Well, he didn’t call it that, but Republican Senator Thom “Taking the As out of Thomas” Tillis proposed this interesting infection control policy (boldface mine):
In a week packed with news over concerns for public health, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) described his own history of opposing certain health and hygiene regulations, including those that require employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom….
“I was having a discussion with someone, and we were at a Starbucks in my district, and we were talking about certain regulations where I felt like ‘maybe you should allow businesses to opt out,'” the senator said.
Tillis said his interlocutor was in disbelief, and asked whether he thought businesses should be allowed to “opt out” of requiring employees to wash their hands after using the restroom.
The senator said he’d be fine with it, so long as businesses made this clear in “advertising” and “employment literature.”
“I said: ‘I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says “We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom,” Tillis said.
“The market will take care of that,” he added, to laughter from the audience.
It’s worth noting that norovirus–which is primarily spread by food workers–annually kills hundreds of people in the U.S., causes tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and over 400,000 emergency room visits. It’s not trivial.
Considering that one of five food workers has admitted to vomiting or having diarrhea while on the job at least once in the previous year (and one out of eight said this had happened two or more times in the previous year)–and this in direct violation of existing regulations–the idea that ‘transparency’ will work here is ludicrous. Truth-in-advertising only works when people are telling the truth. They’re not. Removing what few regulations we have will only make things worse.
Between playing footsie with anti-vaxxers and this, Republicans are going to get people killed.