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Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.65 minutes to read.

“It’s time to acknowledge what few in the public health field are willing to say: The campaign to persuade all Americans to voluntarily accept coronavirus vaccinations has hit its limit… We have hit a wall with this voluntary approach. The only way out of our covid-19 morass is to mandate vaccines.

There are a number of lessons to glean from the failures of the vaccination strategy. Here are a few:

  • Public health experts have failed to reach half the country.
  • The Food and Drug Administration is going too slow on full approval.
  • Bringing back mask mandates won’t solve the problem.
  • Professional athletes and other “influencers” have been weak advocates.

The only way forward is to start embracing mandates… Businesses see this is the only way. Many companies and universities understand that the passive approach has failed and have mandated vaccines for all employees. And it’s legal…

Don’t want to call them “mandates”? That’s fine. Then do what MGM Resorts and the National Football League did and, instead of mandating, make the burden of being unvaccinated so high that people comply.

Why are so many people acting like this is some kind of affront to our liberties? It’s routine to get vaccines for all sorts of things. Immunization records are required to go to school, to summer camps and for international travel. We have a silver bullet that can end this crisis. Why are we afraid to pull the trigger?”

Joseph G. Allen, associate professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (Published in WaPo - $)

“[Those] who insist that mandates violate individual rights guaranteed to all Americans apparently do not know that the U.S. Constitution gives government officials and private employers considerable authority to protect the public against the spread of communicable diseases…

In the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court upheld the right of states to require compulsory vaccination of all persons over 21 against smallpox, because such action “had a real and substantial relation to the protection of public health and safety.” In his decision for the majority, Justice John Marshall Harlan asserted that “liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not impose an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint… there are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good”…

Neil Gorsuch, one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court, called Jacobson “a model decision” that “did not seek to depart from normal legal rules during a pandemic”…

Employers can mandate that some or all of their workers get vaccinated, as long as they comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and accommodate people with religious objections.”

Glenn C. Altschuler is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. (Published in The Hill)

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.62 minutes to read.

“The Covid-19 Delta variant and public vaccine resistance have reignited the debate over mandates, and it may get heated. It’s important to make distinctions between government and private mandates, and it would help if the Food and Drug Administration finally expedited full approval of the clearly successful mRNA vaccines…

Vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease, but the virus risk to the elderly and people with chronic conditions isn’t zero. In April the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an unvaccinated worker at a Kentucky nursing home caused an outbreak that infected 18 fully vaccinated residents. Two were hospitalized, and one died. The legitimate concern is that hospitals could get overwhelmed again this winter as the seasonal flu is likely to be more prevalent with lockdowns lifted and schools open. Governments and health-care providers have a strong interest in ensuring that frontline workers in particular are vaccinated.

Thus the call for vaccine mandates… Some of our friends on the right say workers should be free to make their own decisions, and in a free society that should be the default. No government should order the general public to take a vaccine except in cases of the most extreme health danger.

The matter is different for private employers, who should be able to set their own workplace rules… It’s an odd libertarian streak that dislikes government orders to individuals but then says private employers shouldn’t be free to choose.”

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“Mayor Bill de Blasio caved and came up with something that could prove seriously damaging to Gotham’s still-struggling small businesses: a mandate requiring proof of COVID vaccination to enter many of them…

Let’s be clear. The Post has always been in favor of vaccination being the only true way out of this crisis.

But we can’t help but think this will be more bad news for the overworked and understaffed hospitality industry, which is still reeling from ridiculous pandemic regulations. Businesses will now have to turn away customers if they enforce the mandate, and Blas is putting the onus on them to do so. Yet there’s no guarantee, of course, that some people won’t counterfeit vax cards to get around the restriction…

Meanwhile, he’s spent taxpayer money developing his Key to NYC Pass for residents even though the state’s Excelsior Pass does the same thing. Yet only New York residents can obtain proof of vaccination through it, so visitors will have to have their own records on hand.

De Blasio’s policy is only going to delay the city’s recovery. He should focus more on getting shots in people’s arms in a positive manner. More carrot, less stick, please.”

Editorial Board, New York Post