Broad Vaccine Mandates Are a Serious Violation of Civil Liberties

Washington, D.C., hosted this weekend a major political event that many people have not heard about. If you are interested in learning more, please visit DidIf you hear anything, it is likely negative. I speak, of course, about the anti–vaccine mandate rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

Many people present spread inaccurate information about the vaccine. They wrongly warned that they were dangerous and had caused widespread death. Robert Kennedy Jr. is perhaps America’s most anti-vaccine politician. Robert Malone was also present. Malone is an immunologist and pioneer of mRNA vaccinations. He recently became well-known after appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Malone may be an accomplished man. However, he is wrong to claim that COVID-19 vaccines aren’t effective and can cause severe harm. Even with the new omicron version, the vast majority of COVID-19 victims are still unvaccinated. Moreover, the vaccines are not dangerous—they are certainly not more dangerous than the disease itself.

This was an anti-vaccination rally in the extreme.

Some of those who attended Sunday’s meeting were making a more narrow point. They believed that the government shouldn’t have the right to forbid you from taking a private decision regarding your health that is not directly related to anyone. It is your business to determine how you are vaccinated. COVID-19 is not being prevented by vaccines. We are all familiar with many people who have contracted the disease from vaccinated. The omicron waves are a good example of this: While it’s wonderful to get vaccinated and protect your health, the vaccine does not prevent you from getting COVID-19. This is an individual health decision. This vaccine is for the protection of the person receiving it.

Yet countless municipalities, including our nation’s capital—the site of this weekend’s protest—are broadly mandating vaccination. In D.C., if you want to enter a restaurant, you have to show not just your vaccine card, but also a photo ID—like a driver’s license—in order to prove that the card is really yours.

Not to be confused, D.C.’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies have always been foolish. D.C. Mayor Muriel bowser issued a new mask mandate for delta, even though Muriel had been drinking maskless that night. It was supposed to be a vaccine mandate for the district, which took effect last Wednesday. Omicron has largely ended in D.C. Cases have fallen.

No matter how urgently we push for vaccines and masks, cases will continue to occur. We can’t control deaths but we cannot force people to make this decision. You shouldn’t have to show identification to participate in social life—to leave your home. Isn’t that something Democrats used to believe—or still pretend to believe? It is, at least in certain cases.

It’s an advertisement for the committee that elects Democrats to the House of Representatives. It is clear that moralizing, nefarious Republicans want to interfere with your personal medical decisions. What is the harm in that? Yes. The Democratic Party is committed, as are its local leaders and President Joe Biden. They believe that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (an agency of unelected bureaucrats) should be able to influence your medical decisions. It is not permissible to go anyplace without it. This is currently the Democratic Party’s main policy commitment. Anthony Fauci has the best idea. Democratic leaders will require you to show a vaccination card and proof of identification in order for you to be able participate in the social life. Civil liberties are not allowed.

Funny because, in some other situations, this is the kind of thing progressive civil liberty organizations would oppose. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has waged war on the concept of voter ID laws—the idea that you should have to provide a photo ID in order to vote.

The ACLU writes that voter ID laws “deprive many voters their right of vote, decrease participation and are directly opposed to the trend of our country including more Americans into the democratic process.” Many Americans don’t have the right forms of identification that allow them to vote. They are often low-income and racial/ethnic minorities voters as well as the elderly and persons with disabilities.  These voters are more likely to have trouble obtaining ID because they can’t afford the documents necessary for a government-issued ID card.

But when it comes to vaccine passports—a roughly equivalent restriction on people’s civil liberties—the ACLU has not denounced them. They are supported by the ACLU, in fact.

According to the ACLU, “We do not see any civil liberties issue with COVID-19 vaccines being required in all circumstances.” “Vaccine mandates are not a compromise of civil liberties. Continue reading civil liberties.”

It would have been easier to ignore Malone and all the other anti-vaccine activists who came together in Washington D.C. this weekend if we were living in a world that had progressive civil liberties defenders. However, many of these supposed civil liberty defenders are now supporting the state. COVID-19 mitigation policies grow more unreasonable and oppressive—and more disconnected from reality—with each passing day. What does the ACLU have to do? Nothing.