United Airlines Boeing 777-222(ER) airplane
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Good Thing This State Police Officer Does Not Work For United Airlines

He would likely be terminated — not that he is not already suspended.

As the first airline in the United States to mandate a vaccine against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus for its employees, United Airlines reportedly sent a memorandum to its employees stating that if they are not fully vaccinated — or at least qualify for a narrow exception with regard to religious reasons or medical reasons — by Monday, September 27, 2021, they will be terminated from their positions at the airline as a safety measure to protect its employees from being harmed.

Good Thing This State Police Officer Does Not Work For United Airlines

In one of its latest notices to its employees, United Airlines has allegedly warned that employees who are granted an exemption which is based on religious beliefs will face unpaid personal leave starting on Saturday, October 2, 2021 while the airline works to institute and implement safety measures for employees who are not vaccinated.

Using “dire statistics” as its basis, the airline purportedly claims that unvaccinated employees can no longer be allowed back into the workplace until how they might interact with our customers and their vaccinated co-workers is better understood — but once “the pandemic meaningfully recedes”, employees who remain unvaccinated due to religious exemptions will be welcomed back to the team on active status once again.

Employees who are granted a medical exemption will be placed on temporary medical leave.

If employees have been denied an exemption due to medical or religious reasons, they have up to five weeks from the date of denial to become fully vaccinated — or they will lose their jobs.

Exactly how many employees have recently been vaccinated has not been revealed from United Airlines — as well as what percentage of the workforce is now vaccinated; or how many employees have requested an exemption — but the airline reassured its customers that it will have enough workers to operate its schedule through the end of the year.

No statistics have been released as to how many employees have died or taken a leave of absence as a result of — at least, in part — contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus; nor as to how much was the cost of health insurance related to those cases which United Airlines had to pay.

Another reason for the stricter requirements from United Airlines may be because the current president of the United States intends to mandate that all employers with a minimum of 100 employees require either vaccinations against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or weekly tests — and this requirement from Joseph Biden will affect greater than 80 million people:

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. This requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees.

Zachary Kowing might be out of luck if he were an employee of United Airlines instead of being on the force as an Oregon State Police law enforcement officer for eight years — but he was reportedly suspended from his job anyway for posting onto his Instagram account the following video which was recorded in his patrol car.

In case the video is removed, the following is the verbatim transcript:

“I’m a Christian, a husband, a father, and a police officer.

“I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, to protect the freedom of the people who pay my salary.

“I do not work for my governor; but for them.

“The governor elected to this beautiful state has ordered medical workers, teachers, and first responders to get the vaccine.

“I have personal and religious reasons as to why I will not take the vaccine — but also the freedom to choose not to. I’ll likely get fired over this video, but I’m nonetheless exercising my First Amendment right to speak freely.

“I’ve fallen in line for over a year with these useless, ineffective mask mandates; and I will no more. I will not sit back and sheepishly watch as those who serve the people of this state are given unlawful orders which threaten their livelihoods, should they choose not to fall in line.

“Discretion is one of the most important parts of my job as a police officer. I will use that discretion, and I will not enforce useless mask mandates or unlawful vaccine orders. Doing so is discrimination, which I would be fired for if it were any other discriminatory subcategory.

“Miss governor, I think you’ve forgotten that you were elected by the people; therefore, you work for the people. The title governor does not give free reign to force medical decisions upon us.

“Police officer or not, an oath is permanent. I’ll stand the blue line for the people I swore it to.

“If you’re watching this video, I encourage you to look deep down and decide if you’re gonna fall in line as sheep — or if you’re gonna stand up for the rights that we have — for the short time we still have them.

“If you got the vaccine out of pure choice, that is your freedom…

“…but if you got the vaccine out of fear: be careful. You are slowly giving up the freedoms that so many have fought for.”

The comments which have been posted in response to this video have been wildly polarizing — from praise for his stance to utter disdain.

Zachary Kowing is reportedly considering filing a lawsuit against Kate Brown — who is the current governor of Oregon — with regard to her mandate which requires wearing masks throughout the state of Oregon which became effective as of Friday, August 27, 2021.

A Look at the Latest Statistics

The latest statistics are that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus contributed to the deaths of at least 4,592,934 people — or slightly greater than 2.06 percent — of the minimum of 222,406,582 confirmed cases worldwide, according to this situation dashboard from the World Health Organization

…and at the same time, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus contributed to the deaths of at least 4,604,182 people — or slightly greater than 2.06 percent — of the minimum of 223,080,202 confirmed cases worldwide, according to this situation dashboard from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

At the time this article was written, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus contributed to the deaths of at least 652,480 people — or slightly greater than 1.61 percent — of the minimum of 40,523,954 confirmed cases in the United States, according to this situation dashboard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and with an estimated population of 331,002,651 people, that means that slightly less than 0.20 percent of the population of the United States have died with it.

The population of the world is currently at almost 7.8 billion people. Using the higher statistics from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, that means that slightly greater than 2.86 percent of the population have had confirmed cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus, with slightly less than 0.06 percent of the population having died with it.

Editorial: The Current 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

The current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic is obviously a major event in the history of humankind which will be remembered for generations.

In this article pertaining to why I have not traveled recently, I explained that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus itself is not the reason:

Assuming that the travel industry remained unaffected by the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, I would not have had any second thoughts about continuing to venture out in the world. I have been taking the proper precautions long before the pandemic reared its ugly head, so to speak; so I would have had concern about it — but I was not fearful of it.

How human beings and society in general have responded to current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — as well as the uncertainty with how the reaction has been handled — is why I have not been traveling recently.

The media and politicians saw an opportunity to use fear for their own purposes pertaining to the pandemic.

Some people point to the fact that those arguably useless restrictions on carrying liquids and gels and having footwear scanned for explosive materials still exist today many years later, which is one reason why they do not want the requirement to wear masks or cloth coverings for their noses and mouths when traveling, as pointed out as one of the 14 reasons why people would refuse to wear a mask

For the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, “a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated”, according to this article pertaining to contact tracing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “In jurisdictions with testing capacity, symptomatic and asymptomatic close contacts to patients with confirmed and probable COVID-19 should be evaluated and monitored. For areas with insufficient testing support and/or limited public health resources, the following evaluation and monitoring hierarchy (Box 4) can be used to help guide prioritization. The hierarchy is based on the assumption that if close contacts listed in Priority 1 become infected, they could potentially expose many people, those at higher risk for severe disease, or critical infrastructure workers. If close contacts in Priority 2 become infected, they may be at higher risk for severe disease, so prompt notification, monitoring, and linkage to needed medical and support services is important.”

Contact tracing sounds like a great way to help slow down the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic; but to some people, it smacks more of an invasion of privacy and freedom — and masks and cloth coverings for the face represent the most obvious symbols of that invasion of privacy and freedom.

Furthermore, some people feel that the mere requirement of wearing a mask or covering for the nose and mouth is an infringement upon their rights and their freedom, which is addressed as a part of our “new normal” in section 9 later in this article.

…and back then, many people were espousing that they would do anything or agree to anything in the name of safety — because they were afraid, as people are today.

I do not agree. While I am not advocating the unnecessary increase of risk, travel in and of itself is inherently risky — which may be part of the reason why travel experiences are memorable and result in a certain excitement that cannot be felt with other types of experiences.

I maintain that more than ever am I convinced that the reaction to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic was an exaggerated overreaction which was irrationally fueled with fear by the media and politicians in general and could have been handled significantly better over the past 20 months.

Final Boarding Call

I am not going to get into the specifics pertaining to the legality of such a decision at United Airlines pertaining to unvaccinated employees, as Matthew Klint of Live and Let’s Fly does a good job of that in this article

…but that does not mean that you cannot voice your opinion on this specific topic — or any topic related to vaccine mandates and vaccine passports pertaining to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — in the Comments section below.

Please refer to this article with links to past articles at The Gate which pertain to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Leftist laws and court orders can’t be enforced if they are not allowed to be enforced. Conservative leaders are fools for saying they support law enforcement when those law enforcement blindly enforce the laws of our enemies. Instead of praising people doing us harm, conservative leaders should be replacing all cops in counties and states conservatives have majorities in with conservative loyalists who must pledge to never enforce a leftist law (from drug law to gun control to baking a cake law to civil asset forfeiture to vaccine mandates). The current batch of cops are not the good guys when they use force because a leftist politician or judge says so excluding this fine gentleman in the video (although he probably would enforce other leftist laws and is probably not innocent).

  2. interesting post. thanks.

    was needs to be changed to were. subjunctive tense!

    “Zachary Kowing might be out of luck if he ~~~was~~~ an employee of United Airlines instead of being on the force as an Oregon State Police law enforcement officer for eight years — …”

    1. I am shaking my head, r m h, as I meant to change that tense and never got around to it.

      Thank you for the correction, as always!

  3. If a meteorologist says a tornado or hurricane warning has been issued, but you know the overwhelming majority (over 99%) of the local population will not be injured or killed, do you still prepare or take cover? Yes, Home Depot has a financial interest in selling you things that offer protection, but it’s still smart to be protected even if the likelihood is that you’ll be fine either way. Boarding up your windows doesn’t eliminate your risk, but it has the potential of mitigating the damage. Yes, the media will call it Armageddon- I don’t care. Admittedly, no one is requiring you to buy plywood, but with a natural disaster, your choice is about you. With the virus, your choice affects all of us. As far as employers requiring vaccines…i feel the same way about this as an employer requiring a drug screening- I don’t like the invasion of privacy, but it’s in the interest of the organization to protect its itself and if the organization’s interests are counter to my own, I won’t work there.

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