It started out quietly this week, with 28 mostly medical professionals meeting in a conference room with Assemblywoman Jamie Allard to talk about how they were losing their jobs at Providence hospital, Geneva Woods Health Care Services, Southcentral Foundation and other medical providers because they won’t get a Covid-19 vaccination.
That was Thursday. On Friday, 30 more of them came to talk to Allard. They said there were more like them in the medical establishment, people in fear of losing their jobs, and others who were resigned to the fact that they will be fired, and who are ready to speak out.
On Saturday morning, about 100 showed up, because they, too, wanted to be heard. Mayor Dave Bronson allowed Allard to use the Loussac Library room where the Assembly usually meets. Bronson joined the meeting to listen and give support to the medical workers, and so did City Manager Amy Demboski.
It was all unannounced and unadvertised, just a series of listening sessions to hear the other side of the story, after last week about 15 nurses and medical professionals were organized by union leaders to go to the Assembly meeting and talk about how they support mask mandates at City Hall and elsewhere, and that they support mandatory vaccines.
There are others who didn’t follow that crowd on Tuesday. Listen to the Saturday esponse when the mayor asked them if they would stand if they oppose Covid-19 vaccine mandates:
During the listening sessions with Allard earlier in the week, some participants testified, and left in tears, so upset about their situation, worried about how they will make ends meet. They told Allard that they knew of pregnant women who are not comfortable getting the Covid-19 shot, but are now losing their jobs.
On Saturday, a pregnant nurse from Providence testified that she will be fired because she won’t accept the vaccine.
Between the four days of listening, over 175 people attended, including at least two employees from Alaska Airlines that were losing their jobs.
It was bound to happen: Word leaked out about the listening sessions. About an hour after the meeting started, Assemblyman John Weddleton showed up. TV cameramen arrived. Word had spread that there was a movement afoot in Anchorage, and the liberal majority on the Assembly was not going to like it.
This story will be updated.