Was lab right to deny Candace Owens a COVID test?


Fact Box

  • Candace Owens is a conservative commentator, formerly a spokeswoman for Turning Point USA, hosted The Candace Owens Show on PragerU, and in March 2021, launched her all new talk show “Candace” on The Daily Wire.  
  • On September 2, 2021, Owens tweeted that she was refused a COVID test appointment from an Aspen, Colorado clinic for allegedly making “this pandemic worse by spreading misinformation, politicizing and DISCOURAGING the wearing of masks and actively dissuading people from receiving life-saving vaccinations.” 
  • Owens stated on July 7, 2021, that both her and her family made the decision to not vaccinate with a tweet expressing “medical freedom is an individual right that should NEVER be infringed upon.” She has also spoken of her distrust of Dr. Fauci and of vaccination as “media propaganda.”
  • As of Saturday, September 4, 2021, over half (52.9 percent) of the US population has been fully vaccinated, while 62.2 percent have at least one dose.

Ethan (Yes)

Candace Owens has spread misinformation about the COVID-19 health crisis during the entirety of the pandemic, and she has made the jobs of Americans fighting to save lives, like lab employees, extremely hard during the past 18 months. Owens doesn't believe in/trust the vaccine, hence her decision to remain unvaccinated, and she has said numerous times that the virus isn't as bad as the healthcare industry has said. It's wrong for anti-vaxxers and nay-sayers like Owens to make the lives of healthcare workers harder and then try to benefit from the hard work they have done to prevent/cure the virus that they've downplayed since the beginning. 

As with all privately-owned American businesses, Aspen Laboratories has every right to deny someone a service. As someone who has announced on Twitter her pride in being unvaccinated and supports the notion that vaccine requirements are against free will, Owens should understand that this lab has every right to deny her a test.

Candace Owens responded poorly to the lab owner's response, calling them names and bringing politics into a situation that isn't political. In response to Aspen Laboratories denying her a test, Owens insulted the lab and the owner, reflecting poorly on Owens and only drawing support for the owner's decision not to test her. Owens insinuated that Suzanna Lee, co-owner of Aspen laboratories, doesn't care about the Aspen community and claimed the owner is a 'rabid activist,' as if being an activist is negative. The real question is why Owens would want to get a test done by activists in defense of something she has done nothing to help prevent?

Stephanie (No)

It was incredibly unreasonable for Aspen Lab in Colorado to deny Candace Owens a COVID-19 test for disagreeing with her political views. The move was highly discriminatory towards Owens, as the lab stated outright that the reason for her denial was Owens' outspoken conservative opinions about coronavirus precautions, such as wearing masks and getting vaccinated. As Tucker Carlson pointed out, illegal immigrants and persons without insurance cannot be denied medical care, yet Owens was denied simply for having what some consider an unpopular opinion.

Owens responded, 'This is not about health anymore, this is about politics.' Indeed, it has nothing to do with agreeing with Owens or about who is 'right' about covid safety. Owens was entitled to that test, but the lab chose to make a publicity stunt out of it in an attempt to shame her. Yet by Owens seeking a test, she was doing exactly what the COVID police instructed her to do: get routinely tested if she is to continue attending events while being unvaccinated. Despite the lab claiming that Owens' public opinion has worsened the pandemic, denying her access to a test is potentially more harmful.

As Owens rightfully argued, the logic behind denying her a test is flawed: if the lab is so worried about spreading covid, why would they do such a thing? Also of extreme importance is that the lab had a medical responsibility to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and Owens was doing her part in that. While the lab may be blaming Owens for dangerously 'spreading misinformation,' it was its employees' actions that created a risky situation for the community in potentially spreading the virus further.

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