Meggan Gray, a 14-year news anchor at WLOX-TV, delivered a heartfelt goodbye to her viewers during her final "Good Morning Mississippi" broadcast, and followed up her departure with a fiery missive proclaiming that her integrity is intact despite losing her job after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
In August, Gray Television, parent company of WLOX, announced that it would require all of its employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 1.
What are the details?
Gray said last week during the closing segment of "Good Morning Mississippi" on Thursday that she "did not know what the future holds" after losing her job, the Daily Mail reported.
"[I wanted] to take a moment and let you know that I honestly do not know what the future holds for me as far as my career here at WLOX," she began. "And I just felt that I owed it to you ... to take a moment while I had an opportunity to say 'thank you' for allowing me into your homes for the past several years. I've had a wonderful 18-year career here, and I'm very grateful for every moment of it. Thank you so much."
The day after her departure, she penned a Facebook post going further into detail about her decision to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine — a move that violated her station's vaccine mandate.
Her post began, "My father has always taught me: Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.' I've always lived by it, but in this particular instance, there are a lot of people watching. That's why I feel compelled to relay the truth and explain why you won't be seeing me anymore on WLOX. I am not vaccinated and therefore, I am no longer eligible for employment with Gray Television or any of their stations. Before I go any further, let me make it clear — I'm not here to spark debate over the vaccine. I respect an individual's decision to get vaccinated. I believe one of the greatest things about being an American is enjoying certain rights, including those pertaining to personal health decisions."
She added, "Before GrayTV mandated this vaccination policy, I made an informed and prayerful decision not to get the vaccine," and admitted that she'd previously contracted — and successfully beat — a coronavirus infection.
"[I]n my opinion, a forced decision to decide between a vaccination and the livelihood of an individual is a dangerous precedent," she added. "Unfortunately, because of my decision about vaccination, I faced termination."
Gray added that she "tried everything possible" in order to keep her job, "including offering to be tested on a weekly basis."
She said that the company refused, and instead, she was forced to make a decision: Get the shot, or lose the job.
She concluded, "I know in my heart it is the right decision for me and my family. I may have lost my job, but I preserved my integrity."
In a statement to the Washington Post, Gray Television's executive vice president and chief legal officer, Kevin P. Latek, said that more than 1,000 employees chose to be vaccinated against COVID-19 following the policy announcement and that those who lost their jobs due to vaccine mandate violations are "welcome" to reapply for positions within the company so long as they make the decision to get the shot.
"We are grateful for these individuals' contribution to our company and we wish them well," Latek said. "We have also informed them that they are welcome to re-apply for positions with Gray if they do decide in the future to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19."