Monday, October 26, 2020

Essential workers get quarantined when they are possibly exposed to COVID

I realize that Pence just backed away from the argument that he is an "essential worker" who doesn't have to quarantine because five of his close aides have tested positive for COVID and he is going to stay away from the Senate after all, but that "essential worker" argument shows a basic misunderstanding of what that term means. When "nonessential" businesses shut down in most places in the U.S. in March so-called "essential workers", people like grocery store clerks, garbage collectors, farm workers, etc. stayed on the job. But when individual essential workers were exposed to the disease, they were still expected to stay home from work and isolate from other people. 

That's also putting aside the fact that the job of Vice President (a job whose main requirement is presiding over the Senate and waiting to step into the Presidency if the President dies or is incapacitated) does not meet any normal definition of "essential." Let's face it, Pence just declared himself "essential" because they were worried they would need his tie-breaking vote to shove Amy Covid Barrett onto the Court in time to throw the election to Trump next week. Nothing a Vice President does is essential to the preservation of human life or the critical infrastructure for jobs essential to the preservation of life.