Fox News Media has just issued a memo to company employees requiring them to disclose their vaccination status to internal human resources personnel, as The Hill reports, in a move likely to prompt claims of vindication from former President Donald Trump, who has long decried what he sees as the network’s distinctly leftward shift.
The communication sent to employees included a series of updates to its COVID-19 protocols, revealing some key changes of which workers at the cable news outlet surely took immediate note.
Earlier this summer, the corporate office sent out a memo in which vaccinated staffers were encouraged to inform the network of their status, given that anyone who failed to do so would be automatically categorized as unvaccinated.
However, the latest iteration of the network’s protocols promulgated on Tuesday indicated that such disclosures were no longer optional and that employees – regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely – were required to submit their vaccination information to company’s online human resources portal by the end of the day.
According to AdWeek, the network explained that the purpose of the vaccine status disclosures is to aid the network in “space planning and contact tracing,” and there was nothing in the memo indicating that vaccines are being made mandatory in order for workers to report in-person to their assigned bureaus, something which stands in contrast to WarnerMedia-owned competitor, CNN.
The memo, signed by company CEO Suzanne Scott, also provided that some employees in the network’s New York offices would be subject to at least one COVID-19 test per week, whether or not they have been vaccinated and outlined additional requirements related to masking in certain kinds of facilities and situations.
It remains to be seen whether the move by Fox News corporate officials demanding vaccine information from employees is a precursor to making the shots a condition of continued employment, but if that does occur, it would likely draw the ire of the former president, who has not been shy in recent years about taking shots at the network when he sees fit.
Though vaccinated himself and having publicly urged others to receive the shots his administration worked so diligently to facilitate, Trump has also maintained in regard to those who are hesistant that “we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also,” as Politico noted earlier this year.
Assuming that Trump – like much of his voter base – believes that vaccination status ought to remain a private matter between individual citizens and their physicians, Scott’s new network edict will probably just serve to reinforce the former president’s prior assertion that Fox is “not what it used to be,” and conservatives need an “alternative.”