IWF’s Kelsey Bolsar Reveals Pregnant Women’s Concerns with Employer Mandated Vaccines and Safety

IWF’s Kelsey Bolsar Reveals Pregnant Women’s Concerns with Employer Mandated Vaccines and Safety

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst and a contributing writer to The Federalist Kelsey Bolsar to the newsmakers line to discuss employer vaccine mandates, safety, and pregnancy.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line. Kelsey Bolsar, who writes for The Federalist and is a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. She has an article out called The Cost of Vaccine Mandates for Pregnant Women. Welcome, Kelsey.

Bolsar: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

Leahy: I understand that you are a graduate a Little Ivy College called Lafayette College in Easton Pennsylvania. I have been to Easton Pennsylvania a great place.

Bolsar: Absolutely. And it’s actually experiencing quite a boom right now, which is great for the surrounding area in addition to the college.

Leahy: Why is it experiencing a boom there, by the way?

Bolsar: Oh, it’s pandemic related. Individuals who used to live in New York City year-round now have more flexibility in their workplace and are looking to move to surrounding areas that might be a bit of drive but nothing crazy from New York and Easton Pennsylvania is one of them.

Leahy: Did you have fun attending Lafayette? Was it a good program?

Bolsar: Absolutely. Lafayette College is the smallest, Division one school. I was a Division one athlete for part of my college career and made a lot of close friends, had fun competing, and learned a lot.

But of course, it is one of these small liberal arts institutions that do very much lean to the left. So I’m grateful that I did come to my senses and stayed true to myself while I was there.

Leahy: I got to hear this. I did not know that it was a Division one school. For all sports is just for a few sports?

Bolsar: All sports.

Leahy: Wow. And what sport did you compete?

Bolsar: I played lacrosse.

Leahy: Oh! My girls play lacrosse. And I’ll tell you this, I never played lacrosse in my life. But when my daughter, who’s now in her early thirties, was in high school, she said, Dad, I want to play lacrosse.

We started a lacrosse team and I coached them. And by the way, if you’re a man and you played men’s sports, it’s probably not a good idea for your first time to coach a girls team, because it’s a whole different attitude, isn’t it?

Bolsar: It is. It’s a great sport, though very popular on the east coast, still picking up steam in other states across the country, but it’s very competitive on the east coast. And competing at one of the smallest division one schools in the country certainly presented its own challenges.

But college athletics is something I recommend to anybody whose interested because it teaches you life lessons you can use both of on and off the field.

Leahy: Absolutely. Well, you’ve written about one life lesson, I suppose the cost of vaccine mandates for pregnant women. Tell us what those costs are. And why are you writing about this?

Bolsar: Absolutely. I actually wrote about this because of a personal experience. I initially was hesitant to come out with my story. I am very blessed to be expecting our second child later this year.

And I was one of the many women facing a difficult decision about whether to get vaccinated as a high-risk individual who was expecting. Of course, being pregnant puts you in that high-risk boat for COVID-19.

Unlike before, I was hopeful that I was one of these young and healthy individuals that wouldn’t face a severe case. But now I had more side effects to worry about. But also, we have no data about vaccines on women from the first trimester who have actually successfully given birth because, of course, this vaccine didn’t become available until December earliest.

And so anybody who got the vaccine who was expecting during their first trimester likely has not completed their pregnancy full term and given birth, which is kind of scary regarding the number of unknowns in terms of what these vaccines could do to the development of the child.

I want to be clear that every study that has been released thus far looks really good for pregnant women getting the vaccine. Researchers have not raised any medical concerns about women getting it at any point in their pregnancy.

But, of course, with so many unknowns with a vaccine that is still in the experimental stage, this is a very personal decision for women to make who are expecting and other Americans who have high-risk conditions that put them in the boat where they might not know exactly what could happen both short and long term if they get this vaccine.

And so in light of this being a personal decision, I was looking at the national rhetoric surrounding vaccine mandates and vaccine passports and I found it very ugly and dismissive of the very legitimate concerns and serious ways Americans are thinking through the decision of whether to get vaccinated and when.

Many of us are nothing but grateful for this medical miracle, we are far from any of the sort of anti-vaxxers that you hear being shamed in the national media. Many of them on the left recited a few remarks made on The View.

And I kind of raised the question, the point of so many young, healthy Americans getting vaccinated right now is to protect the more vulnerable who do face more difficult decisions about whether to get vaccinated.

Why don’t our policies and our rhetoric reflect that? Vaccine mandates requiring them to go back to work, but women specifically in a very difficult position if they are expecting or if they are trying to get pregnant and have questions about the vaccine long term.

And it kind of forces them to reveal to their bosses very private fertility information that should remain private. No woman should be pressured or forced into revealing their fertility status before they are ready.

And many of these policies just push women up against the wall and set this dangerous precedent that we have no choice but to get vaccinated. And until we have irrefutable data in terms of vaccines and pregnancy, this does need to remain a choice.

And I can tell you, as someone who is expecting, it is a very difficult choice that women are thinking very seriously through regarding the pros and cons of getting vaccinated or not.

Leahy: So walk us through your own personal decision. You have one child. Are you currently expecting another child?

Bolsar: Yes. And I am only just out of my first trimester. And so for the past few weeks, while I’ve been watching the rhetoric and these policies be handed down, I was in that boat where there’s not just a little bit of data on successful outcomes in terms of women who are vaccinated later and their pregnancy and successfully given birth.

There is no data. And that’s a very difficult position to be in. And I can tell you I am getting mixed recommendations from doctors. Some of them tell me to get it at all cost, while others told me, don’t.

Most definitely hold off, at least until you’re in the first trimester and risk assess after that. So there is not a clear consensus in the medical community. And it’s important that that the lack of that consensus is better reflected on the national stage in terms of our policies.

I do believe that women who are expecting are in that group where if there are vaccine mandates, they would be able to get a medical exemption. But once again, this is forcing women to reveal their fertility status and very private information early on in their pregnancy before some are ready.

I do know there’s a number of individuals out there that are especially prominent in the Black community where women are concerned about the long-term implications of the vaccine on their fertility.

And this does not mean they’re anti-vaxxers. All this means is they want to wait a bit longer for more information to be given to them that reassures them that this vaccine will have no negative implications for their fertility.

Leahy: Kelsey Bolsar, that’s a very articulate explanation of the concerns that pregnant women have about whether or not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. We certainly wish you well with your pregnancy and look forward to more of your reporting. Kelsey, thanks so much for joining us today on The Tennessee Star Report.

Bolsar: Thank you.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Refugee and Direct Marketing Expert Craig Huey Weighs in on Davidson County’s Congressional Election Strategies

California Refugee and Direct Marketing Expert Craig Huey Weighs in on Davidson County’s Congressional Election Strategies

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed creator of the Huey Report and direct mail expert, Craig Huey, in-studio to discuss possible campaign tactics that Odessa Kelly may use in the fight for Davidson County’s congressional seat.

Leahy: Our guest in studio, our good friend Craig Huey. So let’s talk about this congressional election in Davidson County. There is a primary challenge. Odessa Kelly, I guess the Justice Democrats are trying to make her the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of Nashville. Jim Cooper, I want to look at Jim Cooper’s electoral history.

He’s a Harvard grad. He’s about in his mid-sixties. He’s represented this district in Congress since 2002. He won in 2002. He beat Robert Duvall, who has been the chairman of the Davidson County GOP, 63.33 percent. In 2004 he had 69 percent. In 2006 he had 69 percent, 65 percent in 2008. In 2010, his closest challenge ever in the general election. That was the Tea Party year.

Huey: That was.

Leahy: He got 57 percent to David Halls 32 percent. Okay, so that tells you something right there. In all of these cases, the Republican was far outspent. Now, what’s interesting if you look at Cooper’s vulnerability in the primary last time, Keeda Haynes challenged him and lost 57 percent to 40 percent in the primary. Now, Keeda was underfinanced compared to him.

And I think she had sort of an unusual background. I think she had several run-ins with the law as a younger person, became a public defender. I think that’s the case. We’ll double-check on that. So now she has not been selected by the Justice Democrats to run. So they picked Odessa Kelly. We think she is likely to get quite a lot of money from around the country. And we think she’s got a good chance of beating them in the primary.

Huey: I think she can because she knows how to organize and mobilize. And that’s the key. I’m hoping a really great candidate steps forward to run against Cooper or against Odessa Kelly whoever wins that race.

Huey: On the Republican side.

Leahy: On the Republican side. And you’ve got some suggestions for how they could win. Now, remember, I would think that an underfinanced Republican, the high watermark, lost 57-42 in the general.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: But you think it’s possible that either running against Jim Cooper or Odessa Kelly in the general of 2022, a Republican could win if a, they start now and b they start thinking in terms of digital marketing. Tell us what would work.

Huey: Sure. So, Michael, 2022 is going to be a great year because you have people upset and angry about what’s happening in Washington, and they want to change it. And just like with the Tea Party, I think this will be a Tea Party on steroids, the reaction. And the key to this is that the candidate running understands they have to raise the money. If they don’t have the money, they have to raise the money. They can’t run just because they have better ideas.

Leahy: What! Let me just stop for a moment. A lot of our friends think I’ve got the answer. A lot of our conservatives. A lot of our Tea Party friends.

Huey: I see it all the time.

Leahy: I’ve got the answers. I’ll just go out and say those answers, and people will realize just how correct my answers are.

Huey: It doesn’t work.

Leahy: It doesn’t work?

Huey: It does not work. You’ve got to communicate and you have to mobilize.

Leahy: Now I’m disappointed. (Chuckles)

Huey: Oh, I’m sorry, but it’s the reality. But here’s the good part, Michael. Even in a Democratic district that has that advanced registration and a built-in Democratic vote, a Republican challenger can come in there and upset that election in 2022. But they have to be able to raise the money.

Leahy: How much money are we talking?

Huey: I would try to raise about four million.

Leahy: Four million? Have you ever run for Congress?

Huey: I have.

Leahy: Back in 2012? Was it 2012?

Huey: 2011 in a special election. And I ran in a district, that was 22 percent higher percentage of Democrats. And I shocked everybody with no name recognition. I ran against the mayor of the largest city. I ran against the California Secretary of state. I ran against the most powerful county of Los Angeles, a City of Los Angeles City Councilperson. I beat these people in the primary, which shocked the nation.

Leahy: So you won the primary?

Huey: I won the primary. I shouldn’t have. I won the primary.

Leahy: Yes, you should of. (Huey chuckles) Because you use your marketing techniques.

Huey: Yes, I’ll tell you about that. So, Michael, what happened then was that Obama brought in his Organizing for America and used my campaign as his test campaign of using data and digital marketing to tie it to get out the vote. And so I saw what was happening and he was out-marketing me. And it was unbelievable what he had developed.

I needed to switch 2,000 votes, and I would have won that race. I was outspent eight to one. And I could have won it. But here’s what needs to be done and what my opponent in that race and what Odessa will be doing. They will be marketing by developing data. They will have petitions. They will have petitions to parents about schools. They will have petitions about better roads.

They will have petitions about some issue in Washington, D.C. identifying their voters. They will create digital ads where once somebody signs a petition or goes to our website, the ad will follow them around wherever they go, whether they’re on Facebook or Google. And so there will be a campaign to be able to market and build that database.

Leahy: Why are they building the database?

Huey: They’re building it so that they can then communicate with those people that they have on the database to get them to the poll. It’s get out the vote. They make sure that they have identified enough voters to overwhelm Cooper. And that’s what she’s going to do. And not only that, she’s going to use techniques like geo-fencing. She’s going to geo-fence every church. Anybody who goes to a church on Sunday, she collects the data to send them a video or a Facebook ad. That’s just one of the techniques. And are the Republicans going to do this?

Leahy: So let’s step back. First, you need a candidate. Second, he needs to raise he or she needs to raise four million dollars. Okay, then what do they need to do then? This is for the Republican to win the general election against either Jim Cooper or Odessa Kelly.

Huey: I recommend they don’t hire a Republican consultant. (Laughs)

Leahy: Now, first, you said something very important. I think that’s good. And why should they not hire Republican consultants?

Huey: Because they’re marketing as if it was 20 years ago.

Leahy: They’re doing TV ads.

Huey: They waste money on TV ads. They don’t understand how to get out the vote or even training. Michael, what Odessa will do is she’ll have somebody coming to the door saying, hey, I see on this petition, you believe in better education. Well, so does Odessa. Now, I want to make sure that you go to the poll on Tuesday. Can I drive you to the poll? Oh, I can’t drive you to the poll? Well, maybe what I can do is come back. I’ll come back after Tuesday. I’ll knock on your door, and I’ll say, how did it go at the poll? It increases turnout by 10 percent. These are the tactics that these people use and we have to use too.

Leahy: Well they are clever. And, by the way, Odessa Kelly, we’re just telling the world your campaign strategy here based on experience. You’re welcome to come in and tell us if we’ve got it wrong. (Huey chuckles)

Listen to the third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio