Charlie Kirk Threatens Turning Point Employees Who Question COVID-19 Precautions
Charlie Kirk, of the nonprofit political organization Turning Point USA, which works to push right-wing ideology to high school and college students, was answering a question about COVID-19 testing and religious exemptions, when he dropped a piece of information that’s raising legal questions.
Kirk, apparently unconcerned about any possible legal issues, posted the video to his YouTube channel over the weekend. He’s taking questions, and one comes from a fan who seems to want to avoid all COVID-19 precautions. The question refers to an employer that requires vaccination against COVID-19, and an employee who has finagled a religious exemption, but also doesn’t want to submit to testing for the virus.
(The video below should start at about the 53:30 mark; if it doesn’t, skip to that point to see the relevant interaction.)
Kirk says that he doesn’t know how to get around this requirement, and suggests that anyone wanting to avoid testing should seek an employer who is “rational and reasonable.”
This leads to a discussion of the COVID-19 policy at Turning Point, and Kirk says that a reporter asked him about those recently. He says he informed the reporter that if he’d asked that as an employee, he’d have been fired.
Somebody asked me the other day, he said “Charlie, are you going to require the vaccine at Turning Point USA?” It’s like. it’s like a reporter. I said, “Look, you don’t work for me, but if you did you’d be fired for asking such a ridiculous question.”
Following up, Salon reported that this is a violation not only of labor laws, but OSHA rules on workplace violence. They also reached out to Turnng Point USA, which simultaneously tried to write off the comment as a “joke,” and defend it by saying an employee asking about COVID-19 precautions wouldn’t be a good “cultural fit” for the organization.