A news host had a cryptic message for her audience while live on air, before announcing she would be leaving the news station she had worked at for 18 years after refusing to get a Covid vaccine.
Meggan Gray was the host of WLOX News’ Good Morning Mississippi. During a broadcast, Gray expressed uncertainty about her future and she then stepped down on September 30.
It followed the company introducing a Covid vaccine mandate for all employees.
"I did want to just take a little moment and let you know that I honestly do not know what the future holds for me as far as my career here at WLOX news," she said on air, according to Mississippi's The Sun Herald.
“And I just felt that I owed it to you to take a moment while I had an opportunity to say thank you for allowing me into your homes...
“I’ve had a wonderful 18-year career here and I’m very grateful for every moment of it.”
In a Facebook post explaining her departure, Ms Gray explained the parent company of WLOX had implemented a company policy, which meant all employees, managers guests, outside contractors and tenants must be vaccinated against Covid-19.
"I am not vaccinated, and therefore I am no longer eligible for employment with Gray Television or any of their stations," Ms Gray wrote.
Her employers rejected her offer to get tested weekly for Covid.
“I may have lost my job, but I preserved my integrity,” she wrote.
'Informed decision' after contracting Covid
Ms Gray said she did not want to spark debate over the vaccine, and that she respected someone's decision to be vaccinated against Covid-19, which has killed over 700,000 people in the US since the start of the pandemic.
"I believe one of the greatest things about being an American is enjoying certain rights, including those pertaining to personal health decisions," she continued.
"Before GrayTV mandated this vaccination policy, I made an informed and prayerful decision not to get the vaccine, mostly because I had already survived a case of COVID-19."
However, she said there were "more powerful reasons" which led to her decision to not get vaccinated.
"Unfortunately, because of my decision about vaccination, I faced termination," the former news reader said.
"The decision was difficult because I knew it would impact me and my family. My choices were either I follow the mandate and get vaccinated, or I lose my career at WLOX."
WLOX General Manager Rick Williams told the Sun Herald he could not comment on a personnel matter.
His email included a statement from Gray Television saying its vaccination policy is meant to ensure a safe work environment.
The statement said exceptions to the mandate were limited to “certain medical conditions and or religious objections that can be accommodated".
Gray Television also said employees could reapply for jobs if they later decide to get fully vaccinated.
With Associated Press
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