PPP Loans and Vaccine Mandates

Are scholarly non-profits that took PPP loans mandating vaccination for their staff?

PPP Loans and Vaccine Mandates

Businesses are beginning to roll out vaccine mandates for employees. Large employers like Walmart (the largest private employer in the US) and Disney are requiring certain employees — mostly white collar — to prove vaccination or subject themselves to masking and testing regimens. Technology firms like Apple, Twitter, Google, and Facebook are joining the trend.

An emerging side-narrative is that firms that took PPP loans early in the pandemic should be among the quickest to mandate vaccination for employees — after all, they took money to help themselves survive the pandemic, so they clearly recognized its gravity and should be motivated to do whatever they can to shut it down as quickly as possible. Using this logic, they bear an even greater obligation to society due to their reliance on our collective effort.

I embrace that logic, so wanted to see how scholarly organizations that took PPP loans — especially in the medical space — are doing when it comes to vaccine mandates for employees.

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Just over a year ago, I listed the scholarly organizations that had applied for and accepted PPP loans, with a particular focus on the non-profits, whose PPP loans seemed to carry an extra burden, as non-profits generally don’t pay taxes, yet tax payers will ultimately foot the bill.

The question now is whether some of the main non-profit recipients of PPP loans are enforcing vaccine mandates on their employees in order to snuff out the Covid-19 pandemic as expeditiously as possible.

I emailed 16 different non-profits from the list of those that had obtained them, with a special emphasis on health care and medical non-profits. Their responses are below.

Four organizations accepting PPP loans — marked with an asterisk (*) — are signatories to a statement issued on July 26th, in which they state:

As the health care community leads the way in requiring vaccines for our employees, we hope all other employers across the country will follow our lead and implement effective policies to encourage vaccination.

Only one of the four signatory organizations has responded so far. Here’s the list:

  • American Academy of Nursing* — No response
  • American Academy of Pediatrics* — All employees must be vaccinated to return to work in September.
  • American Association for Cancer Research — No response
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science — No response
  • American College of Cardiology — All employees who work on-site must be vaccinated.
  • American College of Chest Physicians — No response
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses — No response
  • American Institute of Astronautics & Aeronautics — No response
  • American Thoracic Society* — Automated response to inquiry. No substantive response by deadline.
  • Association of Research Libraries — No response
  • California Academy of Science — No response
  • Endocrine Society — No response
  • Genetics Society of America — Before this issue arose, all GSA employees had been vaccinated, with their statuses self-disclosed. Everyone was given paid time off (PTO) to get vaccinated, as well as PTO if they suffered any side effects.
  • Public Library of Science (PLOS) — For its US office, based in San Francisco, only vaccinated employees and contractors will be allowed to work in the office or meet for in-person work purposes. Employees who do not verify their vaccination status will be required to continue working remotely. For its UK office, based in Cambridge, no decision as to vaccination requirements has yet been made.
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine — Automated response promising a full response within one business day. No response in that timeframe.
  • Society of Hospital Medicine* — No response

Given this is the middle of the summer doldrums, I may receive updates from the organizations that haven’t responded yet. If so, I’ll add those responses to this post.

Let’s get this madness behind us.

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