Remember when National’s Chris Bishop thought that Labour was not being staunch enough of mandates?
I do. From Newstalk in October last year:
National says the Government needs to move urgently to make vaccination mandatory in more frontline roles.
Cabinet ministers are due to discuss the issue tomorrow.
National Covid-19 Response Spokesman Chris Bishop says he expects them to agree to make vaccination mandatory for all healthcare workers dealing with Covid cases.
He told The Weekend Collective it’s something he’s been calling for and fully supports.
“Frankly, probably taken too long. At the moment, you could be a nurse, working on someone with Covid in ICU, and not have to be vaccinated. It’s pretty nuts.”
But things have apparently changed and Bishop has executed a 180 degree about face. From yesterday’s Herald:
National’s Covid-19 spokesman Chris Bishop says it is now time to scrap the Covid-19 vaccine mandates in the public health sector and let unvaccinated nurses and midwives get back to work.
Bishop’s call goes a step further than National Party leader Christopher Luxon’s most recent comment on the issue a fortnight ago, when he said it was time for a “conversation” about ending the remaining health mandates.
He said the vast majority of health workers were vaccinated, and National believed people should get vaccinated.
“But we think the time for vaccine mandates in our health system is time to come to an end.”
At one level this is utterly predictable. Chris Bishop is very good at working out which way the wind is blowing and then advocating for the predicted wind assisted position. He is right at one level. Mandates will one day be removed and then he can claim to be some sort of super hero with the ability to influence the Government.
But he tries to have it both ways in totally opposite directions far too often.
The proposal has a superficial benefit. Much needed health professionals although very few of them will become available. But do we really want employees who have refuted one of the mainstays of modern medicine to come back into the workforce?