Myriad Republican lawmakers are standing idly by, letting their voters be threatened with not being able to support their families or access education due to their medical and political beliefs about the just response to COVID.
After a lull in the push to implement vaccine mandates and vaccine passports this spring — conveniently when the majority of state legislatures are in session and therefore could be more responsive to voter concerns — the issue is back with a vengeance.
Both private and public institutions are reinstituting counterproductive and ineffective COVID responses like masks due to another round of media-ginned fear about variants that are less dangerous than the original. Vaccine passports, mandates, and pressure are therefore surging again, with “learning” institutions that are really social conformity systems pushing experimental genetically based therapies, social restrictions, and face coverings, even on children who are at less risk from COVID and Delta than they are from the seasonal flu.
The COVID Threat Isn’t What People Are Being Told
As with the initial COVID outbreak, the mounting hysteria and pressure are far out of proportion to reality. Now, the vast majority of high-risk people have accepted experimental protections against COVID, death rates are low, we know of effective therapeutics for hard cases, and there is plenty of hospital capacity. Daily COVID deaths are now one-fourth the average daily deaths from heart disease and one-third the average daily deaths from cancer.
We have been promised “back to normal” for more than a year, and what we are instead getting is more of the same use of that promise to force us into harmful behaviors and social re-engineerings. Republicans are largely out to lunch on this, or worse, helping.
Half of Americans have by now taken the full course of COVID-19 therapy shots. For those who weren’t manipulated into this decision, that is their prerogative.
But it should also be the prerogative of the other half of Americans to decide that they prefer the risks of a case of COVID-19, which are low for the vast majority of the population, to the risks of trying novel treatments overseen by highly politicized health agencies that have proven they put politics before science. So even if federal agencies remove the “emergency use authorization,” as they’ve been hinting at for some time for naked political reasons, everyone with eyes to see is aware that process is so highly politicized that Americans can have no confidence the decision was made on reliable and objective data.
Governments, employers, and schools are using the United States’ long history of vaccine research and acceptance to push people into subjecting their highly personal health decisions to government and employers, as well as essentially forcing people to identify themselves as the kind of free-thinkers very powerful people are currently identifying as “dangerous.”
Pressuring People Into Medical Decisions Against Their Wills
Two of the three U.S. COVID shots are a new kind of genetically based therapeutic that does not have the long track record of experimentation and reliability of other forms of vaccines. The other shot, the Johnson and Johnson version, has significantly lower effectiveness. Scientists openly note that the COVID mRNA treatments “may be one of the fastest drug development processes in history” and that “While each approach has its pros and cons, mRNA-based vaccines possess unique facets not available in the other [traditional vaccine] approaches.”
Given the COVID death declines among the highly vaccinated at-risk population, these interventions are likely already saving lives, and thank God for that. But this technology is still very new, and it is not a technology Americans have previously been required to take to go to work or school. There are many reasons for allowing people to freely opt into medical novelties rather than coerce them, not least of which is that free and informed consent is a basic legal principle as well as a prudential moral one.
As the Catholic bishops of Colorado note, “Therapeutic proportionality is an assessment of whether the benefits of a medical intervention outweigh the undesirable side-effects and burdens in light of the integral good of the person, including spiritual, psychological, and bodily goods. The judgment of therapeutic proportionality must be made by the person who is the potential recipient of the intervention, not by public health authorities or by other individuals who might judge differently in their own situations” (h/t Leila Lawler).
As anyone who has read about the wonders of vaccine development knows, vaccines have had some problems. For example, some versions of early polio vaccines actually afflicted children with polio. Mistakes like this are how science proceeds, but that’s not a very comforting thought to anyone whose child got polio from a vaccine.
Nor is it of any comfort to anyone now considering whether to inject themselves or their children with novel treatments that were developed and are being pushed by the same class of authoritarians who viciously censor all information contrary to their political designs, have spent the last year lying about COVID and science, and treat citizens who question them like cattle to be prodded, branded, and corralled.
Using Pledges of Hysteria Allegiance to Purge Republican Voters
That brings us to the COVID protocols as purge. I live in Indiana, where both legislative houses and our governorship are controlled by Republicans — not that they’ve protected my family’s freedoms or quality of life in the last year. Throughout this state that voted 57 percent for Donald Trump in 2020, where people largely don’t believe the lying corporate narrative wildly overhyping COVID, children are still being forced to mask and cycle through rounds of Zoom school to access the public funds set aside for their education.
Businesses are pressuring workers to take the novel therapies regardless of whether the workers are at significant risk from a case of COVID. In-state universities are forcing faculty and students into novel COVID injections, with no response from the state legislature. Our state attorney general even issued an opinion supporting universities forcing low-risk young adults into these novel COVID prophylactics.
This spring, constituents pestered our legislature to protect us from this kind of medical coercion, and to ban public and private vaccine passports. State Republican leaders punted, then adjourned until next spring.
Now their voters are being threatened with loss of their livelihoods and the state-sponsored abuse of their children this fall if they don’t consent to unnecessary medical treatments or evidence-free “virus mitigation” procedures that dehumanize interactions, delay children’s development, and destroy the joy of living. People who rightly judge that their college-age children are at low risk for COVID and therefore don’t need experimental injections face the prospect of cutting their kids off from access to higher education as punishment for this reasonable risk assessment.
A friend who is a maintenance worker received a “mandatory” survey from his employer asking for his “vaccine status” — which is private health information protected by HIPPA. (Imagine if an employer sent around a survey asking people to list their BMI or whether they use contraception!) Merely receiving the survey is coercion — any decent man who loves his children is now put on notice that his ability to take care of them may hinge on his compliance with totalitarian demands. This man has voted Republican all his life and moved from a blue state to a red state specifically to protect his family.
What are Republicans doing to defend his ability to freely provide for his family? Jack nothing. Do everything the Biden administration says about COVID, or unemployment bread lines for you.
Workers whose employers are mandating a vaccine for continued employment have the power to say no. Our robust economy and job market gives them the option to find a new employer that values personal choice and responsibility, and doesn’t force mandates on their employees.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) July 31, 2021
Another Hoosier friend is facing the prospect of being outed to his far-left colleagues as a conservative — these taxpayer-paid colleagues think the conservative voters who provide their salaries are evil bigots — due to his state university employer’s planned COVID protocols for this fall. He can either lose students from families who don’t want their kids masked again, or he can jeopardize his employment and professional relationships by questioning the university’s extremist and anti-science COVID protocols.
Vote For Us So We Can Do Nothing For You
What are Republicans doing to keep their voters like these from being purged from the professions they’ve spent decades developing skills in and rely on to support their families? What are Republicans doing for the families whose children will be irrevocably damaged by yet another year of anti-science youth masking and Zoom classes? Nothing.
COVID pressure has been seamlessly grafted into the cancel culture edifice, and most Republicans are simply allowing their own voters to be purged from employment and education based on their evidence-informed convictions.
The last time this kind of situation came to a head, a man named Donald Trump ran an insurgent campaign that nearly broke the Republican Party. If Republicans can’t get their heads out of their rear ends after that kind of wake-up call and start protecting their voters from the obvious political weaponization of the permanent pandemic, they will finish their own party.