Tensions boiled over within the opening minutes of The Project on Tuesday night as two hosts clashed over mandatory vaccinations.
A seemingly private disagreement between Kate Langbroek and Hamish Macdonald was put on display over live television following a news segment about mandatory Covid jabs for employees in some workplaces.
Off-air dispute goes live
Langbroek quickly revealed the pair hadn’t seen eye-to-eye over the issue during an earlier off-air briefing.
“You weren’t calling me a gentleman at that point,” Macdonald quipped.
“Nearly everyone was (pro) mandatory vaccine, but I‘m not mandatory vaccine for work,” Langbroek explained.
In a startling admission, she said: “I’m not anti-vax, but I’m very uncomfortable prescribing mandatorily to people what they have to put in their bodies to work or participate in – I‘m just not.”
She suggested her aversion to the idea could have something to do with her upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness.
“They had the concept of disfellowshipping, which I find so repugnant. I hate the thought that people will be disfellowshipped from their lives because they have hesitation or doubts about the vaccination,” she said.
Macdonald hit back, warning her hesitation could impact others.
“So as an employer, you’re responsible not just to Kate, who might be cautious, you’re responsible to all your employees, right? If you let Kate continue to come into work, you can transmit it to us and then we can transmit it to our families. If you want to visit…”
— The Project (@theprojecttv) September 14, 2021
“That’s when your vaccine has to do its work, mate!” Langbroek interrupted. “And my vaccine.”
“But the vaccine doesn't prevent you from contracting the virus or transmitting it, it just reduces the likelihood that you will end up in hospital or that you will die,” Macdonald continued, describing a safe work environment as a “fundamental principle”.
“The reality is, if someone comes to our workplace, gives it to me, I can take it to a residential aged care facility, where my father might be, and then spread it through there. I don't want to do that,” he said.
“People bringing Covid into the workplace is not safe.”
Langbroek agreed, but pressed: “If you had the right to go into your workplace and feel protected, does someone else also not have the right to decide what they put in their body?”
The fiery discussion finished with Langbroek pointing out she’s had one shot and one of her children was vaccinated earlier that day.
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