New Hampshire lawmakers seek to curb COVID-19 restrictions

By Christian Wade | The Center Square

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering bills to prevent local governments from imposing mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions, but health groups say the move would “prolong the pandemic.”

A Republican-backed proposal, which was heard by the House Health and Human Services Oversight Committee on Tuesday, would block cities and towns from setting mask requirements for schools and businesses and restrict private employers from imposing vaccine mandates or requiring proof of vaccination from customers.

The measure is one of several dozen bills being considered by the Republican-controlled Legislature seeking to restrict state and local government mandates related to the pandemic.

Rep. Leah Cushman, R-Weare, a cosponsor of the proposal, told the committee that the move would also “prevent employers from refusing employment to anyone for failure to produce evidence of COVID-19 vaccination” and also “prevent discrimination in public accommodations.”

“So this would also include any public facing businesses,” Cushman testified. “They can’t keep people out based on vaccination status.”

But the proposal is strongly opposed by public health groups, health care unions and others which say it would prevent cities and towns, schools, hospitals and private employers from taking preventative measures to protect the public from COVID-19 and other highly infectious diseases.

“The decision to require their employees to be vaccinated was done to ensure the health and safety of their patients, their workforce and their communities,” Paula Minihan, a lobbyist for the New Hampshire Hospital Association, testified. “They have seen firsthand the devastating impact that COVID-19 can have on their patients, especially those that are unvaccinated.”

Kate Frey, vice president of advocacy for the nonprofit policy group New Futures – which also opposes the measure – said the state government shouldn’t be restricting schools, cities and towns or businesses from making decisions to protect the health and safety of their employees and patrons.

“Time and time again public health experts have said that wearing masks and widespread vaccination, including booster shots, is the best way to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she told the panel. “The freedom to make those decisions should be left up to the entities.”

Pam Dinapoli, executive director of the New Hampshire Nurses Association, said restricting the use of “proven interventions” to prevent spread of the virus will “prolong the pandemic” by increasing strains on the state’s healthcare system and “continuing the spread of preventable illness and death.”

The measure is one of several dozen bills being considered by the Republican-controlled Legislature seeking to restrict state and local government mandates related to the pandemic.

Ann Marie Mercuri, immunization chief for the state Department of Health and Human Services, said the proposed restrictions could prevent the state from responding to future pandemics.

“There’s too much uncertainty about COVID-19 to place a prohibition that would threaten the ability to make future public health decisions,” she testified.

The financial impact of the proposed legislation isn’t clear, but a fiscal note attached to the bill said the restrictions, if enacted, would “likely invite legal challenges that will lead to litigation” which would also “increase the workload of the Civil Law Bureau at the New Hampshire Department of Justice.”

“That increase could require additional lawyers to represent the state,” the fiscal note stated. “Because the number of challenges is unknown, the cost increase is indeterminate.”

Several members of the public spoke in support of the restrictions, arguing that the government shouldn’t be telling people they need to get vaccinated or wear a mask.

“I know people that have lost their jobs over this,” Mark Rossetti, a citizen who testified in favor of the bill, told the panel. “You’ve got to choose whether you put a needle in your arm or keep your job. That’s just wrong.”

4 thoughts on “New Hampshire lawmakers seek to curb COVID-19 restrictions

  1. “CURBING RESTRICTIONS” — how does that work?

    Word salad from someone clearly still afraid of cooties.

  2. The tide is turning. States and countries with the highest vaccination rates also have the highest infection rates, a trend well documented and easily verified by anyone who cares to look. Now just about everyone knows somebody injured by the vaccine, and knows at least 30 people who were fully vexed and still got COVID.

    • Latest news from Israel:

      The director of the largest acute care coronavirus ward in Israel says that 70-80% of acute cases of Covid-19 are vaccinated, and that “the vaccine has no significance regarding severe illness.”

      Israel is one of most highly-vaccinated countries in the world and cases and deaths are soaring.

      I think it really is true that the evidence is becoming undeniable that we’ve gone down a terrible path dictated by corrupt entities. How hard they’ll fight back given that they can almost taste their beloved “reset” is the real question.

  3. OK, so when is the idea of the safety and efficacy of early treatment for Covid-19 going to break into the public’s consciousness?

    Then not only will we learn that Covid can be safely treated early, but we also have an arsenal against any viral onslaught (maybe that’s why it’s being fought so fiercely.) Perfect? No. But it will certainly get us out of the present Covid darkness.

    The book? I hope one day most people can recite it by heart: “Overcoming the Covid Darkness” by Tyson and Fareed.

    RFK,Jr’s book on Fauci also has some excellent material on early treatment and on the shenanigans that went into suppressing it. Then of course there’s Meryl Nass’ essay– yes, the same Nass who temporarily lost her license and has to submit to a psych exam for daring to use early treatment.

    Masks won’t be necessary. Neither will experimental vaccines untested for long-term adverse effects. Neither will censorship of physicians and scientists.

    “Truth or Consequences” (remember that show?): Will the real Covid-19 treatment please stand up? (Dr. Fauci had everyone fooled.) Apparently we haven’t gotten to the point in the game when the true contestant stands up.

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