WLUC TV6 meteorologist Karl Bohnak said he was fired for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine as mandated by his employer, joining other media figures who have also declined the jab.
“Many of you have taken one of these injections, and that is absolutely your right. It is also my right to choose the medical options I feel are right for me. I have authority over my body,” Bohnak, who spent more than three decades at the Michigan NBC affiliate, wrote in a lengthy Facebook post on Sept. 15.
Bohnak compared getting inoculated to buying car brakes without a liability guarantee. He also framed his plight as a personal rights issue, referring to the “abrogation of our liberty and freedom under the guise of a pandemic.”
“It’s time to wake up to what is occurring here in America and across the world. We are being bludgeoned with fear, I believe, in an effort to control us,” he added.
So far, just over half of all Americans have received a full COVID-19 vaccine, which medical experts say is crucial to reducing the spread of the coronavirus and mitigating the public health crisis.
Newsweek also pointed out that “the country’s history of mandating vaccines effectively eradicated diseases like smallpox and polio.”
Near the bottom of Bohnak’s post, Facebook attached a notice pointing out that COVID-19 vaccines are tested rigorously for safety and effectiveness, citing the World Health Organization as a source. The social media outlet began labeling coronavirus-related posts with such notices back in March.
Earlier this month, ESPN reporter Allison Williams said that she, too, declined to fulfill her employer’s vaccination requirement because she’s seeking to have a second child. She chose to go on leave instead.
“After a lot of prayer and deliberation, I have decided I must put my family and personal health first,” Williams wrote on Twitter. “I will miss being on the sidelines and am thankful for the support of my ESPN family. I look forward to when I can return to the games and job that I love.”
A number of right-wing radio personalities who publicly scoffed at COVID-19 vaccination have died from the coronavirus.