Post #781: Well, well, well: One public health official has a firm grasp of reality.

Posted on August 23, 2020

I wonder if he has an equally firm grasp of the law.

Just saw this pop up on Google News:  Virginia Health Commissioner Plans to Mandate Coronavirus Vaccine.

To me, that seems like exactly the right course of action from a public health standpoint.   If you need near-100-percent compliance to protect the health of the population, but it looks like you’re only going to get 70%, then there’s really not a lot of options open other than compelling people to get vaccinated, if it’s your job to protect the public health.

That said, I expect we’ll soon be hearing the sound of the poop hitting the fan, as all the usual wingnuts start chiming in.  Plus a handful of people who can actually offer a reasoned argument against this.

The key question at this point isn’t a public health question, it’s the legal question.

The state can compel parents to vaccinate kids (mostly) by making that a requirement before children can attend public school.  And there is a clear public safety rational for doing so (preventing harm to others) as well as a public health rationale (preventing harm to self and others.)

I can’t even imagine what the legal equivalent would be, for adults.  I sure hope this guy checked with the lawyers before saying this.  Because whatever the public health merits, it’s clearly going to ruffle some feathers.  And the key constraint is going to be a legal one, not a medical one.

Whatever the basis is for saying this, however much I personally laud the sentiment, however much I think this is absolutely rational … I can’t imagine how this could be enforced.

But more power to him if he can do it.  This is a brute-force solution, but in its favor, it is a solution.  Which is more than you can say for any strategy that doesn’t do something like this.

I’ll think it’s your patriotic duty to get vaccinated.  Without near-universal vaccination with an effective vaccine, the economy remains in limbo.  Up to now, we haven’t fallen into the next Great Depression.  But that has been at the cost of a $0.8T monthly federal deficit.

That’s not sustainable.  If you want to see this republic survive.  If you want to see the US remain among the world’s great powers.  Get vaccinated.