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Republican governors gear up for vaccine mandate fight


President Joe Biden speaks at Brookland Middle School in Washington Friday. Associated Press/Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta

Republican governors gear up for vaccine mandate fight

South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster said he would fight the Biden administration “to the gates of hell” over its COVID-19 vaccination rules that could affect roughly 100 million Americans. The Republican National Committee announced it will sue the federal government, and the governors of Georgia, South Dakota, and Texas have also threatened legal action. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson supports vaccination but said the government has no right to force businesses to require them. Some unions have also expressed anger over President Joe Biden’s sweeping plan.

Has Biden responded? “If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way,” he said on Thursday. At a middle school visit on Friday, Biden called GOP governors “cavalier” about protecting community and children’s health. The administration also doubled fines for airline passengers who do not follow COVID-19 masking rules and instructed entertainment venues to require vaccination for events. Federal workers and contractors can receive religious exemptions from the vaccine mandate. Otherwise, they are expected to comply: The administration is not allowing weekly testing as an alternative.

Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties about religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine.


Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.

@CarolinaLumetta

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My Two Cents

One might think a vaccine mandate can be used as a diversionary tactic so people stop remembering the debacle of the Afghanistan pull out. One might also think that a rallying cry, “ my body my choice,” “get your hands off my body,” and, “if you don’t like xxxx don’t get one” would apply equally to all situations involving bodily integrity. Any guesses on who or what is operating Biden’s puppet strings?

not silent

Thanks to all who responded to me. I am not trying to speak for others; but I personally do not like being told what to do, particularly when the demand is delivered in a way that seems patronizing, belittling, or offensive. My response to demands that are delivered that way has sometimes kept me from actually looking at the demand itself and evaluating whether it is reasonable (i.e., I tend to want to justify my sense of outrage, my belief that I should know everything, etc).

I get that there may be many reasons why people resist mandates. I am not trying to judge people for their feelings or concerns. My concern is that there is a lot of misinformation about COVID, the vaccines, etc. that may sound reasonable on the surface but is misleading at best and absolutely false at worst. I am seeing a strong tendency by some to judge info as true if the source appears to be "on our team" and as false if the source is "part of the enemy" instead of looking at the data objectively. It is much too easy in our current times to brand someone as "the enemy" even if they AREN'T. In other words, Christians have our own "cancel culture"; and it's just as unfair as secular cancel culture.

The other thing I wanted to express is that just because guidelines keep changing does not mean we are being "lied to." This is NORMAL with science and medicine. We must carefully evaluate everything we hear and seek God's will and his wisdom about how to respond.

I get the sense that a lot of people have very strong feelings about these issues and that many feel they are not being heard. I get the frustration about that, I truly do. But just because someone or some group seems to hear you or echoes some of your concerns does not mean they are "on your side" or that they are working for your good.

I guess the bottom line is that I would encourage myself and others to continue to seek God and his will with all our hearts and continue to plead with him for wisdom in these challenging times.

not silentnot silent

One additional comment: It is human nature to want to justify our feelings and attitudes and to blame any negative or rebellious ones on someone else, but we cannot control the way others act towards us-i.e., we can't help the fact that they may be authoritarian, unreasonable, etc. God will not hold us responsible for the actions and words of others, but he WILL hold us accountable for OUR words and actions.

My Two Centsnot silent

How many people got polio or small pox after getting vaccinated against it? With this shot, we don’t have the benefit of hindsight to know five or ten or twenty years from now what possible lasting impact the vaccine will have on people. There are way too many breakthrough cases for me to get too excited about the vaccine. When they approved it for emergency use, I thought that was a good thing. I thought people working front lines in health care, people who deal with the public, military (who have been guinea pigs for many years) would be the ones to get the shots. You know, emergency use? Not too many weeks after that, they shot up old people, and all adults. Then kids. It wsn’t just available, it was deemed a moral imperative. Show the love of Christ for your family, friends and neighbors by getting vaccinated. What other vaccine has been administered for the good of others? Shots are given to ME so I don’t get the disease, not so that you don’t get the disease. I wear a seat belt to protect ME from serious injury, not you. In my county, 16% of all positive covid cases are fully vaccinated. Of the 85 people who have died of covid since July, 15 of them were fully vaccinated. It might be science, but they are being opaque, if not deceptive. Fauci emphatically stated initially the vax was safe and 96% effective from GETTING INFECTED. Now, they deny ever saying that. They say that if you get infected, your symptoms will be less and you won’t be hospitalized and you won’t die. Yes, Fauci promised I would live forever if I got vaccinated. (Ok, live forever isn’t the same as not dying, but he did say that at one time.) Look at how the NIH discussed the wearing of the mask. If you are vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask…..oh, wait! Never mind! We have a new study that you should wear a mask, social distance, and avoid large crowds of unvaccinated people. Nobody knows what they are supposed to do, even if they want to comply. So when a mandate comes down like a gavel, why should we jump on board? They may change their mind the week after it is implemented. One final point, this vaccine has been applied as a one size fits all cure for the pandemic. No other vaccination is administered without an order from a doctor, except the flu shot. A young woman died last week in my town. Perfectly healthy, and she died suddenly of blood clots in her heart and lungs. Tragic, under any circumstance, but it was two weeks after getting the covid shot. I don’t have the official word, but I bet cause of death will not list the vaccine. Any cause of death with covid is listed as a covid related death. Any death following a vaccine is not listed as a vaccine related death. That is the true tragedy. That is why I am completely opposed to the government ruling like a dictator.

not silentMy Two Cents

For My Two Cents, your comment seems to express a lot of frustration and confusion; and, for what it's worth, I think anyone who is paying attention must feel some amount of frustration and confusion. I will do my best to answer what I can.

You asked: "How many people got polio or smallpox after getting vaccinated against it?" I don't know the answer. What I do know is that a lot of people got both illnesses and suffered BEFORE the vaccines were available, and a lot FEWER got them afterwards.

You also expressed frustration about confusing and conflicting advice. I can't blame you for feeling frustrated, to be honest; but confusion and messiness has always been part of the scientific method. The difference is that previously we did not see it happening in real time because scientists and doctors, etc were the gatekeepers, as it were. Now we are seeing it all-in its messiness and confusion. The advantage to this is that we have access to info that is up to date, but there are also disadvantages. For one thing, not everyone who accesses the raw data has the ability to interpret it; for another, there are some who deliberately manipulate and mischaracterize the data for their own agendas.

You are entitled to your opinion about the government, of course. I question a lot of things that are happening right now, but I don't personally feel that vaccine mandates are "dictatorial" because I had to have vaccinations to go to school as a child in the 1960's. my child had to have vaccines to go to school in the 1990's, and even my DOG has to have vaccines to be boarded.

I honestly found it a little confusing that you seemed to acknowledge that the vaccines were "for your good," but you still feel the government is dictatorial for imposing them. What you may not realize is that vaccines are NOT just for your good-they actually DO help others. While there are some breakthrough cases (no treatment or prevention is perfect this side of heaven), vaccines help speed up the natural course of immunity and allow more people to achieve some level of immunity without having to risk serious illness or exposing others to serious illness. They also help limit mutations which could make an illness more contagious or more serious. For people like me, who have immune disorders which keep us from responding well to vaccines, it helps for OTHERS to get vaccinated because they are less likely to be sick and/or contagious.

Hopefully, we can agree to seek the Lord and his wisdom in these times-because they ARE confusing and frustrating.

HHOO6560

Not silent, I am also happy to get my covid vaccine. However the mandates are troubling to me. I feel it puts businesses in an odd spot. It they want to mandate it, that's their option, but not all businesses will want to. They should feel free to make their own mandates. Many places are already short staffed, this mandate could increase that.
I also feel like it makes people who are resistant to it,more resistant to it! It IS a new vaccine, I can totally understand people being wary. But I feel like the mandate increases resistance and increases the extreme fringe conspiracy theories. Plus, I think it's a huge overreach of government. I know people who are considering getting it, but the constant push is a big turn off for them. Kind of reminds me of certain aspects of parenting teenagers/young adults, the more I push an issue, themore likely they go against it!

FIMIKIHHOO6560

Agreed. What just happened is a bit like an angry and impatient father shoving medicine down the throat of a reluctant child. Even if he had every right to do that (questionable, given our government structure), and even if it will cure the child's illness (highly probable, though not without some risks), how do you think that child is going to react to the father's rulemaking and exhortations in the future?

What is killing us and what is probably a greater danger in the long run is the absolute breakdown over the last decade of American's trust in the county's institutions and authorities. Why aren't people getting vaccinated and saving themselves and others from the ravages of a virus? Because they no longer believe that the authorities encouraging them to do so are for their good, but are on a simple power trip. They no longer heed the words of friends calling them to take action, because others with the same charts and arguments mock their fears and belittle their concerns. Who can blame them? This mandate and the way it was delivered (those stubborn, selfish unvaccinated rubes gotta comply or else!) only confirms and deepens the fear and suspicion. My concern is that whatever good is done in terms of lives saved via coercion will be outweighed by the increase in bitter polarization that weakens our democratic institutions and makes us more vulnerable to the next crisis.

Mark EP

Hello @not silent. (The "reply" button doesn't seem to work, so commenting anew.) Speaking for myself, I have no issues with vaccines. I get the annual flu shot and opted for the anti-shingles vaccine when I hit 50. For many, the problem is that people had to fiddle with the dictionaries to call these novel pharmaceuticals "vaccines," and we aren't convinced these gene therapies are safe, effective, and necessary for everyone, certainly not without more years of testing. The anti-covid medications don't merit inclusion in the halo earned by traditional vaccines.

FIMIKIMark EP

I can somewhat understand your concern regarding the adenovirus based viral vector treatments like J&J and AstraZenca, but the mRNA vaccines are incredibly clean and efficient at getting the job done. Nothing touches the nucleus where DNA is stored - just the necessary bits of info to get the cell's protein factory to pop out those spikes, with no risk of infection or accidental replication. They've been in use for several years before the pandemic, though obviously not at this scale.

That said, I do hope that Novavax can get their production issues sorted out so that the FDA can approve their vaccine. Hopefully more folks will be comfortable with their approach over the existing options.

Mark EP

The ends still don't justify the means; this is a grotesque abuse of power by the Biden administration. If these sorts of invasive, byzantine legal workarounds get a foothold in the US, expect an ever-expanding list of demands in order to be allowed to have a job in this country.

not silent

I guess my feelings and experiences regarding the vaccine are rather different from those of others. When the vaccines came out in March, I rejoiced and praised God. I grew up in the 1960's and knew people who were disabled because of polio, and I knew that I would not have to share a similar fate because of vaccines. I was also spared having to deal with smallpox or diphtheria because of vaccines. Because I knew all that, it did not seem odd to me that public health officials were promoting vaccines to stop the COVID pandemic!

I got the first shot I could access and thanked God for it! Meanwhile, I also observed other recommendations re masking and social distancing because I was previously in healthcare and I know that data and recommendations often change as new data becomes available.

I have been shocked and distressed by the way common and well-known public health measures have been used as political weapons and by how much misinformation there has been from various "sides" (for lack of a better term). I can only seek God and plead with him to help me know how to live and how to conduct myself in these challenging times.

HHOO6560not silent

Hi! I really enjoyed todays podcast with an economist. He basically gave what I thought was a great response to the mandates. Hope your day goes well!!!

Nanamiro

"I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.” Can you imagine the response if Trump had said something like that about multiple Governors?
I predicted we would come to this point. The federal government is essentially holding Americans down and shoving needles in their arms. In March 2020, when they started immediately talking about this pandemic being remedied with vaccines, I knew it would lead to this.