A guide at a hiking camp in Alaska. A waitress at a restaurant in Houston, Texas. A student at a college in Atlanta, Georgia.
What do these have in common, besides being featured in recent news reports? Two things, both of which should worry anyone skeptical of injecting a novel vaccine with little-to-no long-term testing of its possibly serious negative side effects.
For one, all of these people might be required to submit to the novel vaccinations, although a lot of companies and schools are doing that these days. On Monday, for example, the Democrat attorney general of Virginia gave private schools the all-clear to demand their mostly teenaged students — a group toward which COVID-19 is virtually non-threatening — get the vaccines, despite nearly zero understanding of its effects on, say, future fertility. They’ll join over 30 colleges and universities nationwide, including a number of allegedly Catholic schools, that have made the same demand of current and incoming students.
The second thing these employees have in common — and one worth fighting over — is all are in states where Republican governors have promised the government will not be issuing any kind of state vaccine passports or requiring vaccination for access to government services. Many of these state executives don’t believe that vaccine passports coming to their states through private business are a threat to liberty, and believe they have neither the authority to restrict businesses and institutions from enforcing mandates, nor the moral duty to protect students, machinists, camp guides, waiters, and the rest of us from private business mandates. A “let the market figure it out” sort of thing.
And sure, people have a choice. Don’t feel comfortable injecting the brand-new vaccine? That’s “no problem at all,” the HR director for the Louisville recycling plant, Lastique, explained to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s just you can’t work at Lastique.'”
Thus far, only Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte have banned private businesses and institutions not covered by HIPAA from mandating vaccinations, though Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in an apparent compromise with the states’ influential corporate interests, at least banned private operations that accept government money from mandates. The parsing of language succeeded in halting St. Edward’s University in Austin’s mandate, but fails to protect the majority of the state’s citizens.
And they need it. A lot of people have been hit hard since March 2020. Restaurants, concert venues, stadiums, offices, museums, hotels — we’re all eager to get back to business, to get back to normal. While most of the wealthy have been just fine, the past year has been tight or even outright ruinous for a lot of others — from the bottom rung up through the classes of small- and medium-sized business owners.
While it’s all fine and good to opine that people ought to get a different job or patronize a different business if theirs mandates the vaccine, time, money, transportation, responsibilities at home, and diversity of options all play massive factors in just how mobile — or immobile — many Americans are.
While some folks, like National Review’s Kevin Williamson, believe people should just pick up and move from struggling towns, for a lot of Americans losing a factory job can be devastating. Even for those with significantly more economic mobility, like a young mother who works at a D.C. lobbying firm and does not want to risk her future fertility, the lost opportunities and income her company is threatening by cutting off non-vaccinated work travel create serious economic pressures.
Post-Trump Republicans across the board profess to know and care about this — but for most, these spoken platitudes have failed to translate into policy when faced with the combination of lockdown fatigue and pressure from big business.
Beyond those with few choices, a lot of other people simply haven’t considered the risks possibly associated with any serious injection that has not been tested over the long-term. It’s hard to blame them. The corporate media outlets that dominate the American landscape don’t tell their viewers and readers about the possible risks, and instead harp incessantly on the boogieman of catching a disease that hospitalizes between 1 and 5 percent of those affected, is deadly to far, far fewer, and poses an extremely low risk to children.
How many Americans hold wildly exaggerated views on hospitalization and death, thanks to irresponsible fear-mongering by our media and political classes? According to recent polling, a majority of Democrats and a large number of Republicans.
In the meantime, economic bullying from private businesses threatens to create a second class of citizens who are hit hard by their continued refusal to submit.
The unending COVID regime isn’t a nightmare scenario of the future, it’s an existential threat to our liberties, a possible and unexamined risk to our health, and here among us right now. Far from immune, red states are as vulnerable as the rest of the country. It’s time for our governors to stand up and stop it — before it’s too late.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Kentucky’s governor as Republican.