On February 22, 2022, in Asheville, NC, a Civil Services Board Grievance Hearing was held regarding the firing of five city employees, including sanitation, Parks and Rec workers, police, and a firefighter, for not complying with the human resource policy of providing proof of vaccination or submitting to weekly testing. Testing is required at the employee's expense, on their own time. Because the five employees freely admitted that they did not comply with the policy, the City Attorney, John Maddux, argued in the hearing that the case should be dismissed. However, to provide an overabundance of caution, he brought two witnesses to testify about the policy and justification for the firings.
The first witness was Stacie Saunders, the Buncombe County Department of Public Health director. After giving her background, which was not that of a doctor but a public health expert, she quoted pharmaceutical talking points. She extolled the virtues of vaccination as "one of the greatest human achievements." She invoked fear about COVID by stating that "since the beginning of COVID, there have been 4.4 million hospitalizations." Not clarifying, however, if those hospitalizations were from or with COVID.Read more