‘Coercion is not consent’: Aussie sports star & registered nurse defends stance against ‘experimental’ Covid vaccine (VIDEO)
Australian rules football star Deni Varnhagen, who is also an ICU nurse, is refusing to back down in her opposition to Covid-19 vaccine mandates after taking part in a demonstration to rail against a 'medical experiment'.
Adelaide Crows player Varnhagen, 29, joined a host of other healthcare workers in the South Australian capital of Adelaide in a widespread demonstration against what some see as overly-strict application of measures designed to curb the spread of Covid-19.
And Varnhagen, who was wearing a T-shirt bearing the phrase 'freedom to choose', explained her controversial stance to reporters covering the protest by saying that the implementation of vaccine mandates removes an individual's right to make their own decisions and that coercion is not the same as consent.
"I love being a nurse and coercion is not consent so it’s pretty self-explanatory," she said.
"No one should be at threat of losing their jobs if they don’t enter a medical experiment.
“It’s [Covid-19 vaccine]) in its trial phase. It’s only been provisionally approved.”
Varnhagen added that she feared for herself and all other nurses who didn't want the vaccine and risked losing their jobs.
“We’re all terrified. We love working, we just want to be back working again, we shouldn't be at threat of losing our jobs,” she said.
"We work on the frontline, we see everything."
Varnhagen asserted that she was protesting in her capacity as a nurse rather than an Aussie rules football star, but added: “Once they finish attacking us [nurses], they're attacking police and they’re just going to keep attacking different fields of work, which is not right.
“Everyone should have the right to choose what enters their body…
"There’s a lot that’s in the news that isn’t speaking the truth," she added, before declining to comment further.
.@crowsaflw player and RN Deni Varnhagen is among protesters who have gathered in the CBD to rally against SA's health worker COVID vaccine mandate, forcing hundreds of unvaccinated hospital staff on leave. The @AFL has set a November 19 vaccine deadline for AFLW players. #7NEWSpic.twitter.com/xNJW9jL3xA— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) November 2, 2021
Australia has come under fire in some quarters for what many suggest is an over-application of anti-coronavirus measures. Public health chiefs had initially pursued an approach of 'Zero Covid', meaning that foreign arrivals were restricted along with an aggressive 'track & trace' policy.
However, a single case of the highly transmissible Delta variant produced a surge of new infections. In June, the country was reporting as few as 10 cases per day but those figures have since multiplied many times over.
The situation looks set to play havoc with the country's sporting calendar, with January's Australian Open a particular concern as several unvaccinated stars grapple with potential ineligibility.Also on rt.com No vax talk from Novak: Djokovic shuts down Covid vaccine questions as uncertainty lingers over Australian Open status
Varnhagen's concerns for her career come as a November 1 deadline for South Australia’s healthcare workers to be vaccinated passed, after which they run the risk of being stood down from their roles due to their anti-vaccine stance.
South Australia is currently reporting a vaccination rate of 70%, some 10% below the rates in New South Wales and Victoria.
Varnhagen, though, remains in the unvaccinated category and faces a further deadline in February after it was decided that all AFL and AFLW players must be vaccinated against Covid-19 or hey will be forbidden from playing or training with their teammates.
New guidelines released by AFL authorities has given clubs powers to pay unvaccinated players just 25% of their agreed salaries - or even remove them from the club entirely.Also on rt.com Tearful airport reunions as Australia reopens borders to the vaccinated for first time after almost 600 days of Covid restrictions
And despite the threats to her sporting and medical careers, Varnhagen is showing no sign of relenting to the demands of public health professionals.
"If you are a nurse that does not understand vaccines or the underlying science (and the science is clear on Covid vaccines safety and efficacy), then it’s clear nursing is NOT the right career choice," said one in response to Varnhagen's outspoken stance.
"I like people who can think for themselves thanks," responded another.
"AFL have issued a mandate, she has a choice. She has to understand that her choice will have a repercussion. It appears she has all but made her choice, if anything this has made it clearer for the Crows where she stands," said a third.