LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The national spotlight was on rural Elko County earlier today as the county commission considered a ban on COVID-19 and flu vaccines.
A citizen-sponsored proposal to impose a moratorium on the vaccines put elected officials in a difficult spot.
“We don’t have the authority to do this even if we were 100% on board with it,” Elko County Board of Health Commissioner Jon Karr said today. “We’re county commissioners — and I think we’re a rather aggressive group and I’m proud of what we have accomplished — but if we really wanted to vote on this I think it would be a huge overstep.”
Anti-vaccine sentiments persist in parts of Nevada and the U.S. On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called for a permanent ban on mask mandates at schools and vaccine requirements for local governments and businesses.
In the end, the Elko commission voted against the ban.
A comment filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada said a moratorium would have been an “egregious injustice” to the citizens of the county.
The ACLU urged the county to pull the item off the agenda, saying, “This proposed moratorium is not only dangerous, but it is also unlawful. Such a moratorium will be subject to a legal challenge if ever passed. A moratorium recommendation demonstrates no consideration of those within Elko County, especially those who are immunocompromised.”
But other comments that are part of the public record showed support for a ban:
“Just saw that you are considering banning the C19 vaccines. I cannot begin to express my support for this move and consideration. It just takes a trickle of hope to begin the watarlerfall of change and ultimate hope! Thank you fir truly seeing the damage these ‘vaccines’ are doing. Our children certainly don’t need them. I do hope that your move catches on the the remainder of the state and then spreads far and wide throughout the nation. Thank you from the very core of my being for starting the spark,” according to a commenter known only as “WendyB.”
Another comment referred people to videos on the website Rumble.com, a site criticized for “sending viewers tumbling toward misinformation.”
Karr said he had problems with the proposal beyond the board’s authority to act on it.
“Morally and ethically I also have a problem with it because we’re supposedly voted on as a constitutional county back when COVID started,” he said. “And my understanding of that is basically we believe in human rights of our citizens. And quite honestly if our citizen wants to go get a shot that they talk to their doctor and know the pros and cons then they are more than welcome and should be able to. I don’t believe we should do a moratorium on getting the shot just like we shouldn’t do you have to get the shots.”