In this space on Tuesday, we commended Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey for her unvarnished show of frustration over a new COVID-19 surge in our state, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the country. Her soundbite blaming the unvaccinated for the increase in infections got national attention, and may have urged someone, somewhere, to reconsider their resistance to the only medicinal tool in our arsenal.
“I don’t know what else to do!” Ivey said. “You tell me.”
Since she asked, we’ll remind her that she signed a law into effect earlier this year that undermines much of the benefit of immunization by prohibiting public and private schools from requiring vaccination for enrollment, barring private businesses and governmental offices from requiring vaccination for entry or service, and barring government agencies from sharing vaccination records.
Last month, Ivey pooh-poohed an American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that schools require face masks for children older than 2 and all adults. Ivey disagrees, saying students need to be in the classroom without any type of mask requirement.
It’s doubtful that the provisions of the law denying private schools and private businesses control over their own health and safety procedures would withstand a legal challenge, yet lawmakers had no qualms about passing the measure, and Gov. Ivey didn’t hesitate to sign it.