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Cornelius News

Commissioner explains position on vaccine mandates

Commmissioner Miltich, left, at demonstration in Mooresville (Photo: Facebook post)

Aug. 12. By Dave Yochum. Cornelius Town Commissioner Michael Miltich is standing by comments he recently made on Facebook about employer-mandated COVID vaccinations. The retired physician, who joined an Aug. 7 protest against workers being mandated to take the vaccine, said the risks are not clear.

“Government directly or indirectly restricting a class of individuals from jobs and access to normal services is behavior I’ve seen before. It is a means of government extending its control over the people in the name of ‘providing’ for them,” he said on Facebook.

Miltich himself has been vaccinated.

Corporate mandates

Major US corporations, including Atrium Health, Google, Novant Health, Tyson Foods, United Airlines and Walmart, have recently announced vaccine mandates for some or all of their workers.

“It was my personal choice after considering my risk factors for having an adverse COVID outcome. If I was young and especially if considering pregnancy, it would have been a different decision,” the town commissioner said after the demonstration.

On July 26, the Mayo Clinic announced it is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or complete a declination process by Sept. 17

No mandate for town employees

The Town of Cornelius itself is not requiring employees be vaccinated, but it’s under consideration right now, Cornelius Today has learned.

Miltich said the vaccines are a matter of “Informed consent of an intervention, by the individual,” and therefore “requires such consent be without coercion, and is the cornerstone of ethical healthcare. Otherwise, injections (and surgeries) are the same as Assault and Battery.”

The end doesn’t not justify the means, he said on Facebook.

Independent thinker

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris said Miltich “typically has his own way to thinking” about the COVID epidemic.

Gibbie Harris

Asked if she was concerned by his previous comments on vaccines, she said: “Yes. We need people to get vaccinated. That is the way out of this. Masks also make a difference, especially for those who cannot be vaccinated—our children.”

In Mecklenburg County almost all of roughly 1,000 COVID-related deaths have been among adults over 60. Seventeen deaths occurred in adults ages 20 to 39 and 131 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations statewide are spiking.

Mandate for town staff?

Mayor Woody Washam, who said COVID-19 data are not headed in the right direction, said mandatory vaccines for town staff are currently under review and “I am awaiting a recommendation from the town manager.”

There have been 26 COVID deaths in Cornelius since the outbreak began last year; none have occurred in 28031 since July 6.

Mayor Washam

“My recommendation to all our citizens is to get their vaccine as quickly as possible,” Washam said, pointing out that the upcoming elections in Cornelius are non-partisan.

“I would expect our elected official public officials to do all they can to encourage those that are unvaccinated to get their shot,” Mayor Washam said.

Hippocratic Oath

In an email, Miltich said he stands by the Hippocratic Oath.

“Things are mandated when the risks are well known, and there is a clear individual and public benefit. That is not the case with the COVID vaccine. We will not know if there are long-term consequences of the vaccine until time reveals them,” Miltich explained.

“To be clear, I’ve always advocated for the vaccine for those of our age (60s and above) However, the benefits/risks of the vaccine vs. those of COVID become less convincing the younger the individual,” he said.

CDC recommends vaccine for pregnant women

Yesterday, the CDC released new safety data strongly recommending pregnant and breastfeeding individuals get vaccinated against COVID-19. With only 23 percent of pregnant women in the US receiving one dose of the vaccine, physicians are seeing an increase in infected patients which puts themselves and their unborn baby at risk for serious complications.