The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Dan Carlson
Prairie Ponderings 

Incredible Overreach


November 10, 2021 | View PDF

Several weeks had passed since President Biden announced he’d be instituting a mandatory vaccine enforcement measure through the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The more time that elapsed, the more speculation there was that the president was bluffing. Last week he showed he wasn’t and established rules that require all businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure all their workers are either vaccinated by January 4 or are tested weekly and wearing masks. Failure to follow the mandate could cost employers up to $14,000 per employee violation, and more than six figures per violation if the business is found to be intentionally violating the mandate in defiance of the government.

If not outright tyranny, this initiative is, at best, an extraordinary overreach by the federal government. But I suspect the administration knows this and is launching the mandate to learn how courts and state governments will react as an experiment. And react they have with (as of Monday) 27 states taking legal action against the federal government to stop the mandate. Three of those are blue states, in case you were wondering.

The timing of this initiative is strange in light of significant medical news in recent days. Both Merck and Pfizer, large pharmaceutical companies, have announced they’ve developed pills that greatly reduce hospitalization and severe illness due to Covid-19. In Merck’s case, the pill reduces chances of infected persons getting severe Covid by about 50 percent. Pfizer claims its pill can reduce cases of severe Covid requiring hospitalization by 89 percent. And on Monday, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced positive results from a Phase 3 trial showing injection of its anti-Covid cocktail can prevent infection of uninfected people up to 81 percent of the time. In short, medical science has and continues to develop promising therapeutic and preventative medicines capable of dramatically reducing the chances of hospitalization and death from Covid-19. So with all these treatment options soon becoming available, why insist on vaccinations?

Then there’s the disturbing lack of mandate exemptions for those who’ve had Covid-19, pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant, medical reasons and religious considerations. People who have had Covid have natural antibodies medical studies have shown are far stronger that those produced by vaccines, making the shots unnecessary. We have no long-term data about how these experimental vaccines effect unborn children and fertility, if at all. Some people have medical conditions the vaccine could make worse. And there are many whose religious beliefs don’t allow them to be vaccinated.

Make no mistake. Vaccines are an effective way to combat disease. Both my wife and I are vaccinated against Covid. Thus far, the shots have worked. But as much as I believe those at risk for getting serious cases of Covid would be wise to vaccinate, my believe in personal liberty in this matter is stronger.

Anyone who fears Covid has options. The vaccines are readily available to all who want them. Effective treatments are reducing severe cases of the disease. You can take charge of your own prevention and treatment options without forcing others to comply with them, and the federal government’s involvement in mandatory vaccines is just a horrifying look at how future efforts at mass compliance will be done. It must not stand.


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