As stated on December 21, 2020, the New York Young Republican Club is committed to positive action that supports the health of every American citizen. However, we once again reaffirm our opposition to mandatory vaccination at any level of government.
Our party follows science. In December, we concluded, as did most of the country, that vaccines would defeat COVID-19. Democrat leadership and strategists, had, at the time, cast doubt about the safety and viability of the vaccines since they were first made available through Operation Warp Speed. In recent weeks and today, Democrats have continued to destroy the people’s faith in public health institutions by supporting misleading media narratives about vaccines’ effectiveness and safety. When a political party conspires with media and big tech to shut down speech, it should come as no surprise that the average New Yorker has no confidence that a vaccine will prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus, particularly in the face of a new variant. Because the media and the Democrat-controlled, supposedly apolitical public health institutions have engendered such distrust, New Yorkers remain unable to resolve the open questions around causal relationships between serious conditions (e.g., Bell’s Palsy, fertility) and receipt of these as yet unapproved vaccines, just as they were eight months ago.
Despite public concerns over the inoculations, Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen to punish, rather than listen to, New Yorkers who are justifiably skeptical. The ironically named “Key to NYC Pass” locks the city down to anyone who questions de Blasio’s judgment about his or her own personal health decisions. In his address explaining the vaccine mandate, he declared that anyone who declines to subject themselves to his preferred medical intervention will be prevented from “living a good, and full, and healthy life.” While he attempted to blame the virus for this choice, he made it clear that his government action would impose this harm, which the virus itself could not. Such a sentiment baffles anyone familiar with the Democrats’ decades-old mantra of “my body, my choice”.
In recent weeks, vaccination rates have started to rise, perhaps due in part to the numerous recreational and financial incentives extended to recipients across the country. This has brought our national vaccination level beyond what public health officials previously claimed would give us herd immunity. Apparently unsatisfied with the results of offering up so many “carrots”, some of our elected leaders seem giddy to switch to the “stick” and impose pandemic restrictions historically imposed only in times of clear and imminent crisis with a rational basis to a legitimate government objective. COVID-19, even the delta variant, has been found to have a mortality rate as low as one percent, according to the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and media darling Dr. Anthony Fauci. Because of the vaccines’ decreasing and uncertain effectiveness in preventing transmission of particular strains, efforts at inoculation should be focused on encouraging those most at risk to get vaccinated in order to protect their own health, while respecting their own bodily autonomy. Such a measure would at least bear a rational relationship to the legitimate government objective of saving lives.
Instead of making it a priority to protect the most vulnerable of New Yorkers, however, Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen to attack the civil liberties of an entire third of the city who question the wisdom of, and avoid, a vaccination mandate for even healthy young adults. Such suspicions stem from a lack of trust in an inept city government that has dismissed legitimate medical concerns while simultaneously ignoring the pressing local quality of life issues, such as rising crime, that communities face on a daily basis. Rather than diligently protecting the one to two percent of the city’s population at greatest risk, Mayor de Blasio chooses to preoccupy himself with making sure that those who disobey his edict are not permitted to “[live] a good, and full, and healthy life.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and draconian government restrictions imposed in its name have killed tens of thousands and destroyed livelihoods across our beloved New York City. Many still grieve the loss of their parents, grandparents, friends, businesses, and even children. The New York Young Republican Club supports scientifically rooted and properly restrained measures to make our city a better place. Our club does not, however, support irrational measures that punish the population for exercising a right to bodily autonomy.