Walker and Lori Ogorchock spoke against a mandate, during that meeting, before voting to support it.

Don’t Know Costs, Yet

Also, according to the staff report the city doesn’t even know, yet what the cost of such a mandate will be. It reads, “Costs related to this policy are unknown at this time. Costs may include, but may not be limited to, the cost of weekly testing, the cost of a third part to administer the test, mileage, loss in productivity.”

Wait for Lawsuits Over Other Mandates to Be Settled

Multiple lawsuits are expected to be filed against President Biden’s national mandate he just issued in an executive order, last week. According to the New York Post, “Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, issued a statement Thursday calling the mandate unnecessary, overbearing and counterintuitive.

‘This executive order villainizes employees for reasonable concerns and hesitancies and interest the federal government into individual medical decisions,’ Cosme said. ‘People should not be made to feel uncomfortable for making a reasonable medical choice.’”

There has also been a lawsuit filed “by a slew of unions” against Mayor DeBlasio for his mandate in that city.

Antioch council members should hold off for the results of those lawsuits before opening up our city to legal challenges and costs.

Violates Health Privacy – Were City Employee Groups Consulted?

Questions were sent to city staff, early Monday afternoon asking, “Have city staff met with the various employee groups to meet and confer on the proposed ordinance for mandating COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing? If so, what were the results of those meet and confer meetings? Do their contracts need to be amended? If so, did all the groups agree to that?”

They were also asked, “isn’t this a violation of privacy of city employees, contractors, and volunteers, specifically with regards to their health and medical care, since they have to reveal to other city staff members if they’ve had a specific medical treatment or not?”

APOA Requests for Meet and Confer Ignored

Corporal Steve Aiello, Vice President of the Antioch Police Officers Association said there’s been no meet and confer, yet for his organization.

“On two occasions the APOA has reached out to the city, to (Administrative Services Director) Nickie Mastay in personnel and requested a meet and confer,” he stated. “But there’s been no response.”

“It’s a work condition change,” Aiello added as the reason a meet and confer is required.

Additional questions were then sent to City Manager Ron Bernal, after Monday work hours with, “Ron, I just spoke with Steve Aiello of the APOA. He said they’ve sent two email messages to Nickie Mastay requesting a meet and confer on the vaccine and testing mandate, but she has not responded. Is that correct? If so, why not? He said it’s required since it’s a change to their work conditions. Is that true? If so, shouldn’t the APOA and all the city’s employee groups have a meet and confer on the mandate before the council takes a vote?” As of 6:30 p.m. he has not responded to either the emailed nor texted questions, nor has City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith.

Please check back later for their responses should they provide them.

Painful Weekly Testing Alternative, Punishment for No Vaccine, One Test Ineffective

Nurse’s tweet of COVID test graphic.

While the proposed policy includes an alternative for weekly testing for those employees, contractors and volunteers who choose to not take a vaccine, have any of the council members been tested? Do they know how painful it is having those swabs scrape the back of your nose and throat? If not, all four should undergo that, first to see what they’re planning on subjecting our city employees, contractors and volunteers to that weekly pain, before voting to mandate it as one of the two options.

According to a New York Times report, “If you’ve seen the test (there are plenty of Instagram videos), then you know it looks as if someone is poking your brain: A swab is inserted deep in through your nostrils…The test itself is quick — only a few seconds — but most describe the sensation as highly uncomfortable.”

According to a Newsweek report, “’This test being demonstrated is a nasopharyngeal swab or NP swab collection. It uses a small flocked swab on a flexible plastic shaft to collect a sample from the posterior nasopharynx,’ Wesley Long, a microbiologist from Houston Methodist Hospital, told Newsweek. ‘Nasopharynx’ is a term that refers to the back part of your nose where it joins the throat.”

I watched as my son get a COVID test last year, and he winced when they put those long swabs up his nostrils. Then I had a test recently and now I know why he winced. I did, too. Ouch, two times! So, basically, that part of the mayor and council majority’s mandate would effectively serve as punishment for those employees, contractors and volunteers who won’t take the vaccine.

Plus, one of the COVID-19 tests that has been in use since February 2020 has been determined ineffective and discontinued by the CDC – but not until Dec. 31, 2021 for some unknown reason – because it can’t tell the difference between the virus and the flu. Yet, those test kits are still being used. The CDC has requested that a new test be developed. The council should wait on that, as well.

Dangerous Side Effects of Vaccines, Other Medical Conditions, Religious Exemption

I’m not going to get into all the details of the fact that there are good reasons for people who don’t want the vaccines due to all their dangerous side effects, have other medical conditions that prevent them from taking the vaccine or have a fundamental religious conviction for not wanting the jab.

Vaccines Still in Clinical Trials, Mandate Violates Nuremberg Code

Plus, all three of the vaccines are still undergoing clinical trials one until Nov. 1, another until 2023 and the third until 2024! (See Moderna Dose-Confirmation Study to Evaluate the Safety, Reactogenicity, and Immunogenicity of mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccine in Adults Aged 18 Years and Older here, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 BNT162b2 Vaccine Effectiveness Study here, and Janssen-Johnson & Johnson Study of (COVID-19) in Adults here)

So, they’re still experimental and therefore such a mandate clearly violates the Nuremberg Code which was established after World War II in response to the Nazis experimenting on the Jews during the Holocaust and others. It prohibits medical experimentation on humans without their consent.

According to the National Institutes of Health website the first lines read, “The Nuremberg Code 1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.”

CDC – “Effective Therapeutics Are Available”

According to the CDC’s website under the subheading, “SARS-CoV-2 Monoclonal Antibody Therapies” it reads, “In the United States, there are three anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody treatments with FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the treatment of COVID-19: bamlanivimab plus etesevima, casirivimab plus imdevimab, and sotrovima.” In addition, the CDC website reads, “effective therapeutics are available.”

The only public mention of monoclonal antibody therapies by the government or major media that I’ve read or heard has been about what Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing in his state to offer it to his state’s residents at multiple locations. Yet, the CDC’s website offers treatment recommendations and guidelines for administering the alternative therapies.

According to a report by CBS4 Miami, “Monoclonal antibody treatments can be prescribed by health care providers to individuals 12 years of age and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and hospitalization.”

Council Should Wait

For these reasons and more, the council should wait to approve the testing and vaccine mandate policy. In the meantime, just follow the current CDC guidelines and if a city employee, contractor or volunteer is experiencing COVID symptoms, the must stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days.

However, if the council insists on moving forward with their mandate, they must include the three effective therapies in their policy, so employees who don’t want the vaccine will have an alternative to painful, weekly testing. Otherwise, they’re acting like they’re medical experts, and worse, Nazis, not following the science, the CDC or FDA, nor abiding by the Nuremberg Code and giving OUR city employees – because they work for and are paid by we the people – all the options available to them.

Proposed Policy

Following is the language for the proposed policy resolution:



WHEREAS, the City has an interest in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of City personnel, community members with whom City personnel interact, and all residents and visitors of the City;

WHEREAS, many City employees come in close contact with members of our community as part of their daily job duties and this often includes members of our community who are unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, such as children under the age of twelve, or those with medical conditions contraindicated for the vaccine;

WHEREAS, all City of Antioch employees are designated to be Disaster Service Workers under California Government Code sections 3100-3109 and are required to return to work during an emergency;

WHEREAS, all City employees shall either be vaccinated for COVID-19 or be subject to weekly COVID-9 testing requirements; and

WHEREAS, this policy is an effective way to ensure that City personnel do not pose harm to the public or other employees.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Antioch as follows:

Section 1. The COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Policy shall address: vaccinations; weekly testing for City employees and contracted personnel at the City’s expense for a specified duration that commences on October 1, 2021.

Section 2. Policy implementation shall be administratively executed by the City Manager and incorporatee any applicable Federal, State and local policy directives on an ongoing basis.


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Nurse’s tweet of COVID test graphic

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