Sometimes government should use its police power.
Thank you David. A most measured and thought provoking post. The medical case for vaccination is clear to me on a personal, family and community standpoint. Legal precedent exists to support vaccine mandates. It is a balancing act between government police power in a health emergency, and a person's right to choose what medication they are willing to introduce to their bodies, even for their own good health. From a practical standpoint, Congressional action would have been a better route than Executive Orders to pursue vaccine mandates. As David alluded, nothing important will be passed with our present deadlocked Congress. So here we are. My libertarian streak makes me uncomfortable with federal vaccine mandates. Local mandates are more palatable in my mind. It is difficult to large scale mandate vaccinations when a third of our citizens refuse to take them, even if it may save their lives. We will be living with this for a while I am afraid.
I'm not sure that the hospitals are overrun with Covid patients who are unvaccinated. I do believe that there are plenty of Covid infected patients in hospitals - exactly where they can infect the most vulnerable among us. I also believe that there would be fewer deaths from Covid complications if everyone vaccinated but there are no guarantees for any individual. My wife's brother-in-law (87, fully vaccinated, with heart problems) died yesterday from pneumonia. He tested positive for Covid and had been in the hospital for nearly two months before he tested positive. He was infected by some other fully vaccinated person while hospitalized.
How would we enforce a vaccination requirement in a constitutional republic? We once had restrictions on TB patients, leprosy patients and the mentally ill. Would we go door to door arresting the rebels and locking them up when we can't even keep the criminally insane off the streets? I wish everyone was smart enough to take care of themselves and their loved ones, but they aren't. Even some who are think that the vaccines are too risky. This pandemic is very divisive. Mandates will not solve the problem.