A vaccination protest
A councilman is organized a vaccine-mandate protest at Self Hospital in Greenwood.
Laurens County Council member Luke Rankin said it is a violation of personal liberty for the hospital to require its employees to be Covid vaccinated. "We are watching our freedoms erode away," Rankin said.
He said the protest will be next Saturday at West Alexander and Main St., near Self.
"As Americans," he said at tonight's Laurens County Council meeting, "we've always been told we can make up our own minds." But now, he said, employers and corporations are requiring vaccinations - as a way to control the Delta variant of COVID-19 which is increasing hospitalizations and deaths across the South.
Just over half of Americans are fully vaccinated - now, with a smaller pool of adults to infect, the Delta variant is attacking children, scientists say.
Rankin said "many lawsuits" will result from companies requiring their employees to be vaccinated - which may happen to a greater degree once the vaccines receive full Federal Drug Administration approval next month.
"With FDA approval will this vaccine become magically OK? No," said Laurens resident Dianne Belson, representing the Laurens Liberty Society.
"An employee should have the right to make a decision - today, it's them; tomorrow, it's us," she said.
Belsom said there will come a time when people will be denied public services unless they are vaccinated.
She suggested a meeting between Laurens and Greenwood County Councils, or a resolution of concern addressed to Self Regional Medical Center. She said the SC General Assembly is returning to special session in September to discuss mask and vaccine mandates - "so we cannot devolve into tyranny."
Belsom spoke during public comments time, and Rankin spoke during council members' comment time of the Aug. 10 Laurens County Council meeting. South Carolina has experienced 645,850 Covid infections since March 2020 (Laurens County, 7,805 infections) - 11 additonal deaths were reported Aug. 10 & 8,808 total for the state.
Despite rising Covid infection numbers, SC Attorney General Alan Wilson said the City of Columbia cannot issue its own schools-masks-mandate, as that violates South Carolina law.