Sunday, April 14, 2024

SC Seeks to Make Inquiries on Vax Status a Misdemeanor

'The bill would impose steep penalties, including up to a $14,000 fine and/or up to one year in prison... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USASeveral South Carolina Republican state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would impose misdemeanor-level fines or prison sentences on businesses that inquire into a customer’s COVID-19 vaccination status, The Blaze reported.

South Carolina state Rep. Mike Burns introduced H.B. 4848, which would make it illegal for an “employee, officer, agent, or other representative of a public, nonprofit, or private entity” to ask patrons about personal medical information.

“Your private health information is still your private health information,” Burns said, adding that private companies have no more right to it than the government, Truthout reported.

The bill would impose steep penalties, including up to a $14,000 fine and/or up to one year in prison.

Burns said private companies, including health insurance agencies, have used information about a person’s COVID-19 injection status to punish them for failing to get the shots.

“We have people in South Carolina that are losing their jobs because they have to report to their employer that they’re unvaccinated,” Burns said. “We also have people who are having their insurance rates put in a different category.

“They’re charging up to an extra $100 a week more than the vaccinated people,” he added. “It is absolutely insane to do this kind of thing.”

Burns noted several other health conditions about which neither private companies nor governments can legally inquire.

“I’m your employer, and I asked you if you’re pregnant, I can’t do that,” Burns said. “I can’t ask you if you’re thinking about getting pregnant.”

Four other Republican state representatives have sponsored the bill.

Burns further explained the double-standard regarding health care privachy and the COVID-19 shots.

“I can’t ask you if you got STDs or HIV,” he said. “I can’t ask any of those private medical questions, but somehow it’s alright to terminate people’s employment because I didn’t take this emergency-use-only vaccine. This is ridiculous.”

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