It's mandate season; we're finding out that rumors about people who said they'd quit before getting vaccinated were greatly overstated. But it also means that every outlet on the planet is writing about the (few) idiots getting fired or quitting, with some outlets and reporters blatantly misrepresenting reports.
Early surveys showed that "half of unvaccinated workers [said] they will leave their jobs if they're forced to get the Covid-19 shot," but most reports this week show that 96-99% of US workers facing the mandate have complied.
CNBC blared that nearly 600 United Airlines employees are getting fired for noncompliance, noting down the line that this number means 96% of the 67,000 workforce is fully vaccinated.
Washington Post headlined that "North Carolina hospital system Novant Health fires 175 unvaccinated employees refusing covid shot" while burying deep in its article that this is less than 1% of the system's employees: "More than 99 percent of the system's roughly 35,000 employees have followed the mandatory vaccination program."
Bizarrely, San Francisco has the (so far) highest rate of holdouts; around 10% of employees at police departments, hospitals and school districts.
As written into the mandate, tests are still being cast in an understudy role that they were never meant to play. "It's an unacceptable alternative," Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told me. Tests can't be swapped in for vaccines for the same reasons a smoke detector can't sub in for fireproofing, a car speedometer can't replace a seat belt, and a weather report can't take the place of an umbrella. Noticing the problem isn't the same as blocking it. (The White House did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)