The COVID-19 pandemic emergency is over in Colorado now, according to Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who also declared in a Friday interview that he’s not going to implement another statewide mask mandate in response to the potential spread of the new omicron variant.
But he also had a rather abrasive warning for residents who have yet to get vaccinated: If you get sick, tough luck.
“Everybody had more than enough opportunity to get vaccinated,” Polis said during an interview with Colorado Public Radio. “Hopefully it’s been at your pharmacy, your grocery store, a bus near you, [or at] big events. At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really your own darn fault.”
“Those who get sick, it’s almost entirely their own darn fault,” Polis, a former five-term member of the U.S. House, continued.
“I don’t want to say that nobody [will get the virus if they’re] vaccinated, but it’s very rare,” Polis added. “Just to put it in perspective, of the about 1400 people hospitalized, less than 200 (or 16 percent) are vaccinated. And many of them are older or have other conditions,” he noted.
“Eighty-four percent of the people in our hospitals are unvaccinated, and they absolutely had every chance to get vaccinated,” he told the public radio network.
“And at this point, I think it’s almost like they made a deliberate decision not to get vaccinated,” he added. “I still encourage everybody who hasn’t been vaccinated to get protected. And for those who are, make sure to get that booster after six months. The data shows it’s important and very likely even more so with this omicron variant.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic governor has taken a very Republican view when it comes to mask and other COVID-related mandates: Local jurisdictions are free to do as they please because he thinks the state government should remain aloof.
“The emergency is over,” he declared. “You know, public health [officials] don’t get to tell people what to wear; that’s just not their job. Public health [officials] would say to always wear a mask because it decreases flu and decreases [other airborne illnesses].
“But that’s not something that you require; you don’t tell people what to wear. You don’t tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in winter and force them to [wear it]. If they get frostbite, it’s their own darn fault,” Polis continued.
“If you haven’t been vaccinated, that’s your choice. I respect that. But it’s your fault when you’re in the hospital with COVID,” he added.
The governor went on to say he believes there is an “alternate misinformation universe” feeding into those who have decided against taking the vaccine.
“There are people that believe you and I are part of some massive conspiracy, Ryan,” he said to “Colorado Matters” host Ryan Warner. “Some of them believe there is no COVID; some of them believe the vaccine doesn’t work; some believe that the vaccine has severe side effects.
“The truth is they’re in their own bubble, and it’s very hard to penetrate,” Polis observed.
The governor’s remarks come as a number of areas in the state including the metropolitan regions of Denver require residents to “vax or mask” — an order to businesses to require patrons to provide proof of vaccination or wear a mask while inside.
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