Today Joe Biden is rolling out a series of measures designed to force covid vaccinations on those Americans who remain reluctant to get them. Federal employees, government contractors and health care workers will have to be vaccinated:
The president is expected to roll out a new requirement for federal employees to get a Covid vaccine, with no option for regular testing, according to senior administration officials.
The executive order will extend to contractors that work with the U.S. government, impacting a total of 2.1 million employees, according to NBC News.
But that’s not all! Biden wants to force employers to require their employees to be vaccinated:
Biden is also expected to ask the U.S. Department of Labor to issue a rule that employers with more than 100 employees must require vaccines or testing, according to officials.
I cannot imagine what the constitutional basis for such an order would be. But then, I am old-fashioned. I assume that we still have a Constitution.
In part, Biden likely is trying to distract attention from Afghanistan and the border. (Notably absent from the list of those who will be forced to be vaccinated are the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens streaming across the southern border. And how about those tens of thousands of Afghan refugees? Are they getting a double shot of the vaccine before being settled in various places around the U.S.?) Will that work as a political strategy? To some degree, it may. Americans seem appallingly willing to sign away their rights–and worse, other people’s rights–for the sake of “public health.” Anti-covid measures that I think are ridiculous, and in many cases more damaging than the disease, have often proved popular.
What is still not clear to me is why I, having been vaccinated long ago, should care whether others choose to do the same. If the vaccine works, I have nothing to fear from them. If it doesn’t work, they shouldn’t be forced to submit to it.
Increasingly, it appears that the rationale for vaccination is that you still may catch covid, but your infection won’t be as severe as it might otherwise be. Fine: but for people under 60, covid infections are rarely severe in the first place. Young people who think they have little to fear from covid whether they are vaccinated or not are, in general, right. So the government should not try to dictate their health care decisions. Their bodies, their choice.
UPDATE: The lawsuits will begin to fly as soon as the starting gun goes off. Not surprisingly, South Dakota enlists in the cause of freedom:
South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) September 9, 2021
On our family chat line, some of my daughters discussed the employer vaccine mandate. Daughter 1:
Does it apply if you only have remote workers??? So many questions.
Does it apply to religious organizations like the Christian scientists who don’t believe in medicine?
Does it apply if you live in a free country????