Ted Nugent, who once dismissed COVID-19, sickened by virus
FILE - Ted Nugent performs at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on Aug. 16, 2013. Nugent revealed he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.” "I thought I was dying," Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
So far, according to CNBC, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. And while many have done so for their own health or the greater public good, research shows that it wouldn’t hurt companies to sweeten the deal. A report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that while 88% of employers are unsure whether they will incentivize employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, 93% of workers would get the vaccine if they were offered perks to do so. Here are some companies that are paving the way by offering vaccine rewards to customers and employees.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/TNS
Krispy Kreme is giving away free doughnuts to anyone who shows their vaccination card.
Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS
Some companies are compensating their employees with cold hard cash for getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Kroger grocery chains are offering a $100 bonus to employees who get a vaccine or complete an education course if they cannot receive the vaccine for religious or health purposes. Target is also offering a $15 reimbursement to employees who use ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to get to vaccination appointments, while Instacart is paying shoppers $25 to get vaccinated. Grocery chain Lidl is providing $200 in extra pay to employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Grocery store chain Publix is offering gift cards worth $125 to employees who receive the vaccine.
As part of their “Pot for Shots” promotion, The Greenhouse of Walled Lake in Michigan is offering a free pre-rolled marijuana joint to patrons over the age of 21 who show proof of vaccination.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/TNS
Lyft is helping to coordinate free and discounted rides to eligible users who need to get to a vaccine appointment. Uber has also partnered with local health organizations to offer free rides. Local transportation providers are also getting in on vaccination freebies. Tallahassee-based bus service Star Metro will offer free rides to vaccination appointments.
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images/TNS
Companies including Starbucks, Dollar General, Amtrak and Darden Restaurants (the owners of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille) are offering between two and four hours of paid time off for employees to get vaccinated during the work day.
Matteo Colombo/DigitalVision/Getty Images/TNS
Washington-based Knead Hospitality + Design restaurant company is offering salaried workers an extra day of PTO for receiving the coronavirus vaccine, SHRM reports.
Andrii Dodonov/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images/TNS
Some companies aren’t offering any benefits because they feel the decision to get the vaccine is a personal one that shouldn’t be influenced by outside factors; they worry that encouraging vaccinations may open the door to liability; or they believe the political implications of the vaccine may upset certain workers, according to a recent Forbes article.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also cautions that a COVID-19 vaccine does not qualify as a “medical examination” under the Americans with Disabilities Act and screening questions related to the vaccine may “elicit information about a disability.” The EEOC states, “if the employer requires an employee to receive the vaccination, administered by the employer, the employer must show that these disability-related screening inquiries are ‘job-related and consistent with business necessity.’”
Rocker Ted Nugent is revealing he was in agony after testing positive for coronavirus — months after he said the virus was “not a real pandemic.”
“I thought I was dying,” Nugent says in a Facebook live video posted Monday. “I literally could hardly crawl out of bed the last few days,” adding: “So I was officially tested positive for COVID-19 today.”
In the video shot at his Michigan ranch, the “Cat Scratch Fever” singer repeatedly uses racist slurs to refer to COVID-19 and reiterates his previous stance that he wouldn’t be getting the vaccine because he claims wrongly that “nobody knows what’s in it.”
Nugent, a supporter of ex-President Donald Trump, previously called the pandemic a scam and has railed against public health restrictions. He has repeated a narrative pushed by conservative media and disputed by health experts that suggests the official death count from the coronavirus is inflated.
A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in late March found that 36% of Republicans said they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated, compared with 12% of Democrats. The seven-day national average of cases remains over 60,000 new infections per day.