A temporary vaccine mandate enacted by the Nevada System of Higher Education was recently suspended after all Nevada Republicans on the Legislative Commission voted against making it permanent. The vaccine, of course, remains readily available to all those who wish to take it, but Democrats made clear that forcing everyone to take the vaccine, regardless of their pre-existing condition or desire to do so, is the only policy they consider reasonable.
But rather than defend their belief that the individual’s right to choose and bodily autonomy should be sacrificed for the greater good, Democrats like Steve Yeager and Nicole Cannizzaro instead tried to frame the vote on the mandate as a vote on the vaccine itself. In discussing their disappointment with Republicans’ refusal to make the mandate permanent, Yeager reportedly described the mandate as a “way to keep people safe,” with Cannizzaro likewise referring to the mandate as a “policy that is intended to protect the public health of our students.”
There are many policies that can be described as promoting public health and helping to keep people safe, such as mandatory diet and exercise programs, but a free society precludes the imposition of such mandates out of respect for the highest political value: individual freedom and bodily autonomy. Similarly, forcing someone to take an injection requires something much stronger than simply pointing out that it’s likely beneficial.
There is no argument that comes even close to justifying the forced vaccination of students.
First, healthy college-age students face no meaningful risk from Covid. In fact, they face a lower risk from Covid than do most vaccinated adults over the age of 40. Second, those who have already recovered from Covid have immunity that is at least as good as vaccination, if not better. Recovery from Covid produces an immune response that is long-lasting, durable, and broad. This is a finding that has been replicated over and over again.
Yet, the mandates do not recognize this immunity, forcing those already protected to receive a vaccine that, at that point, offers an imperceptible benefit, with non-trivial risk. According to the CDC, males aged 18-24 have the highest rate of adverse side effects from the Covid vaccines, at a rate of about 1 per 20,000. More recent studies put that figure closer to 1 out of every 10,000, with some even reporting higher rates than that.
The facts thus reveal that the mandate will inevitably cause an otherwise healthy student to be hospitalized due to heart inflammation caused by the Covid vaccine. The Nevada Democrats think they have the right to force that outcome as a condition for acceptance to state university. The Nevada Republicans, enthusiastic about the vaccine and the benefits it confers upon those who elect to take them, think the choice should be made by the individual, rather than imposed through government force.
In light of these facts, it is easy to understand why Democrats would like to misrepresent their position and what it actually entails. But if you’re willing to put a healthy young student into the hospital, you should at least have the courage to acknowledge that fact. The vote to suspend the vaccine mandate meant only one thing: Democrats believe they have the right to dictate Nevadans’ medical decisions, whereas Republicans think those choices should be made by the individual.
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