I think we’ve discovered the third rail of Idaho politics.  Two weeks after some of the largest healthcare providers in the state announced mandated COVID vaccines for workers, the political blowback is getting intense.  The video above is from a demonstration outside St. Luke’s hospital in Boise.  What’s astounding is the size of the crowd well beyond the facility.

A similar demonstration is planned for Twin Falls on Thursday afternoon.  It’s scheduled for between 4:00 and 6:00 P.M.  It’ll take place east of St. Luke’s on Parkview Drive.  Between Cheney Drive and Pole Line Road. 

I’m told some of the state’s leading politicians are asking the three health providers making the demand of staff to stand down and reconsider.

To say feelings are intense is to put the case mildly.  On Tuesday’s edition of Magic Valley This Morning on Newsradio 1310 KLIX, audience reaction was overwhelmingly in support of employees who refuse to take the vaccine.  Their position will result in their dismissal if they don’t get a vaccine by the end of August.  My counterpart in Boise, Kevin Miller at KIDO, had a mostly similar audience reaction last week.

I’m told some of the state’s leading politicians are asking the three health providers making the demand of staff to stand down and reconsider.  It puts state legislators and the Governor between a rock and a hard place.  They want to support businesses but also individual liberty.

One leading Republican I spoke with this week refers to St. Luke’s as a quasi-governmental institution.  It has tax exempt status but is supported in many ways by taxpayers.  When Medicare and Medicaid pay the bills of patients, the money is coming from you as a taxpayer.  And when I also this week spoke with some people in local government I called it a public relations disaster for the hospital.  One politician told me it wasn’t the first time the outfit stumbled.

I’m keeping identities under wraps for now but have had more than a dozen conversations on this subject with politicians the last week.  Not one had praise for the vaccine mandate.

 

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

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