The Delta variant has put a sticky wicket in a pandemic that was already febrile. Businesses that were planning on welcoming employees back to their offices this fall have had to rethink how they’re going to keep their staff safe. Some are going so far as to make vaccinations mandatory for those returning after a year and a half of at-home work. One of those is CNN, which is so adamant about stopping any further spread that they’ve already fired three employees who refused to get vaccines that scientists have concluded are not only very good at their job but also incredibly safe.
As per Variety, network president Jeff Zucker informed his staff in a memo that, because of what “experts expect to evolve with the virus in the weeks ahead,” the initial plan for everyone to return to in-person work on September 7 “no longer feels appropriate.” But when they do return they’ll need to prove that they’ve been fully vaccinated against the now even more highly transmissible disease. And to show he means business, Zucker informed them he’s already sacked people who weren’t complying.
“In the past week, we have been made aware of three employees who were coming into the office unvaccinated. All three have been terminated,” Zucker wrote. “Let me be clear — we have a zero-tolerance policy on this. 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.”
Zucker also made sure they knew that he was sympathetic to anyone who’s a bundle of raw nerves after spending the last 18 months terrified of a highly contagious disease that, even after highly efficient vaccines became available, isn’t fully going away any time soon.
“I think it is fair to say that we are all feeling a mix of anticipation, anxiety, frustration, confusion, and exasperation. All of that is to be expected,” Zucker wrote. “We all have decisions to make that impact so many aspects of our lives. I get it. If nothing else, the resilience and perseverance you all have shown for 18 months now needs to continue a little bit longer. But we will get there,” he said. “Continue to take care of yourselves and each other. And I will share more updates just as soon as we have them.”
The tl;dr version: Don’t listen to the Ron DeSantises of the world. Get vaxxed already.