Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently gave a disturbing speech justifying his decision to implement vaccine passport systems. Here’s an excerpt (via Turning Point USA):
“We’re paying for the provincial vaccine passports to make sure that when someone comes into a restaurant, they’ll know they won’t be sitting beside a table of people who are unvaccinated. When you go into a gym, when you go to a movie theater, you need to know that if you’ve done the right things, you get to be safe, you get to be rewarded, for having done the right things. That’s what it’s all about. And those people who still hesitate, who still resist, well, they won’t get to enjoy the same things as those who’ve done their part for others. It seems like a very logical thing. It seems like a very obvious thing.”
It is deeply wrong to treat basic activities such as going to restaurants, movies, and gyms as privileges reserved for people who have done some allegedly virtuous deed to earn them. Trudeau’s reasoning on vaccine passports is wrong for several reasons:
- Getting the Covid vaccine does not equal “doing the right thing.” It is morally neutral. Getting the vaccine and not getting the vaccine are both perfectly valid and acceptable choices; both are equally right. People who get the Covid vaccine are no more deserving of being rewarded than people who opt not to get it.
- People do not have a moral obligation to “do their part for others;” in fact there is no such thing as “their part for others.” No one is morally obligated to actively contribute to the health of others or to the greater good. The only moral obligation that people have is to refrain from violating other people’s rights. Simply doing nothing, and minding one’s own business, is a perfectly morally acceptable option.
- Because no one is morally obligated to take any actions for the benefit of others, people have a fundamental right to “hesitate” or “resist” getting the vaccine. Those who “hesitate” or “resist” getting the vaccine are not doing anything wrong at all, and Trudeau has no right to speak about them in a critical or disparaging manner.
- No one has a right to know about the vaccine status of the people around them. Trudeau seems to be implying that it’s important for people, when going to a restaurant, to know that the people at nearby tables have gotten the vaccine. But actually, the vaccine status of people at nearby tables (or even at your own table) is none of your business. The right to make one’s own medical decisions, and to keep those decisions private, outweighs any desire to minimize the Covid risk that is present in one’s environment. In other words, an inherent part of going out in public is that one may come into contact with people of varying health statuses and vaccine statuses. If this poses a level of risk that is unacceptable to you, then stay home.
- Basic, everyday activities such as going to restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters are rights, not privileges. Being allowed to do these things is not a “reward” for (allegedly) good behavior; it is a fundamental right. It is beyond disturbing that activities nearly universally considered rights two years ago have morphed into privileges.
In conclusion, contrary to what Trudeau claims, requiring people to undergo a medical procedure in order to participate in life is not a logical thing, nor is it an obvious thing. It is logically unsound, morally wrong, and totalitarian.