I work as an independent contractor physician at a drug/alcohol rehab, which has just notified all its employees and contractors that, on pain of withdrawal of Medicare and Medicaid funding (80% of this institution’s) ALL workers must be vaccinated. Here is the letter I wrote in response.
Dear Mr. CEO:
For personal reasons and not without ambivalence, I decided to be vaccinated, so I will not present [name of institution omitted] any problems insofar as the latest ill-advised mandate imposed by our betters in Washington. As well, by my own choice, I wear a mask indoors and a PAPR when taking care of patients. None of this means, however, that I think this mandate is moral or right. Were the death rate from Covid in the range of 50% like Ebola for example, it would be a different calculus. The fatality rate of Covid, though, is in the same range as a bad flu season, so I believe vaccination ought to be an individual choice. No one should be forced when it comes to vaccination for this pathogen with its low death rate. Once “the public good” is invoked by the state to eliminate individual choice when it comes to health, virtually any command can and will be justified by the state; there is then no limiting principle to restrict its power to eliminate an individual’s rights and prerogatives. Enlarging the state’s power is not an unmitigated good, by any means. This is not new knowledge - “the camel’s nose under the tent” aphorism applies here.
Further, note the indirect and underhanded means by which the state is attempting to enforce its mandate. Rather using its putative police power over individuals (which it probably lacks under the Constitution) to force vaccination, it is underhandedly acting indirectly by making employers act in the stead of state police by threatening citizens’ employment. This is more reminiscent of Gestapo or Mafia tactics than those of a state forever advertising its benevolence. A business or an individual using such extortionate means would face prosecution under the RICO statutes. The federal government was never intended to be able to extort the states or businesses financially as it is now doing. It is blatantly immoral and not really Constitutional. But most people no longer judge our government’s morality or lawfulness; rather, most simply ask “What’s in it for me”"
Regarding consent, ancient wisdom (all of which hard won knowledge our intellectuals - in their impressive and unearned arrogance - are busy tearing down) said: " Qui tacet consentit " or “silence gives consent”. Since I strongly believe this present coercive approach is totalitarian in ethos and therefore wrong as a moral matter, I cannot be silent; I feel obliged to at least make my disagreement clear and explicit. In the America in which I grew up, I could voice such disagreement without fear of retribution. In today’s America on the other hand, the ‘new normal’ puts one at risk for even voicing disagreement with the near religious rubrics of the day, imposed by zealous big government, big tech and the so-called media. If I am to be penalized for disagreement, for what used to be Constitutionally-protected speech, then so be it. Since [name of institution] is the agent being used by the government to coerce citizens (or are we really subjects?), it is to [name of institution] that I must object - for what it is worth.
What is cynically called “he public good” is in far more danger from the “new-and-improved” fascism in which we live and of which this mandate’s implementation is an example. It is indeed the definition of fascism when big business - especially with the unprecedented power of the tech giants - media and government speak with one single voice and censor or silence all differing views on any issue. Have these institutions in which all societal power resides, ever been in greater alliance than they are right now? History teaches such alliances in the past have universally ended badly.
As to my belief that such government mandates by fiat (actual scientific evidence is not very impressive for any of these novel mandates) are a great danger to “the public good”, one need only be passing familiar with the history of the 20th century to find overwhelming evidence that concentrated state combined with corporate power, extinguished the lives of scores of millions of civilians - not to mention a similar number of military deaths. All this was justified under the same precept - "the public good. These facts are amply documented in this book: Death by Government by RJ Rummel. The point is that massive coercion of populations under the pretext of “the public good” is an infinitely elastic proposition and, once begun, will only expand to permit the state to command ever more of formerly individual prerogatives. The more important point is that the outcome of such coercion - despite its putative benevolence - it morally wrong and results, inevitably, in much suffering and death.
In closing, I want to cite C.S. Lewis: “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
I apologize for being long. I know you are busy and I do not want to waste your time. I want to add that recovery has taught me a great deal about life. Among those lessons is the realization that good and spiritual interactions with others are only possible to the extent that they are voluntarily entered into. This led me to coin a saying (probably others have thought of it, too): “You can’t coerce a community into existence”. It is attraction, rather than promotion (or coercion) which allows AA and all 12-step programs to work. The same principle, I believe, scales up to society (and the public good) at large. It cannot be coerced into existence.
Please do not feel the need to reply. I don’t think [name of institution] has gotten to the point (at least as yet) where it feels the need to fire me for speaking out in disagreement. I know neither you or [name of institution] has any control over the matter. So, you need not take up any more of your valuable time to reply. Writing this has served my need to not remain silent so as to not allow anyone to ascribe my consent to remaining silent. This seems to be the only way I can offer resistance to what I deeply believe is immoral, wrong and unjust. I also believe it will ultimately do far more harm than good, so I must speak out. I hope you can understand my motives in doing so.