State House, Providence, RI – In response to the “Comprehensive Actions to Address COVID-19 Cases” announced by Governor McKee, House Republicans issue the following statement:
“The Governor’s new round of mandates seek to address the healthcare staffing crisis caused by his ill-advised Department of Health Regulation (216-RICR-20-15-8) that led to the termination of hundreds of unvaccinated nurses and doctors --forced to leave their profession, despite successfully tending to the COVID-19 sick for over a year. If the Governor is serious about solving our ICU bed shortage, he would see that the healthcare vaccine mandate is repealed. Rather than this Department of Health folly being remedied, the Governor has now imposed additional unenforceable measures that infringe on the people of Rhode Island’s privacy.
The crisis we face is from inadequate ICU bed staffing, as demonstrated by the Governor’s letter to FEMA. Additionally, federal monies were allocated to Rhode Island that could specifically address our hospital staffing crisis. Yet, not one proposal has been offered.
Due to the Department of Health’s failed healthcare vaccine mandates, Governor McKee now attempts to force Rhode Islanders to show their proof of vaccination medical papers to their employers, and require masks to attend events or services within certain indoor venues. Many thousands of Rhode Islanders will not show their employers their medical records, nor patronize businesses if forced to don masks. We were promised that the vaccine would return us to normal, and as a result, hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders got vaccinated, making Rhode Island one of the most vaccinated states in the country.
This is not how people in a free society live. To make matters worse, the Executive Order issued contradicts state law that limits declarations of a State of Emergency to 180 days. A variant, by its nature, is not a new emergency. Rather, the legislature must act to continue a State of Emergency beyond 180 days. We are a nation of laws and individual privacy, both of which the Governor disregards for political expediency.
This latest Executive Order resolves the question which the Governor has continuously refused to answer for months: Under what circumstances will this state of emergency end?
The answer apparently is – it won’t end.”
The Rhode Island House of Representatives Minority Office Membership (Republican) is comprised of the following representatives who were elected by constituents who live in districts throughout the Ocean State: Minority Leader, Blake Filippi, District 36 (Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly, New Shoreham); Minority Whip, Michael Chippendale, District 40 (Foster, Glocester, Coventry); Deputy Minority Leader George Nardone, District 28 (Coventry); Representative Brian Newberry, District 48 (North Smithfield, Burrillville); Deputy Minority Leader David Place, District 47 (Burrillville, Glocester); Representative Justin Price, District 39 (Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond); Deputy Minority Whip Robert Quattrocchi, District 41 (Scituate, Cranston); Senior Deputy Leader Sherry Roberts, District 29 (Coventry, West Greenwich). For more information, please visit our website at www.rihousegop.org
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