How we think about COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Only 8% of constituents responding to my recent survey* view note were categorically opposed to vaccine mandates, but that is enough to make me want to further explain my support for vaccine mandates in appropriate circumstances and generally my thought process on public health issues.

Defining “Vaccine Mandate”

I define a vaccine mandate broadly as any rule under which people face exclusions from roles or venues for choosing not to be vaccinated. A “vaccine mandate” is therefore different from “forced vaccination,” a term that I would reserve for a system in which people are held down and bodily forced to submit to injections. Nobody is advocating forced vaccination.

Vaccine mandates include a broad range of possible arrangements, varying widely as to the severity of the consequences for people who choose not to be vaccinated. I would put Mayor Wu’s recent announcement at the lightest end of that range: preventing unvaccinated people from entering restaurants, gyms, and theaters imposes only a very minor limitation. Everyone has other ways of eating, staying in shape, and entertaining themselves that do not risk exposing crowds of others. Vaccine mandates for attending school or keeping a job are more serious. At the furthest end of the severity spectrum would be vaccine mandates for leaving the home — nobody in the United States is proposing mandates at that level of severity.

Factors to weigh in considering a vaccine mandate

For me, decisions about vaccine mandates are judgment calls based on a number of factors, none of which can be perfectly known. The factors include:

  1. The infectiousness of disease.
  2. The effectiveness of the vaccine in reducing transmission of the disease.
  3. The effectiveness of the vaccine in reducing severe health consequences.
  4. The personal health risks associated with receiving the vaccine.
  5. The public health benefits of keeping unvaccinated people out of a particular venue — high in a crowded restaurant, low in a desolate forest.
  6. The expectation that the mandate will actually change behavior — either by reducing high-transmission behaviors or by increasing vaccination.
  7. The harm of the mandate itself for individuals who will not or cannot comply.
  8. The economic consequences of the mandate — negative or positive.
  9. The capacity of the health care system and the extent to which the system is overburdened or appears to be on a curve to being overburdened.
  10. A sense of the politics of the mandate — we are a democracy, so if government overreaches, it will defeat its own goals.

The first five of these — the health cost-benefit metrics — lend themselves to scientific evaluation. Not that we can expect crisp answers. The answers will usually be probabilistic and subject to change as the virus and our reactions to it change.

The next three factors — about likely behavior change and consequences for the individual and the economy — inevitably involve more guesswork. People will tend to apply their biases to evaluating these factors. Especially as to likely compliance, people will be influenced heavily by the attitudes of people close to them.

The ninth factor — capacity of the health care system and the trajectory of the health care burden — may be the crispest of the factors, although the trajectory involves guesswork. In Massachusetts, we have good shared information and collaboration among the hospitals and public health leadership. Hospital utilization is the metric that many leaders watch most closely as they consider the development of new COVID programs and the imposition of new COVID rules.

The final factor — the politics — has to be part of the equation. We are not China where the government can get away with shutting down a whole region for months. Government has to continue a dialog with people about their views and maintain a sense of the political limits of governmental power.

Making decisions about vaccine mandates

Some would like to make decisions about vaccine mandates on a principled basis, suggesting that the answer should be ‘no mandates’ as a matter of principle. This is not a viable legal argument — the power of public health authorities has long been recognized as legally legitimate in this country. It is nonetheless a compelling philosophical position — most Americans support personal liberty, especially as to the physical body of a person. However, I think that most people who take a principled position would back away from it if the decision factors were strong enough — a perfect vaccine with no side-effects for an invariably fatal, highly infectious illness that needs to be extinguished before it can mutate. I believe that for most people the vaccine mandate decision is a judgment call, either explicit or implicit.

So the question is: how should we a society make the judgment calls about vaccine mandates? I basically think we have the right process for these decisions at most levels of government: By legislation, we have created boards that include experts and often lay people. Those boards seek input, deliberate, and make decisions. Those decisions may or may not be subject to the political approval of elected executives. For example, we have the CDC and the FDA, state boards of health and local boards of health. The multi-layered approach allows local authorities to take stronger action when national or state action feels inadequate to their local circumstances. The decisions cannot be left entirely to experts. Experts can offer privileged opinions on the more scientific factors, but some of the other factors may be judged equally well or better by lay people. Our system allows for dialog between experts and lay people in defining public health policy. And, of course, elected executives are ultimately accountable for all of the decisions. It is appropriate that elected executives — Mayors, Governors and the President — apply their political judgment as to the sustainability of burdensome mandates.

How one feels about our public health system depends on which parts of it one has touched in life. Some people have had bad health care experiences and perceive health authorities to be corrupt or incompetent. My own experiences have led me to have some faith in the process. I’ve been fortunate to get to know many physicians, many public health professionals, some pharmaceutical researchers and executives, and some elected executives. I’ve ended up having a generally high opinion of them. So, when, after some deliberation, they make a recommendation about a public vaccine policy or mask policy, I’m generally prepared to accept it.

The legislative role on vaccine mandates

Sometimes people who feel that the public health authorities are being too aggressive or not aggressive enough want me to pass legislation to force their hand. I am deeply hesitant to attempt legislation about specific vaccine mandates, mask mandates, or social distancing decisions. Legislation is simply too cumbersome a process for public health decision-making. It is feasible for a board of a few people to make a thoughtful public health decision in matter of days or weeks, but almost nothing happens that fast in the 200-person legislature. Pandemic conditions — and our scientific understandings of those conditions — are constantly evolving. The legislative process simply cannot keep up with realities that change daily. We have to leave these decisions to the executive branch and the authoritative public health boards that we have created and empowered by statute.

I am nonetheless occasionally willing to speak out on public health issues and offer my lay perspective — like other people commenting on this post. I spoke out very early in the pandemic when I felt the executive branch hadn’t stepped into gear strongly enough. At this point, I feel that we have an ever expanding body of knowledge about the virus and what works and what doesn’t and I respect the professionals whose job it is stay on top of that body of knowledge.

Summary View

As a lay person, I support Mayor Wu’s recent mandate decision for recreational venues. I similarly support the decisions of public agencies and various institutions to require vaccinations of their employees or students/customers. These decisions make sense to me as judgment calls. But, more importantly, my experience has given me some confidence in the public health consultation processes that led to those decisions. As a legislator, I have to respect the public health process that we have created to sort out the diversity of available opinion. That said, I always appreciate hearing from constituents who feel we are doing too much or not doing enough.


* Note on the Recent Survey (back to top)

Using MailChimp, I sent a survey email to my office news list of about 4000 people, most of whom are constituents and all of whom elected affirmatively to be on the list. The survey email contained two links. One was titled “I do NOT support COVID vaccine mandates in any circumstances.” The other was titled “I DO support COVID vaccine mandates in appropriate circumstances.” The email stated that the survey was not anonymous.

Both links led ultimately to the same Thank You page. MailChimp offers complete click-through tracking — a link included in a MailChimp email is actually a link back to MailChimp. The link contains codes which identify the addressee of the email and which link is being clicked. MailChimp records the click codes and instantaneously redirects the person who clicked the link to the expected ultimate destination. MailChimp offers the email sender a report as to which email recipients had clicked which link.

The email was sent at 9:25AM on December 31, 2021. By 11:30AM on January 1, 2022 (26 hours) 1244 had clicked only the support link and 99 had clicked only the oppose link. (36 clicked both links and their votes were not counted either way.) Open tracking is less reliable than click tracking, but it appears that as many as 1000 opened the email but did not click either link — as easy as the survey was, some may not have felt comfortable responding

On January 1 at 12:28PM, A second email was sent notifying people of this post and offering them a second opportunity to respond to the survey. By 6:30PM on Tuesday, January 4 (4.5 days all together, combining responses to emails) 1609 had clicked only the support link and 140 had clicked only the oppose link. (75 had clicked both links and their votes were not counted either way.)

For my summary responses to themes in the comments below, please see this post. Please notes that comments posted before noon on Januaary 1 were originally posted on the survey “thank you” page and transferred to this thread. Comments were closed on this post on January 31, 2022.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

294 replies on “How we think about COVID-19 vaccine mandates”

  1. I am fully vaccinated and in a higher age bracket. I don’t think soneone should lose their job because they are not vaccinated. Maybe a job which may exposed others, they can do one of the following: vaccinated, testing, or recovered and in the time period where they have natural immunity. ( Similar to the time perion after vacations. )

    I have eaten in a few restaurants during the pandemic. I don’t think customers should be checked by the restaurants as this may bring up all types of issuse. I try to use restaurants in off peak hours.

  2. I do not endorse a mandatory vaccine which efficacy is just about 3-4 months. Will we be required to get 4 vaccines/year? With a vaccine whose effects in the long run are not yet known. And I talk as a scientist. Different would be getting a protein vaccine like the Novavax, as the technology is the same as the classical flu vaccine. When they will be able to produce it, which I hope is ASAP, I will be the first in line for the 3rd dose (having got the first two) . And like me, other people who got severe adverse events from the mRNA one (which unfortunately were as well under-reported from people).
    I am in favor of other measure like obbligatory masks. I do not understand why, in terms of freedom, people are in favor of mandatory vaccines, but not in favor of mandatory masks…

  3. A vaccine mandate has been shown to:
    * diminish the spread of Covid-19
    * keeps the economy working
    * lessens the overwhelming need for constant testing
    * saves small business owners in particular, the expense and time needed to monitor un-vaccinated employees.

    This is a global pandemic, that will not be solved by one state’s governor or legislature – it requires everyone to sacrifice something temporarily today for freedom and health tomorrow.
    This is not a slippery slope, it’s like WWII, when people sacrificed a great deal more personal freedom and convenience then, to guarantee us our freedom today. Post 1945, wartime laws and regulations that limited individual freedoms were amended, repealed or allowed to expire, because we live in a democracy and we still do.

    1. Jeffrey – is this a joke or something? How can you say that a vaccine mandate has been shown to:
      * diminish the spread of Covid-19
      or
      * keeps the economy working
      or
      * lessens the overwhelming need for constant testing

      Have you read the papers or watched the news lately?

  4. Will,
    I don’t support mandatory vaccines and I never have. People have the right to refuse anything that is injected into the body. At first I thought it was because pharmaceutical companies had politicians in their pockets, which I still believe, and were selling their wares and everyone, politicians and pharmaceutical companies got super wealthy. Oh, and communication companies sending out fake news constantly about covid status daily, which influence the vulnerable. After 2 years of this, now I believe that a human cleansing is taking place by some very big international group of elites. The vaccines don’t stop the spread and the vaccinated are getting sick with the different varients, so they don’t work. What is concerning me is the ingredients in the vaccines that are medically proven by real medical doctors, that’s correct, medical doctors, that injure and kill people. If you have taken the vaccines and booster, I will pray that nothing happens to you while I pray for safety and love for of all the people of this world. I believe you are ignorant of what is going on around you.

  5. Thanks for trying to get a sense of how your constituents are answering this question.

    I had trouble with “appropriate” as did others who commented here–that’s a pretty nebulous category. I doubt that everyone would define appropriate in the same way. However, I do feel there are circumstances I would deem appropriate for the implementation of a mandate.

    Most, though not all, of us accept the battery of vaccinations mandated to attend school and undertake various other activities. These vaccinations have rendered several terrible diseases nearly exterminated. I am old enough to remember the polio epidemic–and how much illness and death the (then relatively new) vaccine prevented. For those who worry that the Covid vaccines are untried over the long term, and may cause side effects, I could offer testimony from several friends suffering from long haul Covid that it can cause serious long term side effects, which seem well worth avoiding.

  6. Will: You asked for comments about survey methodology (and look what you got!). I do think your question is lopsided on balance between “in some circumstances” vs “under no circumstances” and that phrasing tends to push the undecided responder towards the former. “Maybe under some imaginable circumstances it’s OK after all.” It’s also not clear whether private rules (a business or a restaurant independently demanding that their employees are vaxxed) would fall under your “some circumstances” category.

    More specific phrasing would be better.

    1. 1. Correction – your question used the word “appropriate” instead of “some”. But the gist of my complaint still stands.
      2. To elaborate on my second point – for example – I might support the right of a company to require its employees to be vaccinated. But I might oppose the whole state mandating such a rule across all companies in the state. Not clear at all if that fits your “mandate” definition and which way I should respond.

  7. I voted a second time in order to re-access this page. I’m sure it’s not counted twice. What is the survey methodology? Pro/con of constituents only? MA residents? How do you know residency status? Do you cross-reference, or normalize against other current related/informing opinion surveys? This is very important, but the urgent issue is do I allow my unboosted (well over 6 months post 2nd dose) child into school on Monday, 1/3/22? Monday should be a testing day.

  8. Well, these vx mandates continue to be such a “hot topic”, I am actually glad to get the opportunity to hear from my fellow constituents on your blog regarding their current points of view on this topic.

    I think in general, in regard to comments supporting mandates for these new shots, both yours and those of your constituents, my main concerns remain that those that support are “parroting” what they hear from the mainstream media and government officials. There is so much other valid information from MD’s and scientists from around the world that is being ruthlessly suppressed, information that includes peer reviewed studies which continue to be summarily deplatformed and discredited by the media, at the direction of the government and sponsoring corporate entities, without due process. There is currently no level playing field when it comes to people having ready access to important information about the pros and cons of mandating these genetic shots. Uninformed comments from your constituents abound as a result. And policies are being implemented that will have disastrous consequences as an ongoing result as well. Your continued support of these mandates is completely baffling to me. Unless you are just doing it for political expediency, to appease both the “mob”, the corporate interests, and the interests of the Democratic party. If that is the case, then your support for these ongoing mandates makes perfect sense.

    1. I wish everyone had to pass a test before answering this survey or voting. Simple verifiable facts based on the contents of peer-reviewed papers, materials unearthed via FOIA, statements of current and former government officials and the like. 100% guarantee that not a single mandate advocate could pass that test. These posts sound like they were written by children.

  9. I agree with others that the survey was too vague. I can’t evaluate whether or not I agree with “appropriate circumstances” without understanding the goal of the mandates, whether those goals are realistic, and whether the specific circumstances are an effective means to achieve those goals.

    I’ve heard many goals from different stakeholders. From protecting the health of vulnerable, high-risk people to encouraging more people to return to businesses to protecting the health care system from overload to achieving “zero covid”.

    Will, what are the “appropriate circumstances” where you support vaccine mandates? What goals do you believe can realistically be achieved through vaccine mandates?

  10. The debate is exhausting. I have compassion for people who do not get vaccinated–be they scared, or pregnant, or recovered and naturally immune, or other. The best course of action is to encourage vaccination AND to help the unvaccinated (counseling them, not shaming them). The vaccines are great at reducing serious illness but not great at reducing transmission. So what exactly do mandates get us? And what is the plan on how to keep the unvaccinated engaged in society? How does firing and isolating 20% of adults improve public health? And “public health” is not just Covid

    1. Dear Jane,
      *Compulsion* is part and parcel of the Left’s philosophy.
      So everyone can be equal and live in Soviet style cement block buildings.
      Except in Belmont, of course.

      1. I guess you have no trouble with growing economic inequality and how it harms some segments of our population more than others. You have a sadly warped conception of what people on “the left” stand for. Tarring them as soviet sympathizers is agitprop. I lean left on most issues (identity politics excluded) because we live in a society with institutions that have evolved to promote the “public good” like schools, first responders, and public clinics and hospitals, all of which powerful forces on the right would like to privatize and make profits from, believing there is no such thing as society (to quote Margaret Thatcher), only consumers.
        It is a mirage to believe corporations care for customers the way public institutions do for constituents. They answer to shareholders, not the public and when they screw up are rarely held accountable and have the resources to deflect criticism and legal challenges.
        When a company whose product or service I use demands I agree to a multi-page terms of service document in order to use it, giving me no say, is not that tyranny?

  11. I don’t support mandatory vaccines and I never have. People have the right to refuse anything that is injected into the body. At first I thought it was because pharmaceutical companies had politicians in their pockets, which I still believe, and were selling their wares and everyone, politicians and pharmaceutical companies got super wealthy. Oh, and communication companies sending out fake news constantly about covid status daily, which influence the vulnerable. After 2 years of this, now I believe that a human cleansing is taking place by some very big international group of elites. The vaccines don’t stop the spread and the vaccinated are getting sick with the different varients, so they don’t work. What is concerning me is the ingredients in the vaccines that are medically proven by real medical doctors, that’s correct, medical doctors, that injure and kill people. If you have taken the vaccines and booster, I will pray that nothing happens to you while I pray for safety and love for of all the people of this world. I believe you are ignorant of what is going on around you.

      1. Yes. It’s most unfortunate. People expose themselves selectively to those propaganda outlets, and become totally indoctrinated (notice how they completely ignore strong arguments that are not in line with their thinking). I guess it gives them comfort, similar to religion. But that group-think is very much on its way to destroy our country.

  12. I am old and I lived through Scarlet fever – my mother and I were there when the doctor diagnosed me as having it – I was 3. My father was not home so he was quarantined out – he could not enter and my mother could not step out the door. It was accepted because it saved lives. I lived through the Polio epidemic – we were thrilled to get vaccinated and maybe not get this disease that was putting children in the hospital. I don’t understand people willingly put others at risk because “I won’t be too sick so I’m not worried” We know more about this illness and about the vaccines effectiveness than we have ever known about any previous vaccinations. How can anyone be so selfish that they are willing to let anyone become sick or die because they might have a sire arm or other mild reaction or because it’s inconvenient. I believe that we, as a society have a responsibility to protect the weakest among us. Considering all the things people wear and do is it really so horrendous to ask that you wear a face covering when you enter a space where you might spread germs to others from your breath or cough? When do we become so self-rightius or selfish that we can;t do something because it helps others even if it doesn’t seem to help ourselves?

    1. So much self righteousness. So little knowledge. Is the myocarditis risk greater from the vaccine or from covid in any demographic cohorts? Which ones? Do the different brands present different risk profiles? To whom? What are the long term oncological impacts? How much spike protein is produced, and where, and where does it circulate in the body, and for how long, and to what effect? You know more than scientists do, if you know all these things. Or, let me guess, you’ve never considered a single one of these questions nor any other.

      1. So smug. These questions and doubts won’t be sorted out by people like you. You are free not to get vaccinated, but do you then take appropriate measures? You seem to believe you have no responsibility not to transmit a disease without knowing or caring what might happen to those who get it from you, and so make the consequences of your action or inaction someone else’s problem. Stay away from me.

        If you doubt the efficacy of covid vaccination in preventing death from covid, please regard this infographic:
        https://static01.nyt.com/images/2021/12/30/briefing/03-MORNING-COUNTY-DEATHS/03-MORNING-COUNTY-DEATHS-articleLarge-v3.png
        “Low” vaccination rates mean under 30% of a country’s residents are not fully vaccinated; “high” means more than 60% are. It doesn’t show the middle group, but you get the picture.

  13. People who don’t want to protect themselves and others in society by getting vaccinated should be prepared to go and live on their own, outside society. It’s not a question of personal freedom, it’s a question of the common good.

  14. Happy New Year. Sorry your comments section is a bit of a dumpster fire. A number of people are categorically wrong, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be taken into account as members of society.

    Anyway, if it helps, I have a master’s degree from Boston University School of Public Health in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, I work for a nonprofit that runs long term residential facilities, and I absolutely support vaccine requirements. Or testing requirements with vaccine opt-outs, which is perhaps more doable, if we can get enough rapid tests. (Rapid tests determine whether someone is infectious rather than infected, but for situations like seeing a movie or going to a restaurant, they would be sufficient.) I also agree that we need to add the booster to the requirement sooner rather than later. The US Army is making good progress on a universal coronavirus vaccine, but we aren’t there yet, and until we are, we’re going to have to get regular boosters for Covid-19, much like we get annual flu vaccines. It’s frustrating, but I’d rather have an achy arm for a couple of days than die. (Actually, pro-tip — do 10 pushups or similarly strenuous arm exercise right after getting a shot and it really helps reduce the arm pain!)

    1. “…we’re going to have to get regular boosters for Covid-19, much like we get annual flu vaccines.”
      Most people do not get annual flue shots and live. Ditto for those who refuse mRNA covid shots.
      The current covid shots are based on an entirely different technology than flu shots – and the long-term impacts of repetitive mRNA jabs on our immune systems is not known. Anyone who feels comfortable accepting that risk is free to do so. To deny others their right to control what goes into their body is just unconscionable. It has happened to so many people. I can’t imagine living in some institutional and being forced to do what I don’t want to do — being treated like an enslaved animal. And have we beat the pandemic by doing that? No. Because the road to that is not via the leaky “vaccines”. The countries with the highest mRNA vaccination rates also have the highest rates of infections. Go figure.

    2. Lmao. “I have credentials I win” isn’t a scientific argument, and if you think it is, we need to be much stricter giving out credentials. In any case the senior vaccine experts at the fda have much better credentials than you.

  15. I, personally, find interacting with Senator Brownsberger and his constituents on this site to be much more productive when I have the ability to filter out the comments of individuals whose contributions I find consistently unproductive. To that end, I’ve published a Chrome extension which anyone can use to do that. Perhaps others will benefit from it as well:

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/willbrownsbergercom-filte/ocddkabnknofagjjbpdhncbgkcfmhbpd

    1. This only promotes close-mindedness. A waste of time too. Would have to filter most so many, incl. this one.

  16. If the point of vaccine mandates is to allow us to get back to pre-Covid activities, the jury still seems to be out on whether they work. At my father’s employer, a major Boston-area university, a vaccine mandate has allowed him to get back in the classroom teaching 80-plus students with little disruption. At my office, a Boston-area research center of the federal government, 99.97% compliance with the federal employee vaccine mandate has still not succeeded in getting management to bring everyone back. I don’t doubt that vaccines are helpful, but do realize that mandates create a lot of strife among the workforce and an awful lot of pressure on managers negotiating a sensitive and ill-defined process, and they’re not a cure-all. A more nuanced approach to risk, taking into account the negative health and social effects of isolation and – yes, dare I say it – the fact that we can’t really provide the same service for the taxpayers doing our jobs from home – eventually needs to come into the mix.

  17. Will, thanks for soliciting residents’ opinions and for your thoughtful response. I find it helpful to understand the factors that need to be considered, and the process(es) for making decisions in an imperfect world.
    I and most people I know fly in airplanes at 36,000 feet; drive on highways at 70 mph; ride in elevators; eat foods that have traveled thousands of miles. So on reflection, I frequently trust my life to science and engineering. I and most people I know also try to speak and act in ways that don’t harm others. When I add it all up, vaccines and other recommended health measures seem to be the best ways to protect myself and other people.
    While different issues will surely come forward, I’ll be glad when Covid recedes from our private lives and public discourse.
    ——————————–

  18. I shouldn’t waste my time on it, but it’s Jan 1st, so why not?

    Wrong on all counts. – Oh really?

    # mRNA vaccines were originally developed for the original SARS epidemic,
    – No. It was H5N1, if I remember correctly, as a Proof of Concept and never made it beyond Phase I.
    # but that petered out before the vaccine could be deployed.
    – It was never intended to be deployed (see above), hence no human safety readouts, beyond “it didn’t kill anybody outright”.
    # There was extensive testing,
    – Yes. In animals. So was Vioxx. Remember what happened next?
    # and much more testing last year (2020), followed by literally billions of doses being administered in 2021 with extremely few (rates of 1 in a million or less) serious side-effects.
    – a) Miocarditis is nothing, I guess. Hence Scandinavs stopped offering it to their youngsters. And there is more, but I am not here to dissect VAERS data. 1 in a million is a totally made-up number (unless you can show me the reliable source) as aspartate sweetener has a higher side effect rate.
    b) It’s not even 3 years since mass dosing. Wait a couple more years for proper assessment (as they did with prior vaccines).
    # Current mRNA vaccines are not as effective against Omicron as they are against the original strains (95%), but are still 85% effective against Omicron, and are very effective at preventing hospitalization and death.
    – Sure. That’s why “breakthrough cases” are everywhere. Outstanding efficacy. And don’t feed this “hospitalization and death” mantra. You have no and can’t have any proof of that. I can say that decrease in hospitalizations and deaths is due to the early death of the susceptible (vulnerable) population back in 2020. and those who pulled through will be OK. At least it would be consistent with previous epidemies.
    # Your second point is flat-out wrong.
    – Really?
    # The common cold does NOT cause millions of deaths and 10s of millions of hospitalizations every year.
    – It depends on who and how counts. It would if you count all dead people with a cold virus(es).
    # Stop calling Covid a cold. Tonka trucks are trucks. 18-wheelers are trucks. You are claiming that getting run over by either is equivalent.
    – I got Delta and it wasn’t even a cold. I wouldn’t even know I had it if not for the loss of smell. Omicron, according to all accounts, is indistinguishable from cold (unless you do PCR). And, as they’ve admitted that that Antigen Tests (not surprising) have a high false-negative rate to it. So… see no evil, and pandemics is no more.

    1. Intelligent reply by you, Alex.
      Very unusual and very refreshing.
      This entire Covid question is important because it points up a contradiction we see in society these days.

      Reminds me of people who decry Jan. 6, 2020 but not the entire year of Leftist riots which saw billions in damage, scores of deaths and killings, and utter, senseless ruin.
      Thank you.

  19. I voted NO on the survey, the 1 in 13 mentioned. Because the truth is being suppressed. We are being lied to. For support of my position, I offer you to an article in this mornings Western Journal about Dr. Malone, recently banned from Twitter. Please read and watch the three video clips in the article that supports my reasoning opinion: https://www.westernjournal.com/scientist-behind-mrna-lost-platform-twitter-censorship-days-later-speaks-front-millions/?ff_source=gab&ff_medium=westernjournalism&ff_campaign=manualpost&ff_content=2021-05-08

  20. Although many of us were not around during enforcement of public health laws in the USA during TB, Polio and measels
    epidemics, the laws on the books had teeth and you could self report to a tb hospital, or have constables come to your house to forcibly bring you to a public health sanitarium. Signs would be posted on the door to your home when measels outbreaks happened. Young children were committed to children’s wards during the polio epidemic. Foreign nationals, particularly Africans, were prevented from travelling to the US during the AIDS epidemic in the 1990s. As Americans we are blessed with many rights. The flip side of that coin is responsibility, which we seem to have forgotten, or have never been taught. “Freedom is Not Free” does not only apply to the individual rights we have earned because our of our brave military men and women. It also applies to our collective rights and responsibilities to each other as a community and an nation. It has nothing to do with politics. A vaccination is a small price to pay to protect the greater good, the health and safety of our nation.

    1. “A vaccination is a small price to pay to protect the greater good, the health and safety of our nation.”
      This is useless pontificating. The covid vaccines don’t work and will not eradicate the virus, for goodness sake; plus repeated boosters my be harming our immune systems’ ability to fight corona viruses. Is that good for our nation?

      1. Just FYI, Eva,
        when vaccines were introduced, they did(!) have transmissibility prevention as well as extreme-illness prevention.
        only since the “personal liberty brigade” has rejected vaccination in that time period have the mutations proved more progressively vaccine-resistant – this is how nature works…
        “the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one” — why are these not words to heed?
        so, please, persist in your objections.
        is that good for our nation?

    1. Why? Is it because some posts challenged the prevailing “wisdom”, and were therefore painful?

  21. Will, thanks so much for delineating so clearly the elements at bay – and the specifics challenges for the legislature.
    If there is some optimism, it is that our community is using those last 2 years challenges to learn and get better at dealing with community-wise (and beyond) threats – as a group. It might not be obviously apparent just right now yet … Well we have to nevertheless… evolution take care of this…

  22. One can say the exact same thing for the flu vaccine.
    Shall we make it as mandatory for adults just as Baker did for all students last year to attend school?
    Even adults are not required to get a flu vaccination but if it’s OK for students why not for adults to hold jobs etc.?
    Shall we exclude and segregate people on such a flu vaccine basis?

    Shall we make preventative anti-HIV drugs (yes, they exist) mandatory for all LGBTQ persons of a certain age so that they don’t spread by sex what is still often a fatal disease, namely AIDS?
    Even if not mandatory, would you carry around a card or a certificate on your smart phone to get into a bar or singles club?
    Would local boards of health decide this?
    **It would save lives**
    Requiring a shingles vaccine and other types of vaccines would also reduce disease and hence hospitalizations and total health bill to all of society.

  23. Should not one of the ten factors be the mortality and/or impact of the disease? Covid is not equal to Smallpox, Polio or TB yet the fear around it is.

  24. I am tardy coming into this conversation and have not yet read Sen. Brownsberger’s summary above. However, I do believe that: 1) This is a public health crisis; 2) Thus it imposes a compliance mandate that bypasses personal inclinations of choice or definition of “freedom”; 3) It imposes a responsibility to the community-at-large; 4) It cannot be compared to whether (albeit the law) one declines to utilize a seat belt or bike/motorcycle helmet, which when resulting in tragic accidents, has a narrower impact – on the individual, that person’s family, and insurance rates; 5) The responsibility of the individual to the greater community (part of any social contract human beings have with opting in to be governed by laws and their disparate parts) does not diminish just because the problem is ongoing beyond anyone’s fervid wish for a safe and healthy conclusion. What to do? By all means follow scientific guidelines, which do change as scientists learn more about the coronavirus, its manifestations and thus recommendations for vaccine protocols and measures to safeguard individuals as well as the general public. So, since masking has proved efficacious in halting or ameliorating the spread of the disease, regardless of vaccine status, then masking mandates are perfectly reasonable, especially in public indoor settings or in close settings outdoors. And proof of vaccination should also be mandatory (unless proof of a bona fide medical exemption can be proffered) before entering any public space. I do not believe our health care providers nor hospitals should have to be strained beyond human endurance or physical capacity to care for any non-vaccinated person. Yes, it is a choice: Comply with reasonable public health measures (vaccination, masking) to protect both oneself and the greater community or suffer the consequences alone if felled by the virus.

    1. “And proof of vaccination should also be mandatory”
      Do you not realize that covid -“vaccinated” people also catch and spread the covid virus? A proof of being vaccinated is no proof that you are not contagious. That’s why we’re having the current surge, and will continue to have them — no matter how many people are forced to be vaccinated. The countries with the highest covid vaccination rates also have the highest infection rates. What does it tell you?

  25. so much fun (and yet so disturbing) to read these comments.
    so sad, that all the little objectionist creatures inside us, really from fear, surface to…
    1- criticise governmental over-reach — do you all recall, we all are the government? we vote, we serve, we legislate? criticizing government is like yelling at a mirror — take responsibility, vote responsibly, and so be it!
    2- bemoan science as imperfect, incomplete, unreliable… yet, when we could have(!) taken vaccines against version alpha, we did not – so, scientist-citizens, WE are responsible for the mutations which may ultimately lead to our demise. re-read that: WE are responsible.
    3- blame everyone else, and claim individual freedom from societal participation. to those who wish to “return to normal” and yet remain unparticipating critics, my request: please leave, please go away, please live somewhere else, where you can have your isolated reality; if you wish to join society, play by the rules we all must accept.

    Please remember, humans have attempted to manage, negotiate with, avoid, etc. the realities of nature. Not this time. Nature wins — unless we band together (as PEOPLE).
    If we do not, well, twas the pleasure reading your posts. : )

  26. Thanks for this list of nine considerations related to vaccine mandates. One additional consideration is missing and deserves illumination — our personal and political rights only exist and thrive in a democracy if they are balanced with our personal responsibility to society and to our country. Getting vaccinated is a personal responsibility that enhances and secures our individual rights. In addition, our public and individual health standing has been partially built on the contributions of millions before us who were vaccinated against polio and other illnesses that we now only have minimal possibility of contracting. We owe them our gratitude and are a healthier society with more secure individual rights for their willingness to be vaccinated. This is our generation’s opportunity to advance both individual rights AND public health for ourselves and for those who come after us. Thank you for advancing those goals on our behalf Will.

    1. So sorry that you don’t realize (since the media you listen to haven’t told you) that Covid “vaccines” are ineffective. Your entire position is based on the false assumption that they are effective. Will’s position also ignores that truth — because tha delusion is so popular that it could make democratic politicians lose support if they admitted their party’s covid policies have been a massive failure – and has harmed the country on many levels.

    2. I really see this as irrational fear and cowardice created by relentless propaganda. People masquerade these authoritarian policies as being virtuous and good to appease their inadequacies. What politicians like Will are creating with these segregationist policies has been done many times in History. It always ends badly. Will is now on record for what he supports.

  27. Sir Will,
    I can only hope you are giving as much credence to the materials shared here as you do my posts (minimal-to-none).
    Please discount credence by the number of posts per poster.
    There is a vast silent majority (or interested but non-participating mass) for whom surveys show their preferences and positions.
    Please do not let the vocal few outweigh the vast quiet masses.
    Thank you for your work, for your sharing, and for your advocacy!

  28. Will, I agree with you comments. Vaccine requirements are not new, and I think they are appropriate, whether for employment or to enter venues like gyms, theaters, restaurants, and planes. It is very clear that the vaccines can prevent infections for many, while lessening symptoms and the need for hospitalization for most. Our health care system is being damaged by vaccine refusers.

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