WAFLA Op Ed Pt 1

WAFLA Op Ed Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Last month, WAFLA executive director, Dan Fazio wrote an Op Ed piece that ran in the Seattle Times stating that roughly 95% of foreign farmworkers were vaccinated this year and that no one had died from COVID.

Well, that upset Governor Jay Inslee’s office which then chastised Medical Teams International for releasing any data.

Fazio says he was just trying to celebrate their successes …

FAZIO … “There’s a line in the editorial which says, hey we licked COVID and, by the way, the subtext is everyone should get vaccinated, especially if you have people that are staying in congregate housing. And so, it was basically supporting the Governor’s initiatives around vaccination.”

Fazio also heard from the Governor’s office …

FAZIO … “So, we got the negative letter from the Governor’s office and we said, what’s going on? We have a contract with Medical Teams International where they are not permitted to provide data. They have to give the data to us at the Department of Health and then we can decide what to do with it. And I said, you know, that’s the one thing about this whole situation that is very concerning to me, that the government gets the data and decides whether or not they want to release it.”

Bottom line, Fazio says …

FAZIO … “And then, we get to the thing where they apparently don’t like the fact that the H-2A program is beneficial to workers. And, it’s a well-regulated program where we can help the workers, and so, because they don’t like that, they’re not going to let that data out.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … on the Op Ed on ag labor that Governor Inslee didn’t like.

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