Thankfully, vaccine mandates have been lifted over the past few weeks in various places. One such place was Washington, D.C., where Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted that city’s mandate on February 15. Dismayingly, however, there are numerous people who value safety over respecting people’s fundamental rights, and who have objected to the lifting of vaccine mandates.
One such person was Washington, D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, who said (according to the Daily Wire):
“As a CM, and a parent of 2 kids under 5, I am flabbergasted and angry. Why would we give up on vaccines when we have come this far? Why are we not protecting the workers in these industries? Why are we telling parents we don’t care if they participate in society? I’m so F-ing mad… This will have a chilling impact on businesses. People who were going out and eating indoors BECAUSE of the mandate will not do that anymore.”
Everything about this statement is absurd.
First of all, ceasing to force people to get vaccines against their will does not constitute “giving up on vaccines.” It is frustrating that so many people equate forcing people to do a thing with the thing itself.
Second, the vaccine mandate applied to workers at affected businesses in addition to customers. Forcing workers to get a medical procedure against their will is the exact opposite of “protecting the workers in these industries.”
Third, it is preposterous to claim that ceasing to force people to get vaccines against their will constitutes “telling parents we don’t care if they participate in society.” There is absolutely nothing about allowing people to make their own medical decisions that prevents parents from participating in society. It seems that Nadeau is attempting to claim that it is impossible for children under 5, because they are not eligible for the vaccine, to go to places where there is any chance that a non-vaccinated person might exist. This is blatantly false. Plus, Nadeau should have specified that she meant specifically parents of kids under 5, while accompanied by their kids, as opposed to merely using the word “parents” and forcing people to guess about what she actually meant.
Additionally, it is irrelevant whether or not ceasing to violate people’s rights will have a chilling impact on businesses. Violating people’s rights is wrong, in all cases, regardless of the impact on businesses (or anything else, for that matter). If people stop eating indoors because they are unwilling to do so unless the rights of others are violated, so be it.
This leads to my most important point: it is incomprehensible that someone could be “flabbergasted,” “angry,” or “F-ing mad” about the fact that people’s rights are not going to be violated anymore. It is vaccine mandates themselves, not their abolition, that ought to make every person on earth flabbergasted, angry, and F-ing mad.
Finding it unacceptable for people’s fundamental rights to actually be respected, Nadeau introduced a bill to reinstate D.C.’s vaccine mandate. Thankfully, her efforts were unsuccessful. But that didn’t stop her from making another preposterous statement, which you can read below:
“I still believe that reinstating the proof of vaccination requirement for certain establishments and facilities is the best way to protect public health and safety. I believe that it is the best way to protect our immunocompromised neighbors, children under five, and even the ninety-three percent of District residents who have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. I strongly encourage businesses to keep this protection in place for their workers and patrons. I truly believe that patrons will choose to spend their money in the places they feel protected. If the Washington Post poll is any indication, then 74 percent of residents who support the requirement will have your back. The restaurant workers who have to face unvaccinated out-of-state customers want it. The parents who have to make tough decisions every day about what risks to take with their young children want it. Residents in their twenties still suffering from long COVID want others to avoid their pain, and the residents who passed away saying goodbye to their loved ones on FaceTime would want it if their voices could be heard… I will continue to engage in the hard work of making the District safer, healthier, and fairer.. I implore the Mayor to do the right thing. I implore her to stand up for workers, for young people, for sick people, and for all those whose voices have been drowned out in this conversation by those of lobbyists.”
Let’s go over everything that is wrong with this statement.
First of all, the number of people who support something has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the thing is right or wrong.
Second of all, I find it odd for someone to refer to being robbed of bodily autonomy as a “protection.” I would much rather patronize a business where my fundamental rights are respected, as opposed to a business where my rights are violated out of some paternalistic desire to protect health and safety.
Third of all, it is twisted and messed up that Nadeau speaks of workers “who have to face unvaccinated out-of-state customers,” as if the existence of people who decline a particular medical procedure is somehow a foreboding and terrible thing.
I also find it presumptuous of Nadeau to assume that restaurant workers, parents of young children, people with long covid, and people who have died of covid would support having their rights, as well as everyone else’s, violated. I’m sure some people in each of these groups (unfortunately) support vaccine mandates, but I’m also sure some don’t. Nadeau should speak for herself instead of presuming to speak for others.
Additionally, for Nadeau to imply that mandating vaccination constitutes “making the District fairer” and “doing the right thing” is the furthest possible thing from the truth. Vaccine mandates might possibly make places safer and healthier, but they absolutely do not make any place fairer. Mandating any medical procedure is both deeply unfair and morally wrong.
Furthermore, vaccine mandates are the furthest possible thing from “standing up” for anyone. Mandating a medical procedure tramples on people’s rights, which is the opposite of standing up for people.
And finally, it is deeply offensive to claim that the decision to cease trampling on people’s fundamental rights is somehow the result of lobbyists’ influence. And it is utterly wrong to claim that the voices of people who support vaccine mandates have somehow been drowned out. The reality is the exact opposite of this: those who actually believe in respecting people’s rights are the ones who have had our voices drowned out, while those who prioritize safety over liberty have completely dominated the conversation. Ultimately, it is irrelevant what led to the decision to lift D.C.’s vaccine mandate, and it is irrelevant how many or how few people support this decision. Stopping trampling on people’s fundamental rights is simply the right thing to do. Anyone who wishes for the rights of others to be violated deserves to have his or her voice drowned out, because such a person is a morally bad person.
In conclusion, Councilmember Nadeau is demanding that her city do the wrong thing by re-implementing a policy that violates people’s rights to make their own medical decisions. She is flabbergasted and angry that a policy violating people’s rights has come to an end, when the thing that she should be flabbergasted and angry about is the fact that the policy was implemented to begin with. This mindset is illogical, immoral, twisted, and (unfortunately) all too common in today’s society.