Medical freedom v/s Vaccine Mandate in the USA

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Political debates in America is soaring over mask and vaccine mandate.

President Biden, after a closed-door meeting with Corporate, University and Healthcare officials who required their employees and students to be fully vaccinated, urged- “To American People who haven’t taken the vaccine, that’s in your interest, that can save your life and can fundamentally impact on lives of your children and people you love”.

This comes after several states and pressure groups remain divided on any proposition mandating vaccination or mask in some way or another.

Biden administration vs Florida’s Governor

 A recent example of the Political divide over vaccine mandate is reflected in the showdown between Florida’s Governor and Broward School Board, Florida.

Broward County School Board (Florida) on Tuesday voted to institute a mask mandate in Schools.

The voting on mask mandates by School Board comes despite the Florida governor’s order barring mask mandates, which maintains that it should be parents’ prerogative to choose whether their children would wear a mask or not. Gov. Ron DeSantis has also suggested a strong possibility of withholding payment of School administrators if they violate the Governor’s office order.

Wedging in after DeSantis statement, White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, said – “We are looking at a range of options to support Public Health officials, teachers and officials who are trying to protect students and their communities.

Psaki’s statement effectively means that the White House may financially support anyone who loses their pay due to Governor’s order.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also pushed for mandatory vaccinations for various indoor venues. The order goes into effect on Aug. 16, with full enforcement beginning Sept. 13. 

American Businesses on Vaccine Mandate

America’s corporate sector is evidently pro- mandatory vaccination. Large companies such as Walmart, Disney, Microsoft have already mandated vaccination for their employees to return to the office.

New York Stock Exchange is the latest addition amongst corporate institutions that have required vaccination for their employees. NYSE also announced that it is expanding on-site random testing to ensure safety.

Political Divide 

Another indicator of the Vaccine mandate remaining a polarizing topic is the new ‘morning consult Politico Poll’, which shows that 56% of Americans strongly support the Vaccine mandate for everyone except those with a medical condition or due to religious reasons.

37%, on the other hand, oppose vaccine mandates. It is to be noted that the poll has roughly 1000 respondents.

The divide seems to be essentially political, as the survey further shows that 80% of Democrats are far more likely to support the Vaccine mandate than 35% of Republicans.

Groups opposing mandatory vaccination ascribe their reason to individual freedom and don’t want the state to impose or usurp social contract between citizens and state. Sloganeering such as ‘My body My choice’ and ‘Medical freedom‘ reflects their sentiments.

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, while articulating his stand against vaccine mandates, wrote, “Resist vaccine mandates with every fiber of your being. If they become law, it’s truly all over.

Freedom would not come back without bloody revolution and possibly not for a long time”. Dr Susan Vosloo, S. Africa’s first female heart surgeon, is similarly sceptical of the efficacy and need for mandatory Covid-19 vaccine.

In a video interview, she seems to have said that “The risk of the vaccine is worse than the risk of the virus.” She even added that Covid-19 Gene Therapy is disguised as vaccinations.

The political divide in America over Vaccine mandates is reflective of its political nature. There have been ultra-right-wing outfits that often fuels vaccine hesitancy and almost religiously propagates conspiracy theories.

On the other hand, they have ultra left-wing outfits indulging in Cancel culture and other bullying tactics.

Satvik Singh
Satvik Singh
Satvik Singh is Teaching Assistant for foundation Programme at Amrut Mody School of Management , Ahmedabad University. Prior to his appointment at the University, he received a bachelor degree in English from Banaras Hindu University and subsequently a master degree(English) from Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University. His area of research during Masters studies were Indian Philosophy and Gender Studies. Satvik dreams of a day when characters from his amorphous musings would confront him in the corner street. An admitted Stock market fanatic, he feeds his addiction by watching Penny stocks chart on Sunday afternoon.

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