CNN terminated three workers after learning that they were coming into the office unvaccinated.
"In the past week, we have been made aware of three employees who were coming to the office unvaccinated. All three have been terminated. Let me be clear — we have a zero-tolerance policy on this," CNN President Jeff Zucker noted in a memo to staff, the full text of which has been posted by Deadline. "You need to be vaccinated to come to the office. And you need to be vaccinated to work in the field, with other employees, regardless of whether you enter an office or not. Period."
Zucker said in the memo, ""Thus far, we have left proof of vaccination to an honor system. While we have asked for attestation to your status via Passcard, it has not been mandatory to produce a vaccine card. We expect that in the weeks ahead, showing proof of vaccination may become a formal part of the WarnerMedia Passcard process," he noted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60.8% of the U.S. population ages 18 and older has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 70.4% has received at least one dose. Two of the three vaccines currently being used in the U.S. require two shots, while the other vaccine just involves getting a single shot.
CNN's termination of the unvaccinated employees comes as some Americans, including some lawmakers, have been vocal opponents of vaccine mandates.
"Mandate masks? Mandate vaccines? Enough of it! Let's mandate FREEDOM!" GOP Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia tweeted on Tuesday.
Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Republican who is running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives, tweeted on Wednesday that he is "receiving hundreds of calls & emails from folks who are about to be fired because of vaccine mandates."
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 35 million COVID-19 cases so far in the U.S. and more than 615,000 deaths.