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Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Sawyer calls Rutgers Covid policies ’embarrassing’

Fall requirements include vaccine, mask mandates

By Joey Fox, August 24 2022 4:41 pm

Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (R-Woolwich) released a statement today sharply criticizing Rutgers University’s fall Covid policies, which include a vaccine requirement and mandatory face coverings in certain spaces.

“It’s embarrassing that our state university, which operates a respected medical school, can be controlled by such an uneducated agenda,” Sawyer said. “It seems like they are bending to the wishes of one particular group, despite the science.”

Rutgers Chief Operating Officer Antonio Calcado, in announcing the university’s policies last week regarding both Covid and monkeypox, said that such policies were needed for maintaining the health and well-being of the Rutgers community.

“It is clear that the COVID-19 virus, in some form, is now a permanent part of our daily lives,” he said. “As the virus moves from pandemic to endemic, Rutgers continues to maintain its COVID-19 safety protocols on face coverings, vaccines and boosters, testing, and quarantining and isolation.”

But Sawyer, whose South Jersey district does not include a Rutgers campus, argued that students who remain unvaccinated would be unfairly excluded from educational opportunities.

“I want our taxpayer-supported postsecondary institutions to be open, accessible and encourage achievement for all students, no matter their medical history,” Sawyer added. “But that’s simply not possible when a school discriminates based on vaccination status and it’s proven that masking can hurt one’s ability to successfully and fully participate in school.”

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