If you only pay attention to the government and establishment media COVID-19 panic machines, you might not know that the US is experiencing fewer than 1/3 as many new daily cases and hospitalizations as in January and fewer daily deaths than at any time since March of 2020.
No, I’m not saying things are great. They aren’t. But neither is the situation even close to as dire as is being sold. The “Panic! Everyone Panic! Please, dear God, won’t you all PANIC!?!” narrative we’re being fed doesn’t reflect the real numbers. The near-daily flip-flops coming from supposed public health “experts” at the Centers for Disease Control and other centers of “public health expertise” are a function of politics, not science.
And that politics is angling more and more toward a major escalation of government vaccine mandates which would legally restrict the ability of the un-vaccinated to work, travel, even shop for groceries or dine out.
The whole idea is both immoral and impractical.
Before you peg me as some kind “anti-vaxxer,” let me be clear: I’m vaccinated (in fact, I’m a clinical trial volunteer for one of the vaccines). Most of my close family members are vaccinated. Many (I hope most) of my friends are vaccinated. I’d like to see everyone get vaccinated. But not through force or threat of force.
There’s no moral difference between sticking a needle in someone without consent and sticking a penis in someone without consent. We have a word for the latter, I’m pretty sure.
Yes, those who support vaccine mandates have all kinds of excuses for wanting to hold people down and stick needles in them. Just like rapists who claim they were “entitled” to “marital relations,” or that the victim was asking for it by dressing a particular way, or actually needed it to “correct” her sexual orientation, or whatever. To bowdlerize an old saying into more family-friendly form, excuses are like armpits. Everybody’s got a couple and they all stink.
As for the practical case, there seems to be heavy overlap between the people calling for vaccine mandates and the people who think the January 6th Capitol riot was the worst thing that ever happened in American history.
There’s also heavy overlap between those who refuse to be vaccinated and those who supported (and in many cases continue to support) the January 6th rioters.
Does the former group really believe that announcing a mandate will cause the latter group to shrug its collective shoulders, say “well, fine, then,” and line up for shots?
The actual likely result would be multiple re-enactments of January 6th, across the country and for an extended period, without the desired result of 100% or near 100% vaccination.
Think it can’t happen? It’s already happening elsewhere. As I write this, I note accounts of clashes between protesters and police in France and Germany over the same issues. Italy, Greece, Australia … the list goes on.
Instead of currying panic and threatening force, American government and media should stick to facts and persuasion.
Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.