Vaccine Mandates – What’s the End Game?

Once upon a time, President Joe Biden was against vaccine mandates. As president-elect in December 2020, he was asked, "Do you want vaccines to be mandatory?" His answer at the time seemed clear, "No I don't think it should be mandatory, I wouldn't demand it be mandatory." But that was then, and this is now.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed.

Last April, when asked about vaccine mandates, she made her position clear, "So—so here is the thing. We are—we cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That's just not what we can do. It is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn't."

Yet here we are, with Big Brother issuing this new edict,

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.

Their rationale is to protect workers from themselves, “Unvaccinated workers are much more likely to contract and transmit COVID-19 in the workplace than vaccinated workers.”

Maybe, or maybe not.

According to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in August, “Vaccines no longer prevent you from spreading COVID.”

This leads to several questions, which the corporate media seems uninterested in exploring or asking.

Why is this now suddenly an “emergency”? The vaccines have been available for almost a year and COVID has been with us for two years, yet now OSHA sees mandatory vaccination as an “emergency.”

Why are workers at companies with 100 employees at such risk while similar companies with 99 employees are not, such that the mandate does not apply to them? Does that one extra employee turn a business from a safe enterprise into a superspreading workplace? Not to worry though. The Surgeon General “suggests federal vaccine mandate could expand to small businesses.”

Are all businesses equal? Obviously, a business with all employees working in a single large room is different from one where employees are distant from each other, working outdoors or working remotely with little close contact.

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One can go from work, with a vaccine mandate, to a crowded health club, grocery store, airplane, or mall, in contact with even more people, but without a vaccine mandate. If a mandate is life-saving, why does it only apply in select circumstances? It’s much like telling people to eat healthily and not smoke when at work but, after work, they are free to do whatever they want to.

The leaders, who enforce such mandates, of these larger companies should know the vaccination status of their employees, perhaps not individually but collectively. Yet the CDC director, heading the organization at the forefront of America’s COVID response, does not know what percent of CDC staffers, in the bureaucracy she leads, have been vaccinated. Director Walensky could not answer this question posed to her last week by a U.S. senator. Another “do as I say, not as I do” moment from our government.

President Biden insists his administration’s vaccine mandates are popular, asserting there is “broad public support.” With such support, it would be easy for Congress to pass legislation mandating vaccines, rather than leaving the decision to an unelected and unaccountable bureaucracies and courts. Perhaps these mandates are not as popular as Biden claims, including in the halls of Congress.

Members of Congress and their staffers are not subject to Biden’s vaccine mandate. How rich if Congress required vaccines for you and me, but not for themselves.

Are average Americans behind these vaccine mandates? Rasmussen Reports says no, “More than half of voters support workers refusing to comply with mandatory vaccination against COVID-19, and believe that firing workers for non-compliance would hurt the U.S. economy.”

America is now mostly vaccinated. For working-age adults, 18 years and older, 80 percent have had at least one dose and 70 percent are fully vaccinated. What about the rest? This is the small subgroup that the mandates are directed toward.

There was a surge in vaccinations last spring when vaccines were readily available to the general public. By summer, the vaccination rate flattened, with about 1.3 million doses given per day currently in the U.S., and it's unclear if these are newly vaccinated or booster doses.

We are now in the zone of diminishing returns, where despite pushes for vaccination, most of those willing or interested in being vaccinated have already received the jab. Those still unvaccinated, for whatever reason, are far less inclined to change their minds at this point.

I must add the standard and necessary disclaimer that I am not anti-vaccine, having been personally vaccinated. Nor am I offering medical advice, only an analysis of this newsworthy issue.

Those unvaccinated by now are unlikely to reverse course. As reported by the Daily Mail, a survey of 6,000 adults found that half of the unvaccinated would not change their minds.

These vaccine hesitant, despite media claims to the contrary, are not knuckle-dragging Trump-supporting deplorables waiting for JFK Jr.’s return, but instead include two-Democrat leaning groups: the most highly educated as well as people of color.

So, what now? Vaccine passports and QR codes are already balkanizing the world, creating a new group of socio-economic pariahs, blocking the unalienable rights of many for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Other countries are taking an even more extreme approach.

Unvaccinated Australians in the state of Victoria will remain in virtual prison until at least 2023, their key freedoms eliminated. Similar restrictions are in place in Germany, and America is following suit.

Will this all be temporary or permanent? Eventually, herd immunity will be reached via natural infection and vaccinations and such draconian restrictions will no longer be necessary. Or will they?

Power is addictive, an aphrodisiac to those charged with representing their people. Now it’s vaccines, but what next? Once a population is compliant, beaten down by fear and shame, they are less likely to resist present and future controls, regardless of founding documents or natural law. Law enforcement and the military can squash any pockets of rebellion, as we know from history, whether Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s USSR, or Mao’s China.

The courts may temporarily halt the mandates, but there will be appeals, likely all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and there is no way of predicting how that will end. Do mandates even matter if companies are taking it upon themselves to enforce vaccinations with the non-compliant being fired?

If most are vaccinated or cowed into submission by the time the courts or Congress settles the issue, it won’t matter anymore. At least until the next pandemic or public emergency.

There may also be selective enforcement, backing off when resulting economic pain becomes too much, affecting the ruling class in their day-to-day lives. The Department of Labor has now decided that most truckers will not fall under the mandate. Perhaps Biden and Pelosi are concerned about delays in receiving their favorite gourmet ice creams.

Putting hope in elected Republicans may be wishful thinking, as we learned during the Trump presidency. While Trump pushed back against the deep state during his first two years, Paul Ryan and the GOP establishment worked to undermine him every step of the way.

Will a new Republican Congress in 2022 matter? COVID will likely be over by then, but the government’s appetite for tyranny will only be whetted. Voters will push back, as they did last week, but will it matter in the big picture?

As Ronald Reagan said in 1964, it’s “a time for choosing”, with the vaccine mandates bringing this issue to the forefront. Elections and compliance have consequences, at least for the time being. Choose wisely.

Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a physician and writer. On Twitter as @retinaldoctor.

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