The American Cable News Network (CNN) has reportedly dismissed three employees for working in the office despite being unvaccinated for coronavirus, in one of the first examples of a firm firing a staffer for breaching company’s vaccination policy.
Vaccinations are mandatory for anyone reporting in the field, working with any other employees or entering the offices, said an internal memo sent by Jeff Zucker, the media company’s president to staff members reminding them of the firm’s position on vaccination.
“Let me be clear – we have a zero tolerance policy on this,” wrote Jeff Zucker, chairman of news and sports for WarnerMedia, the Guardian UK reported.
“You need to be vaccinated to come to the office. And you need to be vaccinated to work in the field, with other employees, regardless of whether you enter an office or not. Period,” the memo added.
The names of the fired employees were not revealed.
The incident highlights the challenges facing employers who are taking a harder line on mandatory vaccination.
Many companies in the USA are taking strict measures on unvaccinated individuals coming to work amid the surge of the highly transmissible variant of the disease.
A number of media organisations -including CBS News, where staffers work closely side by side– require visitors to show proof of vaccination before entering a company facility, according to USA today.
CNN vaccination policy
The CNN Vaccination policy only allows vaccinated employees to return to CNN offices on a voluntary basis using the honour system to confirm their vaccination status through the company’s passcard system and have not been asked to show proof.
Mr Zucker said that might change in the weeks ahead, noting that CNN “is delaying a formal return date to the office,” located at Hudson Yards on the west side of Manhattan in the U.S.
Employees were expected to return September 7, but due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the date has been pushed to mid-October.
The COVID-19 vaccination saga
The Delta variant of the coronavirus currently ripping through the US is especially devastating in regions with low vaccination rates, according to experts and government officials who have warned unvaccinated people to get their shots to prevent further spread of the disease.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday about 193.2 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 165.6 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
This means that roughly half (49.9 per cent) of the US population, about 330 million people is fully vaccinated, CDC data showed, and 58.4 per cent received at least one dose.
Full vaccination is necessary for optimal protection against Covid-19 — especially the highly contagious Delta variant, which accounted for more than 93% of all cases in the U.S this week, according to a publication by Aljazeera.
The U.S accounts for 36 million COVID-19 infections, almost two in a ten of the 201 million confirmed cases so far globally.
The nation, which is the hardest hit by the disease, also accounts for the highest deaths with 631, 891 fatalities reported so far, according to www.worldometers.info a COVID-19 data tracking platform.
The U.S relaxed or eliminated mask mandates and efforts to reopen businesses and travel. The current spike in COVID cases is now resulting in more caution and, in some cases, more restrictions.
The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs last month said it would require its doctors and other medical staff to get COVID-19 vaccines, becoming the first federal agency to impose such a mandate.
“We’re going in the wrong direction,” the US CDC director Anthony Fauci, said Sunday about the recent surge in cases blaming the unvaccinated.
“If you look at the inflexion of the curve of new infections … it is among the unvaccinated and since we have 50 percent of the country is not fully vaccinated, that’s a problem,” he added.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...