As important as vaccines are, we cannot abandon choice


MINOT, N.D. — A reader emailed me this week telling me he’d been spending some time thinking about the actions and statements of elected officials. Notably, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and North Dakota’s leadership, including Gov. Doug Burgum and the congressional delegation.

“These elected officials espouse the benefits of, and even encourage, vaccines and then say it is up to individuals to decide and then ban or oppose mandates,” my correspondent wrote to me, objecting to what he sees as hypocrisy from people who say they support the vaccine but are reticent to use the power of government to make people get it. “Clearly, this ‘plan’ ignores the public health issues and proven benefits of vaccines that have minuscule adverse risks.

“However, I am thinking about how, when presented with Jesus Christ, Pontius Pilate washed his hands of responsibility and left it to the mob to crucify Jesus.”

This attitude in the fight over COVID-19 vaccinations, and the various vaccine policies being implemented to varying degrees by the government and the private sector, is not uncommon.

It’s also worrisome.

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