Anthony Fauci’s wife – who is also head of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center – authored a paper defending the ethics of corporations “pressuring employees to get vaccinated” and “embarrass[ing] vaccine resistors.”
The study – “The Ethics of Encouraging Employees to Get the COVID‑19 Vaccination” – was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center and the National Human Genome Research Institute and counted Christine Grady, Fauci’s wife, amongst its authors.
Grady’s paper focuses on the “ethics of encouragement strategies aimed at overcoming vaccine reluctance (which can be due to resistance, hesitance, misinformation, or inertia) to facilitate voluntary employee vaccination.”
Grady and her three co-authors outline how it is “ethically acceptable” to “subtly pressure employees to get vaccinated”:
While employment-based vaccine encouragement may raise privacy and autonomy concerns, and though some employers might hesitate to encourage employees to get vaccinated, our analysis suggests ethically acceptable ways to inform, encourage, strongly encourage, incentivize, and even subtly pressure employees to get vaccinated.
While discussing vaccine mandates, the paper posits they can “be ethically appropriate” if there is “clear articulation about the consequences of not complying with the policy.”
“In that circumstance, employees have a choice between getting vaccinated or accepting the consequences of a choice to remain unvaccinated,” it explains.
Grady outlines other tactics employers could use to boost COVID-19 vaccination rates within their company, such as sharing “targeted statistics (such as 75% of the company or unit have been vaccinated) to spur competition or even implicitly embarrass vaccine resistors.”
“There can be social consequences associated with peer communication about vaccination, such as stigma and ostracization of those not vaccinated,” the paper asserts.
“Individuals who choose to make the workplace less safe for others through their vaccine refusal should be able to foresee the possibility of this kind of social consequence,” it continues, appearing to endorse the aforementioned “stigma and ostracization” of individuals unvaccinated against COVID-19.
“When a policy is tied to group vaccination metrics, unvaccinated employees may feel implicit (or explicit) pressure from peers or supervisors to help the group meet its return-to-work goals,” Grady and her co-authors outlined before describing the approach as “ethically appropriate”:
“Despite worries about a perception of unfairness, we argue that the selective easing of public health restrictions is ethically appropriate when done transparently and tied to objective public health guidance.”
The unearthed paper comes amidst controversy over Fauci’s decision to fund research on “killer” bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Additionally, Grady’s prominent role in supervising the ethics of NIH research and policy appear to present a conflict of interest given her husband’s role in shaping America’s COVID-19 response and vaccination guidelines.