Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Democrats and their media spent the past week warning that the country would have to go back to pandemic lockdowns and that it was all the fault of Republicans for refusing to get vaccinated.
The Biden White House blamed “conservative outlets” on Facebook for spreading “misinformation” and demanded more censorship. #FOXNewsKills trended on Twitter.
The day after Biden’s CNN town hall, the largest healthcare union in the country took to the streets of Manhattan against vaccine mandates. SEIU union activists, a fixture at every Democrat rally and leftist events, protested outside New York-Presbyterian hospital which had ordered all of its employees to be vaccinated.
“We believe that our members are best equipped to make the healthcare decisions that are right for their bodies ,” SEIU 1199’s communications director Cara Noel argued.
There was not a MAGA hat in the crowd, but Al Sharpton addressed the crowd in rhyme.
A crowd of mostly black women in the familiar purple shirts waved signs and responded to a chant led by an activist in the “I Can’t Breathe” shirt equally familiar from so many BLM riots.
Signs familiar from anti-vaccination rallies, like “Read the Consent Form!! It’s Still in Clinical Trials” and “It’s an Experiment”, the latter held by a Puerto Rican maintenance worker who said he was ready to be fired, destroyed the narrative that Democrats had been selling nationwide.
SEIU 1199 is the largest branch of the radical left-wing union and represents health care workers in New York, New Jersey, D.C. Massachusetts, and Florida. Its bad faith argument is that vaccine mandates are racist.because of America’s “history of non-consensual medical testing and mistreatment of racial and ethnic minority groups.”
But in San Francisco, SEIU 1021 took on the city’s mandates in similar fashion with the Black Employees Alliance and Coalition Against Anti-Blackness opposing mandates.
Media disinformation has repeatedly portrayed opposition to vaccines as a Republican thing, but in New York City, 35% of Republicans said they wouldn’t get vaccinated, which was fewer than the 36% of black people and 39% of Latino people refusing the vaccine. The media has falsely claimed that vaccine rates are lower for minorities because they’ve been deprived of the opportunity while Republicans are malicious, but the polls, like the SEIU protest, expose the lie.
In a recent survey, 29% of Republicans and 23% of independents nationwide answered that they wouldn’t get vaccinated. A Kaiser/Washington Post survey of healthcare workers earlier this year found that 28% of black health care workers intended to refuse the vaccine.
But “Republicans have comparable vaccination rejection rates to black health care workers”, like the Sharpton/SEIU protest against vaccine mandates, would make for an awkward story.
That’s why you don’t tend to hear about it in the midst of the media’s propaganda about “health care heroes” being endangered by “selfish Republicans” who refuse to get the shot.
Only 57% of employees in New York City’s public health system are vaccinated. And numbers like these are not unusual across major urban public hospitals where refusal rates are high.
Very little of this has to do with the current pandemic.
New York and California’s powerful nursing unions spent years fighting flu vaccine mandates.
A decade ago, the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s most powerful public school union, joined the opposition to a flu vaccine mandate for health care workers. National Nurses United has fought against flu vaccine mandates across the west coast. Last September, NNU opposed a coronavirus vaccine because its leaders feared President Trump would benefit.
NNU President Jean Ross warned that President Trump was “placing an insufficiently tested product on the market will surely look like a dangerous experiment on the American people.”
The New York State Nurses Association had already warned that “the public has legitimate concerns regarding the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of any vaccine that has been developed and processed under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), and one that particularly has been developed at ‘warp speed’”. Aside from the cheap shot at President Trump, these are the same arguments that the media has falsely labeled as “right-wing”.
The idea that “health care heroes” and the unions that are the base for the political power of the Democrats and the Left talk like this would blow the mind of the average MSNBC viewer. But the Democrat leadership knows the truth which is why it’s avoided vaccine passports and mandates. Contrary to some expectations, the Biden administration has encouraged Big Tech and “private industry” to do what it likes while refusing to agree to any federal mandates.
That’s not because the Biden administration’s gang of leftist advocates have suddenly discovered a concern for civil rights, but because their own backers oppose the move.
The media has falsely accused Republicans of making vaccines a partisan issue, but that is a typical case of projection. It’s the media that manufactured this false dichotomy from the start.
People, whether it’s Trump voters in Tennessee or SEIU members in New York, have the right to make their own decisions about their health care. They also have the right to believe what they like without those beliefs being used as a pretext for government censorship of the internet.
The Biden administration is trying to pivot from the crises of crime and inflation that its party created back to the pandemic because that’s where its best poll numbers are. It’s a reboot of 2020 in which the party that shoved infected patients into nursing homes spent all its time blaming the pandemic on “selfish Republicans” who wouldn’t wear masks or stop surfing.
But there are signs that the public may be getting tired of the same old lies, and even if it isn’t, the collision course between municipal governments and municipal unions will shatter the lie.
The national media can ignore a few protests, but it won’t be able to ignore a strike by 40,000 employees or the battles between federations of government unions and major cities. The same union machine that opposed swine flu and flu vaccines is gearing into motion and someone will blink. Based on past history, Democrat elected officials will be the ones doing the blinking.
Medical decisions are personal, not collective. There is an obvious hypocrisy in the nurses unions who have been the biggest boosters for socialized medicine making that argument. The same unions that chanted, “We are dying! Protect us” while accusing the Trump administration of killing them who are now taking to the streets to protest vaccine mandates.
But people don’t lose their civil rights just because they’re hypocrites or act in bad faith. They also don’t lose them because they disagree with the government regardless of what Biden and Jen Psaki insist at their press conferences. And the leftists cheering the White House and Big Tech crackdown on conservatives might want to consider whether they might be next.
Mother Jones ran an article titled, “Online Nurses’ Groups Are Rife With Vaccine Disinformation.”
“We’ve lost months and lives in the fight against COVID to disinformation,” SEIU claimed early this year. But how long until its members are the ones being censored over disinformation?