Biden Orders Feds, Firms to Vaccinate

The President has lost his patience with the unvaccinated.

President Joe Biden, joined by Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Merck CEO Ken Frazier, delivers remarks on COVID-19 vaccine production Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

As anticipated, President Biden announced late yesterday afternoon that he was tightening the COVID vaccine mandate for Federal employees, removing the option to opt-out and get regularly tested instead, in light of the Pfizer dose becoming fully approved. Surprisingly, he also ordered companies that employ more than 100 people to do the same.

WaPo (“Biden announces sweeping new vaccine mandates for businesses, federal workers“):

President Biden announced sweeping new coronavirus vaccine mandates Thursday designed to affect tens of millions of Americans, ordering all businesses with more than 100 employees to require their workers to be immunized or face weekly testing.

Biden also said that he would require most health-care facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding to vaccinate their employees, which the White House believes will cover 50,000 locations.

And the president signed an executive order compelling all federal employees to get vaccinated — without an option for those who prefer to be regularly tested instead — in an effort to create a model he hopes state governments will embrace. He is also ordering all staffers in Head Start programs, along with Defense Department and federally operated schools for Native Americans, to be vaccinated.

My understanding is that civilians will merely be required to sign documents attesting that they’re vaccinated, not require actual proof of vaccination. So, one imagines that a lot of folks will simply lie. (All of the civilian professors at my college got vaccinated, mostly via the Navy health system, back in March.)

“We’re in a tough stretch, and it could last for a while,” Biden said in an address from the White House. He added, “What makes it incredibly more frustrating is we have the tools to combat covid-19, and a distinct minority of Americans, supported by a distinct minority of elected officials, are keeping us from turning the corner.”

Taken together, the moves represent a major escalation by Biden of the pressure against those who have resisted vaccination. The announcement comes amid growing signs that the highly contagious delta variant, and the persistence of vaccine resistance, are combining to drag out the pandemic, slow the economic recovery and prevent Biden from turning his focus to other matters.

Biden adopted a newly antagonistic tone toward the unvaccinated Thursday, underlining his shift from cajoling to coercion as he placed blame on those still refusing to get shots for harming other Americans. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden said. “And your refusal has cost all of us.”

I’ve been saying the same thing for months. Then again, I’m not the President. Hectoring the citizenry is not the right pose for the leader of a democracy. And, while his core elite supporters will doubtless cheer this as castigating the evil Trumpers, the Black constituency that was so crucial to his nomination and election is also incredibly vaccine-hesitant.*

Not surprisingly, the Fox News crowd and Republican politicians are seizing on the opportunity for outrage. The Washington Examiner (“RNC to sue Biden administration over vaccine mandates“):

The Republican National Committee plans to sue the federal government over President Joe Biden’s newly announced vaccine mandates for federal employees and millions of private-sector workers.

“Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Thursday evening.

“Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price. Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate,” McDaniel said. “Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

I wouldn’t think the RNC would have standing to sue but, then again, the rules for standing seem to be in flux right now.

Reason’s Robbie Soave (“Until Today, Joe Biden, Jen Psaki, and Rochelle Walensky Were All Publicly Opposed to Federal COVID Vaccine Mandates“) is not happy, either:

Right up until the moment that he declared all large private employers in the country would be forced to require COVID-19 vaccinations, President Joe Biden consistently opposed COVID vaccine mandates. And he was not alone: Speaking in her capacity as an official White House spokesperson, Press Secretary Jen Psaki explicitly stated “that’s not the role of the federal government.”

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also said there would be no mandate.

On December 4, 2020, Biden said the vaccine would not be imposed by mandate. “No, I don’t think it should be mandatory,” he said. “I wouldn’t demand it be mandatory.”

Psaki’s comments came even more recently, on July 23, 2021. “That’s not the role of the federal government,” she said when asked about such mandates. “That’s the role that institutions, private-sector entities, and others, may take.”

A week later, on July 31, Walensky corrected a comment she had made that some interpreted as being supportive of a federal mandate. “There will be no nationwide mandate,” she said. “I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government. There will be no federal mandate.”

I would submit that two things have changed. First, the FDA gave formal approval to the Pfizer dose on August 15; until then, it was only authorized for emergency use. It would have been illegal to the Federal government to order vaccination until then. Second, the grim reality of nearly half of the vaccine-eligible population refusing to get the shots and the Delta wave have created a new emergency.

In my July 31 post “Vaccine Mandates are Popular and (Often) Legal,” business owners and state governors have much more clear authority to order vaccinations than does the Federal government. While there are World War I/Spanish Flu era Supreme Court decisions allowing mandatory vaccinations in exigent circumstances, recent cases seem to vastly limit Federal authority.

Philosophically, I don’t really get the stance of Soave and other hard-core libertarians on this issue. I’m more skeptical of government regulation and more bullish on individual freedom than most. But even most classical libertarians acknowledged that rights had limits and that the proper starting point for regulation is when one’s actions impose costs on others. This is captured by the dictum that “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” Or, in economic terms, when it imposes negative externalities.

People have different reasons for not getting vaccinated. A lot of rural and/or Republican citizens have been conditioned by political and opinion leaders to fear the vaccine and/or be skeptical of the seriousness of the pandemic. Large swaths of the Black community distrust, for good historical reasons, the government and the healthcare system. Others think the risks of the vaccine, which they still believe to be “experimental,” outweigh the risks of the disease. That’s especially true if they’ve already survived a bout with COVID, are very young, or are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

While these people frustrate me, I don’t think it does much good to hector them and blame them for the resurgence of the pandemic. (It’s likely true; but calling them names simply makes them dig their heels in more deeply.) At the same time, though, their refusal to get vaccinated imposes real costs on the rest of us—including my 10-year-old, who isn’t eligible for any of the vaccines. So, I have no issue with excluding them from public life.

I am, however, more dubious of requiring them to be vaccinated as a condition of employment with a large firm. Especially in an era when so many are working remotely.

In summation, then, I applaud Biden for taking such a bold stand and think, except at the margins, it’s the right policy. I am, however, skeptical that he can make all of it stick.

______________________

*UPDATE: Matt Bernius informs me in the comments that this is much less true than it was a couple of months back. The latest polling I’m finding doesn’t factor in race but vaccine hesitancy is far from a static phenomenon and is in fact rapidly decreasing as the Delta wave comes through.

Lingering vaccine hesitancy — defined as people who say they definitely or probably will not get the coronavirus vaccine (as noted, 17% overall) — is especially high among rural residents (36%), very conservative people (36%), Republicans (30%), conservatives overall (30%), evangelical white Protestants (28%) and those with no more than a high school diploma (26%).

Attitudinally, hesitancy peaks among those who lack confidence in the vaccines’ safety (57%) and effectiveness (52%). It’s 33% among those who think they have no risk of getting sick from the coronavirus and essentially the same (32%) among those who see getting vaccinated as personal choice rather than a broader responsibility.

By contrast, hesitancy is lowest among those with a post-graduate degree (6%), liberals (6%), Democrats (4%), those who’ve been encouraged to get vaccinated by people close to them (4%), those with confidence in the vaccines’ effectiveness (4%) or safety (2%) and those who see getting vaccinated as a broader responsibility (1%).

The survey Matt points to tells us,

As of this week, 75% of the adult population in the United States have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. While this progress represents a marked achievement in vaccinations that has led to steep declines in COVID-19 cases and deaths, vaccination coverage—and the protections provided by it—remains uneven across the country. With the continued spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are rising, largely among unvaccinated people. While as of late July 2021, White adults accounted for the largest share (57%) of unvaccinated adults, Black and Hispanic people remain less likely than their White counterparts to have received a vaccine, leaving them at increased risk, particularly as the variant spreads.

[…]

As of September 8, 2021, CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 59% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among this group, nearly two thirds were White (60%), 10% were Black, 17% were Hispanic, 6% were Asian, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and <1% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, while 5% reported multiple or other race. However, CDC data also show that recent vaccinations are reaching larger shares of Hispanic, Asian, and Black populations compared to overall vaccinations. Among vaccines administered in the past 14 days, 26% have gone to Hispanic people, 15% to Black people, and 4% to Asian people (Figure 1). These recent patterns suggest a narrowing of racial gaps in vaccinations at the national level, particularly for Hispanic and Black people, who account for a larger share of recent vaccinations compared to their share of the total population (26% vs. 17% and 15% vs. 12%, respectively). While these data provide helpful insights at a national level, to date, CDC is not publicly reporting state-level data on the racial/ethnic composition of people vaccinated.

So, while Blacks are still less likely to be vaccinated than Whites, the recent trends are in the other direction and, of course, there are reasons aside from hesitancy that explain the initial variation.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Lounsbury says:

    In re

    Philosophically, I don’t really get the stance of Soave and other hard-core libertarians on this issue. I’m more skeptical of government regulation and more bullish on individual freedom than most. But even most classical libertarians acknowledged that rights had limits and that the proper starting point for regulation is when one’s actions impose costs on others. This is captured by the dictum that “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” Or, in economic terms, when it imposes negative externalities.

    The American Libertarians and the American right in general have become little more than inverted Bolsheviks or photo negatives of Bolsheviks, for whom ideological abstractions and political posturing are more important than reasoned pragmatism. They are not conservatives.

    Otherwise in re

    While these people frustrate me, I don’t think it does much good to hector them and blame them for the resurgence of the pandemic. (It’s likely true; but calling them names simply makes them dig their heels in more deeply.)

    Dig in more deeply? That rather strikes me as namby pamby handwringing. Shaming and explicit call out for something that is in no way legitimately ideological at this stage is entirely appropriate.

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  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    I am starting to wonder if insurers refusing to cover the costs of treating what amounts to a self-inflicted injury would gain any traction (the framework to do so is already included in virtually all health coverage plans). We’ve already seen that, when faced with a choice between principles and livelihood, the hesitant quickly pivot to self-preservation. I can’t imagine that the lingering threat of financial ruin would be any less persuasive.

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  3. Teve says:

    @DanCrenshawTX

    Are you people trying to start a full on revolt? Honestly what the hell is wrong with Democrats? Leave people the hell alone. This is insanity.

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  4. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Dad is pissed off, and he’s turning the car around.
    The uproar from the COVID supporters is laughable.

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  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Teve:
    Does he not see how stupid he is being?
    Lol

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  6. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    Then the insurers would have to deny coverage to the morbidly obese, alcoholics, smokers, and other substance-abusers, would they not? All of those conditions are self-inflicted.

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  7. mattbernius says:

    Generally speaking, I agree with most of the argument. There is one section that is perpetuating some a talking point that is out of date.

    And, while his core elite supporters will doubtless cheer this as castigating the evil Trumpers, the Black constituency that was so crucial to his nomination and election is also incredibly vaccine-hesitant.

    More recent polling has shown repeatedly that while Black Americans are more hesitant than White Americans in aggregate, when you add political ideology into the mix, they are far more open to getting vaccinated than White Republicans. And trends are moving towards vaccine acceptance in the Black and other Minority Communities. See this analysis in the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/08/04/what-about-black-people-defense-republican-vaccine-hesitancy/

    Large swaths of the Black community distrust, for good historical reasons, the government and the healthcare system.

    This is true. I also think it’s often used also as cover for badly rolled out vaccination programs (i.e. turning the underlying causes for under vaccination back on the community versus the government).

    It’s also important to note that the initial vaccine roll-out focused more on White communities. Or in many urban areas fell into traditional patterns of creating distribution hubs that were easily accessible via car but not necessarily via public transport systems (i.e. that while they might have been on a bus line, it could often take over an hour+ to move from one section of the city to another to get to the distribution site). Combine that with the need to preregister and the need to be able to get off work to get vaccinated (let alone the possibility of missing work if you have an adverse reaction) and it created a LOT of disincentives for folks to not be vaccinated.

    Thankfully public health officials and community-based organizations have been working to shift vaccination protocols in BIPoC and low-income communities (as many of the challenges I outlined also impact low-income white communities too). And as a result, data out yesterday, shows that the vaccination rates are continuing to rise faster in Black and Latino/ex communities. Source: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/latest-data-on-covid-19-vaccinations-race-ethnicity/

    These current patterns reflect growing shares of vaccinations going to Hispanic and Black people over time. Between March 1 and September 7, the share of vaccinations going to Hispanic people increased in all states reporting data for both periods and increased for Black people in most reporting states. In a few cases, these increases were large. For example, the share of vaccinations going to Black people increased from 26% to 44% in DC and from 25% to 38% in Mississippi.

    source: Kaiser (see above)

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  8. mattbernius says:

    TFW you hit “post comment” rescan what you wrote and catch a major typo and just keep mashing reload praying that the edit button will appear…

    Just in case: “Combine that with the need to preregister and the need to be able to get off work to get vaccinated (let alone the possibility of missing work if you have an adverse reaction) and it created a LOT of disincentives for folks to not be vaccinated.”

    Should read: “Combine that with the need to preregister and the need to be able to get off work to get vaccinated (let alone the possibility of missing work if you have an adverse reaction) and it created a LOT of disincentives for folks to be vaccinated.”

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  9. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: “Leave people the hell alone” from the state that authorized every citizen to become a bounty hunter against abortions.

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  10. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Generally speaking, they technically could, although there are some wrinkles involved with respect to underlying mental health causes which can lead to / exacerbate those conditions. Not vaccinated = greater risk of a communicable disease is a pretty linear relationship, so it’s easier to defend the denial.

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  11. James Joyner says:

    @Lounsbury: I don’t think it’s the role of Presidents to publicly shame law-abiding citizens who have been misled.

    @mattbernius: Thanks. Post updated.

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  12. charon says:

    @mattbernius:

    Should read: “Combine that with the need to preregister and the need to be able to get off work to get vaccinated (let alone the possibility of missing work if you have an adverse reaction) and it created a LOT of disincentives for folks to be vaccinated.”

    Note that Bidem’s orders largely remove these disincentivs.

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  13. charon says:

    Reposting this from the forum thread, on topic here:

    https://twitter.com/DanaHoule/status/1436186549830537220

    Biden keeps an eye on the polls. But what the Political Press can’t fathom is that he doesn’t let the frothng and the hysteria of the *minority* determine his goals, or his course of action.

    One advantage to being 78 years old, btw.

    Repugs, of course, are always like that…
    9:17 PM · Sep 9, 2021·Tweetbot for iΟS

    Yes, it’s both. And like Pelosi—& person of steadfast principles, as well as an avid reader of baseball boxscores, which are numbers w no spin—his convictions, plus his trust in data, plus his trust in his staff/advisors overpower any fears RE the press or short term unpopularity

    https://twitter.com/stuartpstevens/status/1436167717275459585

    To be clear, most Republicans are worried the Biden plan will work. Covid is the key to the economy and if Covid drops, economy goes up and Republicans want the economy to fail under Biden. It’s not that Republicans think the plan won’t work, they are terrified it will.

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  14. SKI says:

    My understanding is that there are three different “mandates”. All seem on relatively solid ground legally. Timing and APA compliance to be determined.

    1. Federal Employees – condition of employment, no option to simply have weekly testing. Authority through employment relationship
    2. Healthcare workers in CMS accredited facilities – expansion of previous rules that only covered nursing homes. Authority: Condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid
    3. Large Employers – vaccination or weekly testing as a requirement to keep employees safe in the workplace. Authority: OSHA

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  15. mattbernius says:

    @charon:

    Note that Bidem’s orders largely remove these disincentivs.

    Yes! I meant to post the mandatory time off for vaccination is a really, really, really smart public health policy decision!

    @James Joyner:

    Thanks. Post updated.

    You’re welcome. Participation gaps in social services is one of my new areas of research. So this is something I’ve been watching.

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  16. mattbernius says:

    @James Joyner:
    Also kudos on that update! Really nicely put!

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  17. Lounsbury says:

    @James Joyner: A rather precious theoretical concern in the face of a global pandemic. If this were about Americans being overweight balloons, then yes. But it is not. Now the subject is rather no different than shaming and punishing non-adherents to wartime conservation measures. Not mere choice luxury or bad lifestyle choices, but rather broad public threat – and not by mere analogy but actual.

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  18. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: The obvious difference is that morbid obesity is not contagious nor likely to mutate. Now, whether that should be involved in the negotiations between Mr Non-Vax and his insurer seems doubtful.

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  19. MarkedMan says:

    Setting aside the efficacy or the legalisms, I simply can’t imagine a modern Republican taking such a big bold move. They are feckless whiners, constantly carping about how any action on any problem is futile.

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  20. Jax says:

    It’s unfortunate that it’s not going to affect Wyoming’s vaccination rate much, I don’t think. There are only 11 companies in the whole state with over 1,000 employees. Do we know yet if it applies to state and local government employees?

    1 University of Wyoming Laramie 4,500
    2 Sheridan College Gillette 3,000
    3 Omega Probe Cheyenne 2,200
    4 Wyoming Cheyenne 1,750
    5 Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Teton Village 1,400
    6 Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust Gillette 1,300
    7 Elkhorn Construction Evanston 1,300
    8 Taco John’s Cheyenne 1,250
    9 Cloud Peak Energy Gillette 1,200
    10 Admiral Beverage Worland 1,189
    11 Wyoming Medical Center Casper 1,082

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  21. Kathy says:

    The issue is public health amid a deadly pandemic.

    It’s true countries with higher vaccination rates, and which do implement other public health measures like masks mandates and capacity restrictions, are also seeing a delta surge. but the hospitals in these countries are not overwhelmed.

    It’s not a matter of who refuses to vaccinate, but that everyone get the shots.

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  22. Teve says:

    @Jax: the mandate is for companies with 100+ employees.

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  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @CSK:

    Then the insurers would have to deny coverage to the morbidly obese, alcoholics, smokers, and other substance-abusers, would they not? All of those conditions are self-inflicted.

    Wait – wut? There’s a free vaccine available for obesity and alcoholism?

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  24. Scott says:

    @Teve: Dan Crenshaw is the beneficiary of an incredibly gerrymandered district. Also, the beneficiary of being a Navy Seal and all the cred that comes with that. However, as a politician, there is something lacking. And he is losing cred every time he opens his mouth.

    Small humor heard last night. The revolt will be called Antiva.

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  25. Jax says:

    @Teve: I obviously haven’t had enough coffee yet. 😉

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  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I’m just thankful the Republicans of today were not around during WW2, when sacrifices were required, from everyone, to win the war.
    George Washington mandated vaccines (innoculation).
    We’ve had vaccine mandates in place for generations.
    The SCOTUS has held vaccine mandates to be constitutional for over a hundred years.
    Today’s Republicans need to grow the fuq up. Seriously.

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  27. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Thank God, finally. Hail to the Chief.

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  28. wr says:

    @James Joyner: ” I don’t think it’s the role of Presidents to publicly shame law-abiding citizens who have been misled.”

    I just took a quick glance at the Constitution, so forgive me if I missed this, but I don’t think there’s an article guaranteeing citizens of the USA from being shamed if their moronic actions imperil their own lives and those of people around them. And I also don’t believe that being “afraid” or “concerned” or “skeptical” gives every citizen the right to do whatever he wants no matter the cost to others.

    The contemporary Right seems to believe that they are guaranteed the “freedom” to do whatever they want whenever they want, no matter how it affects anyone else. Spoiler — they don’t.

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  29. charon says:

    Do we know yet if it applies to state and local government employees?

    State and local must either comply with OSHA as a minimum or else have a better plan.

    Found this at BJ, from OSHA:

    Please be advised that Federal OSHA neither has regulations, nor jurisdiction, over State, municipal, or volunteer fire departments. Section (3)(5) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 specifically excludes Federal OSHA’s authority over employees of State and local government. The Act provides for States to assume responsibility for occupational safety and health programs under the State’s own plan, which must be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. Each State-plan must include coverage of public employees of the State, and it must be “at least as effective” as Federal OSHA’s protection of private sector employees.

    Map: https://www.osha.gov/stateplans

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  30. charon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    George Washington mandated vaccines (innoculation).

    Vaccination had not yet been invented, what Washington mandated was a procedure that produced mild smallpox infections that were much less likely to be fatal.

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  31. EddieInCA says:

    These are the vaccines my young nephew had to prove he had taken before he was allowed to start 1st grade in Eagle, ID.

    Chickenpox
    Diphtheria
    Hepatitis A&B
    Meningitis
    Measles
    Mumps
    Polio
    Pneumonia
    Rotavirus
    Rubella
    Tetanus
    Whooping Cough

    Everyone who went to a public school had to have proof of some vaccines.

    At this point, it’s just political, and I have no patience, empathy, or sympathy for those who continue to refuse; medical exemptions exempted from my contempt.

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  32. Barry says:

    @charon: And which were (IIRC) far, far more dangerous than modern vaccines.

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  33. SteveCanyon says:

    @wr: Completely agree. Biden tried being nice. It hasn’t worked with these folks. Just because someone has been misled doesn’t absolve them of the responsibility to find the truth, especially when there is voluminous information easily available on an empirically safe and effective vaccine. It’s called taking responsibility.

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  34. James Joyner says:

    @wr:

    The contemporary Right seems to believe that they are guaranteed the “freedom” to do whatever they want whenever they want, no matter how it affects anyone else. Spoiler — they don’t.

    I’m a Biden voter who got vaccinated the minute I could and ensured the same for my family; we have six fully vaxxed and the only outlier is my ineligible 10-year-old. I’ve been calling for vaccine passports and mandates for months. I’ve written posts saying exactly what Biden said yesterday.

    I just don’t think Presidents should employ the Bully Pulpit in this manner. He’s not our Daddy. Explain to the public why vaccination is necessary and why it’s going to be mandatory to do various public-exposing things. But don’t be a dick about it.

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  35. charon says:

    Dr. J.:

    Then again, I’m not the President. Hectoring the citizenry is not the right pose for the leader of a democracy.

    Opinions vary, here is Schooley:

    https://twitter.com/Rschooley/status/1436130489589383173

    I think much of the analysis is vastly underestimating the visceral appeal of a president standing before the country and calling bullshit.

    People are becoming annoyed at the unvaccinated, and:

    https://twitter.com/steveschale/status/1436060909470879749

    In August, we tested a concept similar to the vaccine proposal that
    @JoeBiden
    unveiled today in the five states that flipped from Trump to Biden. Given how closely divided those five states are, this is about as much consensus as you will ever find.

    Table at the link.

    The refusers are unreachable and committed, so what they think is irrelevant.

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  36. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Joyner:

    But don’t be a dick about it.

    Yeah…I don’t think Biden is the one (collectively) being a dick.
    Republican leaders are actively cheering on a pandemic.
    Sit there and think about that for a minute.
    Then tell me who is being a dick about this.

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  37. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @charon:
    Yes…innoculation.

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  38. grumpy realist says:

    @James Joyner: Sorry, James–it’s not a case of “explaining nicely” to these people–they’ll never listen.

    At some point, you have to bring the boom down on the free-riders.

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  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Biden, asked about GOP threats of court challenges to the vaccine mandate (which isn’t really a mandate)…

    “Have at it”

    And he again criticizes GOP governors…

    “We’re playing for real here, this isn’t a game.”

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  40. Modulo Myself says:

    Are unvaccinated people really feeling shame? I don’t buy it for a second. People who feel shame for life decisions don’t act like this is in public. The shame, I think, is being felt by the people who are close to the unvaccinated. It’s like having a serial killer in the family or something. It’s a dirty secret. You are not supposed to have–especially if you are educated–poor or ignorant relations.

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  41. JKB says:

    At the same time, though, their refusal to get vaccinated imposes real costs on the rest of us—including my 10-year-old, who isn’t eligible for any of the vaccines.

    What are these costs you fear? Now that the delusion the vaccines are sterilizing or prevent infection? You as a vaccinated person can still catch the virus, but are likely to have a less severe case of COVID if you do. But you can still spread the virus.

    Your 10-yr old has a 99.997% chance of survival of even a bad case (nationally) of COVID, even better if they don’t have co-morbidities. You’d do better to take the 10-yr old to Minnesota where the COVID survival rate is 100% for 10-19 yr olds, 99.99% for 0-9 yr and 20-29 yr olds.

    The virus is endemic as is becoming accepted in the UK, EU. Everyone is going to get the virus, eventually. The 70+ have the miracle of the vaccines which gives them the chances of an unvaccinated 40 yr old of 99.9% chance compared to their original 95% chance of survival. Even better for those over 80.

    The vaccine should be highly encouraged for those over 50. Encouraged for those obese or with other co-morbidities. A biological female under 40 concerned about longterm fertility should find a good, open-minded doctor to consult. A teen, especially a biological male, should get the vaccine in a clinical setting rather than some drive-by site given the risk of myocarditis, which needs quick treatment and risks misdiagnosis if there is not a doctor familiar with your recent history.

    The vaccines provide protection from severe COVID to the person, but these vaccines do not kill the virus and wane in their ability to inhibit spreading.

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  42. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m just thankful the Republicans of today were not around during WW2, when sacrifices were required, from everyone, to win the war.

    I’m thankful they didn’t figure out this culture war trick a little earlier. If they had a third of the population would still smoke, the governor of FL would be in court defending his Executive Order against schools banning smoking in class, and FOX would be inveighing about cancer “science”.

    And forget all that precedent about vaccine mandates. Five Federalist Society Stepford Justices wielding Originalism (sic) can wipe that out in a minute.

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  43. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:
    Grow the fuq up.

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  44. JKB says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: Thank God, finally. Hail to the Chief.

    Yes, “Hail Victory” even in the original German would have undercut the “distract from the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle” purpose of announcing this at 5 pm on September 9th.

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  45. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB: What @Daryl and his brother Darryl: said.

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  46. charon says:

    This is bad:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E-3uRcEXsAgR-Ci?format=jpg&name=900×900

    Most fast food joints, for example, are franchises, obviously fewer than 100 employees.

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  47. Long Time Listener says:

    ‘Afghanistan Withdrawal Debacle’. Ah, yes- that Old Chestnut. I suppose that ‘conservatives’ will continue to choke that particular chicken, ad infinitum, long after the rest of the country has moved on.

    ‘Hail Victory’ is just like hanging a Mission Accomplished banner on an aircraft carrier.

    But, we were talking about vaccines and public health.

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  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    If only there were a way for anti-vaxxers to get sick or even die without endangering anyone else. . .

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  49. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: We’ve already had people die from easily-treated conditions because the unvaccinated are taking up the necessary beds in the hospitals.

    At some point, I suspect doctors and nurses are going to get fed up with rescuing irresponsible people from the consequences of their irresponsibility, particularly because a heck of a lot of the unvaccinated and their families don’t seem to appreciate the hard work the doctors and nurses do.

    Rather than President Biden going for vaccine mandates, I wonder what would have happened had he said that no hospital would have to treat anyone unvaccinated against COVID?

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  50. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’m telling you specifically not to contemplate 9 mm solutions.

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  51. Michael Reynolds says:

    @charon:
    Yes and no. Individual McDonald’s stores might have fewer than 100 employees, but many franchisees are big corporations all on their own, many with well over 100 employees.

    I imagine this vax requirement will become almost universal – no Wendy’s franchisee wants to end up at the wrong end of a lawsuit because their lax policy was responsible for an outbreak.

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  52. James Joyner says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’ve written countless pieces castigating the Republicans for their position on this. And this post is 93% supportive of Biden! Questioning the propriety of his tone isn’t an endorsement of the opposition.

    @grumpy realist: Again, I’m supportive of the mandate and, indeed, castigated Biden weeks ago for being so slow to enact one!

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  53. Mikey says:

    @JKB:

    The virus is endemic as is becoming accepted in the UK, EU. Everyone is going to get the virus, eventually.

    This was once true of smallpox. Of polio. Of measles. Of whooping cough.

    But smallpox has been eradicated worldwide, and polio, measles, and whooping cough effectively eradicated in the US, because of mandated vaccination.

    We’d be a lot further along toward effective eradication of COVID-19 if it weren’t for fools like you.

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  54. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:
    You are not smart.

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  55. Fortunato says:

    @Teve:

    “Leave people the hell alone” from the state that authorized every citizen to become a bounty hunter against abortions.

    Then again, the Texas GOP did indeed “Leave the people the hell alone” when (in the name of profit and payola) it came to protecting them from freezing to death in a cold snap.
    Why.. in leaving them the hell alone, some of the TX GOP went so far as to leave the country, entirely.

    And once that zygote that inspires so much rabid in vivo fervency emits its first cry, the Texas GOP is notorious for “leaving them the hell alone” –
    Children in Texas are facing higher rates of hunger and hardship during the pandemic than children in all but two other states.

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  56. Koctya says:

    @CSK: Insurers are not denying coverage; they are no longer waiving the out of pocket share of costs if the patient presents in the ER unvaccinated. Fat people and smokers never received that consideration from any insurer. They simply are no longer enabling the behavior and giving the unvaccinated special consideration.

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  57. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Joyner:

    Questioning the propriety of his tone isn’t an endorsement of the opposition.

    More people will die today, of the COVID, than died on 9/11…a full year and a half after this all started. IMHO the time for propriety is long past.
    Besides…for a guy that drives a classic corvette, uses the word malarkey, and refers to legislation as a BFD…this is right in character. It’s who he is. It’s the guy I voted for.

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  58. EddieinCA says:

    @James Joyner:

    But don’t be a dick about it.

    Seriously? This is what triggers you? Not Noem. Not DiSantis? Not Abbott? You have GOP Governers who are, literally, “pro-covid” based on their policies, and Biden is the one being a dick?

    It’s gotten so bad that there is a video floating out there of a town hall where a parent asks “Should I expose my child to Covid so that they can get immunity?” The misinformation is insane. And you’re worried that Biden is “being a dick?”

    James. Please. Be better.

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  59. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    It’s who he is. It’s the guy I voted for.

    And I wish he’d shown up sooner.

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  60. Kingdaddy says:

    I don’t hear regular choruses of outrage aimed at drunk driving laws. You get impaired, you get behind the wheel, you put other people at risk. It doesn’t matter if you believe that you can hold your liquor. It doesn’t matter if your friend tells you that you can hold your liquor. It doesn’t matter if you’re an alcoholic. It doesn’t matter if you believe that it’s a personal choice, putting only yourself at risk. It doesn’t matter if you have some goofy excuse, such as, “I only took a drink when the car wasn’t moving.” You put people’s lives at risk when your blood alcohol level is over a particular amount. That is the legal threshold for committing a crime.

    At this point in the pandemic, there is not an excuse for being deluded about the risk to other people, if you are not vaccinated. Not every drunk driver kills someone. Not every COVID-positive, unvaccinated person kills someone. But the risk to others is high enough to remove it from the realm of “personal choice” into the kind of “externalities” that require a governmental response.

    We don’t address the lethal combination of Demon Rum and the kinetic energy of hundreds of pounds of moving metal with purely informational measures. We don’t excuse people for their ignorance of the risks of drinking and driving. In any case, Americans see far fewer PSAs, per month, about having a designated driver or the amount of impairment that alcohol inflicts than they do news stories and other communications about COVID.

    At some point, public officials need to intervene with whatever legal or administrative force is necessary and appropriate to reduce the dangerous “externalities” that unvaccinated people impose on everyone else. Aside from the immediate threat posed by the disease itself, there is the painfully obvious crisis of victims of other medical conditions, many urgent and life-threatening, who are also now at risk, thanks to the unvaccinated who are filling up hospitals. If we had a flurry of drunk drivers, egged on by some half-baked philosophy they shared about radical autonomy, to the point where we are now with COVID, we wouldn’t be expecting public officials to be putting the delicate feelings of the drunk drivers over taking action in the face of the threat they pose.

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  61. Gustopher says:

    Biden is so much better at this than Obama was.

    Do what needs to be done, even in the face of opposition, and call the rat fuckers out to place the blame where it belongs.

    He wasn’t my first, second or third choice in the primary, but I was wrong. He’s great.

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  62. JKB says:

    @Michael Reynolds: If only there were a way for anti-vaxxers to get sick or even die without endangering anyone else. . .

    If you are vaccinated, they don’t endanger you now. Perhaps some risk could be found for the vaccinated 70+.

    The SARS-Cov-2 virus is not going away. It is endemic. As people are exposed they will develop immune responses just like they do for the 3 or 4 coronaviruses we call the common cold.

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  63. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    I agree. Biden eight months in is the best president of my lifetime.

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  64. Kathy says:

    @JKB:

    How many times a day do you need to wash the blood off your hands?

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  65. JKB says:

    @Mikey:

    None of the vaccines developed for the SARS 2.0 virus are sterilizing and they have waning effectiveness in stopping infection and shedding. They remain effective in reducing the risk of serious COVID symptoms and death in the most vulnerable.

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  66. Kingdaddy says:

    Here’s what John Stuart Mill said in On Liberty, relevant to this conversation:

    No person ought to be punished simply for being drunk; but a soldier or a policeman should be punished for being drunk on duty. Whenever, in short, there is a definite damage, or a definite risk of damage, either to an individual or to the public, the case is taken out of the province of liberty, and placed in that of morality or law.

    If someone promoting a 19th century version of libertarianism saw this basic principle, there’s no excuse for 21st century liberty-lovers to miss it.

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  67. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    If I have a heart attack and can’t get an ICU bed because some brainless fuckwit like you has taken the last bed, that absolutely affects me.

    The whole country is still coping with this because of trolls. Like you. YOU are the reason the economy is not entirely back on its feet. YOU are the reason that immunocompromised people are still in danger. YOU are the reason schools aren’t back up and running.

    You’re a stupid man, @JKB. Stupid, utterly dishonest, and toxic.

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  68. Michael Reynolds says:

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that Trumpies love Covid. Cults often veer into mass suicide. It’s only a pity that the Trump cult isn’t more competent.

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  69. Gustopher says:

    @JKB:

    You as a vaccinated person can still catch the virus, but are likely to have a less severe case of COVID if you do. But you can still spread the virus.

    You are less likely to get the virus if vaccinated, or to spread it. So fuck you and your insinuation that the virus is useless for stopping the spread.

    I should not have to be exposed to a deadly virus as a condition of my employment — my employer has an obligation to provide a safe workplace. Also, any bottomless pits should have railing.

    Since you like Jim Crow analogies: Intellectually, I would be open to separate but equal accommodations for the covid supporters, but segregation hasn’t really worked out well in practice in this country. Plus, we aren’t set up to rigidly enforce it. You covid supporters are going to want to use our hospitals, for instance, and you take up all the ICU beds.

    I guess we could round up the covid supporters and ship them back to their homeland (the Dakotas). Build a wall or something.

    But, lacking that resolve, making you shits get vaccinated is fine, I guess.

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  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @SteveCanyon: Whose truth? We live in an age of facts and alternative facts now. Everything IS relative–and in very specific ways, too. Talk to people out there who are anti-vax. They know “the truth.” [bleep] They’re the only ones who do, in fact.

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  71. Mikey says:

    @JKB: So? Boosters are necessary for many of the diseases that have been effectively eradicated, too.

    All your facile rationalizations and excuses add up to jack-shit and you own a piece of every needlessly-dead American.

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  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JKB: Look we get it. You don’t want to admit that you’ve been jabbed because of what others will think of you. But we are not the people whose approval you’re seeking. Stop trying so hard. We really don’t care one way or the other as long as you stay away.

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  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    comment removed by author

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  74. EddieInCA says:

    https://www.rawstory.com/kali-cook/

    The girl was too young to be eligible for vaccines, and Kali’s mother said she regrets not being among the 60 percent of the county’s eligible residents to get vaccinated.

    “I was one of the people that was anti, I was against it,” Harwood said. “Now, I wish I never was.”

    4 years old. Died because her mother wouldn’t get vaxxed.

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  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Fortunato: And how was it that I so easily came to the conclusion that the two worse states were Mississippi and Louisiana? As the detective in the Isabel Ostrander mystery I just finished reading noted “the problem is not that I’m blind, it’s that I see too well.”

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  76. senyordave says:

    @EddieInCA: Will haunt the mother for the rest of her life. As it should.

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  77. charon says:

    @Fortunato:

    Fetus’ are free of sin. This means they deserve protection more than pregnant women or children, at least by some religious interpretation.

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/09/texas-abortion-ban-why-the-right-arent-hypocrites.html

    While anti-abortion activists celebrated a victory in Texas last week, the state marked a grim milestone. As of September 3, at least 59 Texas children had died from COVID-19, and the state is “running low” on pediatric intensive-care beds, Houston Public Media reports. If that fact worries Republican lawmakers or the state’s Republican governor, it’s not evident. Governor Greg Abbott has tried to ban mask mandates in public schools; a number of school districts have defied him and doctors are displeased. Abbott restricts abortion, ostensibly to save lives; at the same time, he doesn’t want to let schools mandate masks, even though it would help protect children from COVID. The contrast is too much to ignore.

    Liberals, provoked to wrath, are searching for a response. Personal responsibility is a poor defense against death, they correctly observe. But do they grasp the meaning of what they behold? A hypocrisy-seeking tendency persists. By this I mean that well-intentioned Democrats can look at the crisis in Texas, point quivering fingers at Abbott, and insist that he doesn’t mean what he says. Abbott doesn’t care about kids, they say. The dead children are proof.

    This reaction isn’t unique to Texas. Among liberals, conservative hypocrisy has become something of a truism. They begin with a valid conclusion. To conservatives, the body of the fetus is sacrosanct, but the body of the child is not. A particular ideology leaves children vulnerable to gun violence, to hunger and homelessness, to the consequences of climate change. Victims of a power that holds life loosely in its grip, children have no true defenders on the right. But here, liberals inevitably run aground. People don’t think of themselves as hypocrites. They don’t experience cognitive dissonance in the ways you might expect. I certainly didn’t, when I opposed abortion rights. Abbott likely believes everything he says, both about personal responsibility and about the immorality of abortion. So, too, do his allies in the state legislature.

    What, then, should we make of this conservative consistency? What looks like hypocrisy should be understood as a deeper ideology. In Texas, the right to life is conditional. It has always been conditional, at least to conservatives. Only the fetus has an absolute right to life because it cannot err. Women are more complicated. They sin, these Eves, and deserve punishment. The right to life is fragile. The right to a good life is more fragile still. A person must be poor because of some moral failing; they’re lazy, unmotivated, or simply ignorant. The free market is never to blame, and neither are capitalists. Gun violence exists because of innate criminality, which must be answered with incarceration and more guns, borne by the right kind of people. As climate change becomes impossible to deny, the same arguments will appear: Personal responsibility must guard against burned or flooded homes; if the wealthy appear less susceptible to disaster, it’s because they’ve earned a better way of life.

    This isn’t hypocrisy, but authoritarianism. While Texas hasn’t overturned Roe v. Wade with its law, SB 8 is “a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny,” in the words of dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor. What is happening in Texas is authoritarian, the product of a far-right movement that has been building power for decades. The people who form its ranks also back anti-democratic efforts, like the implementation of new voting restrictions, because they want to establish a particular person as the sovereign above all. This person is usually white, often male, and always a conservative Christian. Like the Republic of Gilead? a liberal might interject. No, like America. Dystopian metaphors are unnecessary. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood built her fictional theocracy out of real bones. No one is banning female literacy, but the reproductive obsessions of the right are old news.

    Not in the big blue cities, no, but in the state government, at the statewide level, Texas is a straightforward unambiguous Christian Right theocracy. It has been so for decades.

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  78. charon says:

    @charon:

    Grace, not works.

    ReplyReply
  79. reid says:

    @James Joyner: I prefer calm and reasonable myself, but that hasn’t exactly worked very well to this point. Maybe time for a new approach? And I can understand Biden being frustrated.

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  80. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m just thankful the Republicans of today were not around during WW2, when sacrifices were required, from everyone, to win the war.

    How long will they be around, though.

    Diseases worse and/or more contagious than COVID are eminently possible. What happens when there’s an outbreak of one of these? It need not even be a new disease, like the current spate of coronavirus diseases (SARS, MERS, and COVID), but an older one like flu. H1N1 in 2009 let us off easy, but in its prior go-round, in 1918, it killed tens of millions all over the world. There were maskholes then, too (it’s worth noting the masks at the time were far less effective even than today’s pleated masks).

    And there are any number of other worldwide or extensive catastrophes which may take place. Although things like an eruption of the Yellowstone caldera, asteroid impacts, coronal mass ejections,and nearby supernova are low probability, what about climate change?

    If we hope to avoid the worst of it, we need sustained action for the next few decades. If we are going to take a few steps forward and then trace them back when Republicans take power, we won’t avoid the worst.

    Consider the Republicans of today are unwilling to take measures to protect their children or even themselves. What are the odds they’ll lift a finger for the sake of the next generation?

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  81. Mikey says:

    @Kathy:

    What are the odds they’ll lift a finger for the sake of the next generation?

    If their response to global climate change is any indication, the odds are zero. They simply do not care.

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  82. Andy says:

    One of my soapbox themes is that process and the details matter. Using OSHA is an unusual way to implement a vaccine mandate and I think we’ll have to wait to see the actual rule before judging efficacy and other things. In the meantime, here’s a good primer on ETS for those who want to get into the weeds.

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  83. MarkedMan says:

    Drum has a good take:

    What Biden is really doing is giving cover to businesses that wanted to do this anyway. Until now, these businesses risked looking partisan if they mandated vaccines, but now they can simply say that it’s the law and they have no choice. It lets them off the hook for making the decision.

    I can vouch for this. My company has been hemming and hawing at the senior leadership level despite 100% of us (the senior leadership) being vaxed and wanting everyone to be vaxed. We are big enough for this to apply to us, but small enough that we know every unvaxed individual (there are 7 amongst people who do not always work remotely) and like them. This will be a relief to some on the leadership team because it takes away the responsibility for the decision, and I suspect it will also be a relief for at least some of those 7 since they have backed themselve into a corner and can now back down without having to give in.

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  84. EddieInCA says:

    @senyordave:

    https://www.klfy.com/health/coronavirus/mississippi-man-encourages-others-to-get-vaccinated-after-losing-leg-to-covid-19/

    I just don’t understand. From a purely risk/reward basis, I don’t get it. Yes, the odds are small that you will get it. But the ramifications if you do get it could be catastrophic. How can you be more afraid of a vaccine that’s been taken by over a billion people worldwide than the effects of a virus that has killed almost 5 million people? To me, the risk of long haul covid is more than enough to get vaxxed.

    I just don’t get it.

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  85. EddieInCA says:

    I just read a staggering stat: After all this time, only 29.8% of the worlds population is fully vaxxed.

    But 41% have has at least one dose.

    I thought the numbers would be higher for both.

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  86. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy: I’m with you on the fact that process and details matter. In fact, who work with me are no doubt tired of hearing me say that everything is complicated if you look closely enough. Attention to process and detail is a reason why Obamacare survived more than a decade of hostile Congresses, and lack of it is why someone like Manchin has never had an effective piece of legislation enacted in all his many years as a politician.

    The biggest difference between competent versus incompetent leadership is that the competent embrace complexity and have the determination and the willingness to craft the policies at enough detail to accomplish what needs doing.

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  87. MarkedMan says:

    @EddieInCA: I’m astounded it is that high. Seriously. Its worrisome that probably half that have ineffective vaccines such as the China Vax.

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  88. Joe says:

    @JKB:

    The virus is endemic as is becoming accepted in the UK, EU. Everyone is going to get the virus, eventually.

    “Luke, come over and experience the power of the dark side.”
    “You’re resistance if futile.”
    I could go on. I have seen this scene in several movies.

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  89. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    They’re enraged but have no legitimate beefs so they glom onto whatever lets them express their rage. The things that enrage them: the fear of the other, the sense of sliding down the ladder they never quite climbed, their resentment of independent women, even their inability to get laid, are not things they can articulate solutions for. Which is how they end up boxed into asinine positions, fighting for the right to go to the ICU so long as it gives them the temporary sugar rush of owning the libs.

    I suspect the vaccine mandate will be a body blow to the MAGAts. They’ll go to work and their boss will ask for proof of vaccination. The ones who secretly got vaxxed while raging on about vaccinations will be exposed, because if you’re working, you’re vaxxed. A second tranche will huff and puff and then get the jab. A third tranche of the most hopeless will lose employment, lose income, and become further alienated, even from their erstwhile leaders. The mandate will divide the posers from the true fanatics.

    The real MAGA nuts are sensing that their numbers are in decline. Society now sees them primarily as disease vectors. They’ve built themselves a leper colony. But in their malignant little hearts they’ve always known they’d lose.

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  90. Scott says:

    @JKB: Just a statistic.

    A 4-year-old Galveston County girl got a fever. She died of COVID a few hours later, in her sleep

    Kali Cook was running around her Bacliff home Monday, gleefully batting the fake red eyelashes her grandmother had given her for Labor Day. By 2 a.m., she had a fever. By morning she was gone.

    Her sudden death highlights the perils of the latest delta surge, which has sickened young children at alarming rates as they return to school. As of Wednesday, 321 children with COVID-19 were hospitalized statewide, two of them in the Galveston area.

    She died the day after her mother tested positive for the virus. By then, her brother and 5-month-old sister were infected too.

    Her mother was unvaccinated.

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  91. Lounsbury says:

    @JKB:

    he virus is endemic as is becoming accepted in the UK, EU

    Sitting on the other side of the Atlantic, this is so very wildly fantastical, I am amused by the fun-house mirror of AgitProp it reflects. The Main Intelligence Directorate really has hit on the jackpot of the exploitable Useful Idiots.

    The Poor Sovs. Boxed in by ideological framing they entirely missed out on the exploitable weakness in the USA. Main Intelligence Directorate freed of ideological constraints really has hit the jackpot…

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  92. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “Yes, the odds are small that you will get it. But the ramifications if you do get it could be catastrophic”

    I have never been in a serious car accident. And yet, every time I’ve gotten in a car since I was old enough to do it myself, I’ve put on a seatbelt. For exactly these reasons.

    The vaccine you only have to get two (or three) times and then you’re done.

    But then, let’s not forget the right-wing hysteria about how forcing people to wear seatbelts was the end of freedom in this country…

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  93. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I suspect the vaccine mandate will be a body blow to the MAGAts. They’ll go to work and their boss will ask for proof of vaccination.

    And they will get vaccinated, and the world won’t collapse. Will they learn anything?

    It will be just like same sex marriage — dire warnings followed by … nothing. And then 80% of the opposition moved on, with 20% still angry.

    What does it mean for those politicians who hitched their carts to covid though? Will Noem, Desantis and Abbot still be viable contenders for the Presidential nomination? I think not — they’ll be an embarrassment that no one wants to acknowledge.

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  94. Gustopher says:

    @Andy:

    Using OSHA is an unusual way to implement a vaccine mandate and I think we’ll have to wait to see the actual rule before judging efficacy and other things.

    Requiring a safe workplace seems right up OSHA’s alley. Are there other OSHA regulations to protect workers from contagious diseases? A quick google search shows regulations for blood borne diseases.

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  95. dazedandconfused says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I wouldn’t look to insurers to do that. Mainly because so small a percentage of the total population within their market winds up needing treatment. We hear about flooded ICUs, but it only takes 50 people to do that. It’s the older people who get hit with severe disease, and they are nearly all Medicare’s problem.

    Medical insurance is so deeply employer linked it’s crafted to make it as easy as possible for employers, and so they lump a lot of risky behavior together and don’t demand employers check for smoking, drinking, and like such behavior. Very likely insurance execs know barking at employers to check for COVID vax with all this controversy risks losing a customer.

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  96. Mike in Arlington says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Wouldn’t this be blocked by Obamacare’s ban on previously existing conditions?

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  97. Andy says:

    @Gustopher:

    Requiring a safe workplace seems right up OSHA’s alley. Are there other OSHA regulations to protect workers from contagious diseases? A quick google search shows regulations for blood borne diseases.

    You can read the CRS report I linked to get an idea. This is being issued via an “Emergency
    Temporary Standard” (ETS) and not a normal rule. The Biden administration issued a much more limited ETS for health care workers in June – prior to that, the ETS authority hadn’t been used since 1983. It’s only been used 10 times in the history of OSHA, and judicial review stayed/overturned the ETS actions in almost half the cases, which are detailed in the CRS report.

    The scope and breadth of an ETS for a vaccine mandate is way beyond any of those previous actions. Hence why the details will be important if the administration wants this to survive a court challenge.

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  98. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Not really. That comes into play more with respect to self-harm that stems from an existing mental illness (the mental illness is presumed to be a pre-existing condition). This is a pretty linear choice – outcome scenario.

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  99. Matt says:

    @JKB: I don’t see why we need a polio vaccine as the survival rate is 98%…

    ReplyReply

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