South Carolina Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Make Asking About Vaccine Status Illegal

by Clayton Edwards
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Recently, the United States Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s vaccine mandate for employers. That mandate would have forced all employers with 100 or more employees to make vaccines mandatory. Alternatively, they could have made their unvaccinated employees take weekly COVID tests. Now, some lawmakers are hoping to expand upon this.

Republican lawmakers in South Carolina have introduced a bill that would make asking about vaccine status a crime. However, the proposed bill does not just affect employers. Instead, the bill would make asking about vaccination status a crime for many individuals and establishments.

Republican lawmakers introduced the bill, H. 4848, on January 20. The bill would make asking about COVID vaccine status a misdemeanor in South Carolina. Notably, it would affect “any employee, officer, agent, or other representatives of a public, nonprofit, or private entity” who asked about vaccination status. Those found guilty under the proposed bill would face up to $14,000 in fines as well as up to a year in jail.

It is important to note that H. 4848 only makes asking about COVID vaccination illegal in South Carolina. Employers and school administrators would still be allowed to ask about the long list of vaccines that most of the population received as children. Many of those are mandatory to attend public school.

H. 4848 would effectively expand on the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling. The nation’s highest court left vaccine mandates in the hands of businesses. However, the bill introduced by Republican lawmakers in South Carolina would not allow business owners the choice to do so. Those business owners would become criminals under this bill.

South Carolina Lawmaker Talks About Proposed Vaccine Bill

Representative Mike Burns, who authored the bill, spoke to Fox News Digital about it. “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.” Burns calls these things “absolutely insane.”

Later, the South Carolina lawmaker stated that asking about vaccine status should be off-limits which is why he sponsored the bill. “I’m your employer, and I asked you if you’re pregnant, I can’t do that,” he said. After comparing vaccination status to pregnancy, Burns went a step further. “I can’t ask you if you got STDs or HIV. I can’t ask any of those private medical questions.”

Burns admitted that the vaccine bill probably won’t become law in South Carolina. He said that only about five percent of all bills introduced make it into law. However, he wanted to take action because “people are getting pretty sick and tired of these mandates.”

Outsider.com