New Covid mask-free guidelines from the CDC have Americans ready to burn their face diapers in celebration – whoopee! No masks if you’ve got the vax! But not so fast. Before you fire up your mask, stop and think. This summer will retail stores, concert and other event venues, swimming pools, bars and restaurants and churches take your word for it if you sashay in maskless? Will a prospective employer want to see your VaxPass? Will your current employer fire you if you dodge the jab?
On this essential question of personal health autonomy, Mr. Biden engages in typically Pontius Pilate-esque hand-washing, assuring us that he’ll leave it up to private industry, not the federal government, to decide whether and how to ask the big vax question. Already Delta Airlines is requiring the shot for new employees and it’s likely other airlines will follow. We’ve seen how mask mandates blow up to out-of-control tyranny – so how long before the FAA mandates vaccines for all airline employees, and then all passengers, as they have demanded for months that everyone who flies clamp on the mask?
Biden has called requiring the vaccine for members of the military a “tough call,” but that’s just more fakespeak since the vax cannot yet be mandated because it was only approved under the FDA’s emergency-use authorization. That status is likely to change soon and then the Democrat lawmakers demanding a vax requirement for the troops may well get their way.
The mask fetish and the “two weeks to stop the spread” somehow becoming 14 months of off-and-on quarantine lockdowns have shown us how quickly the slippery slope can become an Olympic downhill bobsled run. Scores of colleges and universities have already warned that no unvaxxed students will be allowed to attend class in the Fall. And federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Education, have already permitted employers and school districts to require employees to get the Covid vaccine.
If the mask overreach morphs into a vax overreach, the unvaxxed could soon become second-class citizens unable to enjoy the benefits of a newly free society. They would be a new discriminated-against group banned from schools, restaurants, concerts, plays, planes, and the armed forces, and their job prospects could be severely limited. In a culture where “I need to see your papers” is used to bar the unvaxxed from full participation in life, they would be facing a sort of lifetime quarantine from fun.
How about our Constitutional protections for life and liberty? They didn’t seem to prevent the outrageous mask and lockdown tyranny of the last 14 months. And vaccine-rejectors are sadly not a protected class under the civil rights laws. Most states only recognize religious or medical exemptions to employer mandated vaccinations, though many are now considering laws prohibiting employers from requiring the shot. A few bills propose extending protections to private businesses, so they cannot deny entry or refuse to provide goods and services to those who reject the vax.
Recently, such a bill was killed in the Democrat-controlled Health and Insurance Committee in the legislature of my state, Colorado. The bill, “Prohibit Discrimination COVID-19 Vaccine Status” (HB21-1191) would have preserved an unvaccinated person’s right to get or keep a job, go to college, dine at a restaurant, and enjoy all the other rights and privileges of the unvaccinated. In nearly nine hours of testimony, a number of black community leaders came forward to speak in favor of the bill and explained their people are highly “vaccine hesitant” because of the government’s long history of medical atrocities against them. Indeed, black and Latino citizens are among those least likely to want to get vaccinated. Ironically, the mostly white doctors who urged the bill’s defeat accused its Republican authors of “usurping” the language of the civil rights movement. Many of these medical professionals represented the Vaccine Equity Task Force, which labors in the sacred cause of insisting that all minorities get vaccinated, evidently whether they want to or not. We must wonder – does that make them racists? Although the sponsors added an amendment that allowed health care facilities to require their employees to get the shot, in the end the bill was killed with the eight Democrats voting no and the five Republicans, yes. For Democrats, the famous “My body, my choice” affirmation of personal bodily autonomy only applies to abortions.
If the unvaxxed do become the new discriminated-against class, that class will be largely composed of the two groups of individuals who are the least likely to present their arms for injection: minorities and Republicans. White Republicans in particular are less likely to get the vaccine than any other demographic group, according to a nationwide poll of over 70,000 people from Nov. 9, 2020 to May 15, 2021. In the poll, 44% of Republicans say they won’t get vaxxed, compared to 43% who have already gotten it. By contrast, only 4% of Democrats say they will refuse the shot, and a huge 82% have had it. Among Independents, 25% say no shot, and 61% have already said yes.
Will there soon be a separate-but-equal subset of bars, restaurants, shops, schools, grocery stores and airlines catering to this huge new demographic class of the unvaxxed Republicans with a sprinkling of Independents? It’ll be fun to see what competitive free enterprise comes up with.
Joy Overbeck is a Colorado-based journalist and author who has written for Townhall, American Thinker, The Washington Times, The Federalist, the Daily Caller, and others.