A television reporter from Missouri who has been working in the news for fourteen years was fired this week for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Linda Simmons revealed on Facebook that she had asked for a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate instituted by her station KY3’s parent company, but it was denied.
“I value the freedom we all have to make our own informed decisions,” Simmons wrote. “I’ve made a big decision and decided not to allow the company that owns KY3, Gray Television, to control my personal health choices. I did not comply with their vaccine mandate after my exemption request was denied.”
“I will miss you all, and I am sad to be leaving this way, but I have confidence that I am doing God’s will for me,” she added. “I trust that He has good plans in store!!”
Simmons said in an interview that she had a. “sinking feeling” when she learned via email that her exemption was denied.
“I truly believe God was showing me reasons that I didn’t need to get it,” she explained, according to The Kansas City Star.
Simmons admitted that she was stunned when her request was denied.
“I stopped for a little bit and just prayed, “Lord, I need your help,” she said, according to KTTS. “It was kinda shocking. Because, yeah, I was expecting they were going to grant the exemption. Even if I had to keep working remotely, as I was, and wear a mask — fine. I’ll do that. But, no, they didn’t have any accommodation.”
This came after Gray TV staffers were sent a memo saying that the company’s executives had extensive discussions about a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
“These individuals UNANIMOUSLY concluded that the increasingly rapid spread of the coronavirus poses an unfair risk to fellow employees and their family members who are not eligible to get vaccinated,” the memo added.
Simmons went on to say that while she can’t deny that COVID-19 is serious, she has questions regarding some of the health recommendations that surround it. She also does not know what will come next for her in her career and is unsure if she will be staying in journalism.
“I’ve been blessed to tell so many important stories, and I thank all of you who have done me the favor of giving an interview on short notice,” she said in her Facebook post. “We work on quick deadlines in the news business! For all of you who have watched and supported me over the years, thank you so much. Your loyalty and encouragement have meant the world. I’ve always done my best to get both sides of a story, share unbiased reports, and make sure the public has the information it needs about issues here in the Ozarks.”
Sadly, millions of Americans are in the same position as Simmons is right now, as they are forced to choose between their jobs and their freedom to decide whether or not to get vaccinated for themselves.