Do you remember the official triumphalist narrative from two months or so ago which was that July the 4th was supposed to be Independence Day from COVID?
“(Bloomberg Opinion) — President Joe Biden has announced a requirement that federal workers get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be frequently tested and face other restrictions. He’s right — and other governments and businesses should likewise require vaccination for their employees. With the delta variant racing through the unvaccinated population, mandates are more essential than ever. The delta variant racing through the unvaccinated population, mandates are more essential than ever.
The delta variant is far more transmissible than earlier variants, and produces an exceptionally high viral load. This is true even when it infects vaccinated people, as it sometimes does. This means that even vaccinated people can sometimes pass the delta variant along to others — including unvaccinated children …“
The Delta variant came along.
Suddenly, we are told by the media that we have to accept more draconian public health measures than at the very height of the pandemic even though deaths aren’t getting any worse.
“When you go to the airport, you see two kinds of security rules. Some apply equally to everyone; no one can carry weapons through the TSA checkpoint. But other protocols divide passengers into categories according to how much of a threat the government thinks they pose. If you submit to heightened scrutiny in advance, TSA PreCheck lets you go through security without taking off your shoes; a no-fly list keeps certain people off the plane entirely. Not everyone poses an equal threat. Rifling through the bags of every business traveler and patting down every preschooler and octogenarian would waste the TSA’s time and needlessly burden many passengers.
The same principle applies to limiting the spread of the coronavirus. The number of COVID-19 cases keeps growing, even though remarkably safe, effective vaccines are widely available, at least to adults. Many public agencies are responding by reimposing masking rules on everyone. But at this stage of the pandemic, tougher universal restrictions are not the solution to continuing viral spread. While flying, vaccinated people should no longer carry the burden for unvaccinated people. The White House has rejected a nationwide vaccine mandate—a sweeping suggestion that the Biden administration could not easily enact if it wanted to—but a no-fly list for unvaccinated adults is an obvious step that the federal government should take. It will help limit the risk of transmission at destinations where unvaccinated people travel—and, by setting norms that restrict certain privileges to vaccinated people, will also help raise the stagnant vaccination rates that are keeping both the economy and society from fully recovering.
Flying is not a right, and the case for restricting it to vaccinated people is straightforward: The federal government is the sole entity that can regulate the terms and conditions of airline safety. …”
The “unvaccinated” are not created equal.
The most vaccine hesitant group are people under the age of 20 years old. Young people have correctly concluded based on the science that the virus doesn’t pose much of a threat to them. How on earth is the case for taking drastic actions to restrict their civil liberties straightforward?
“Swisher: No you don’t, no you don’t.
All right. Time for the big story. The newest trend in corporate America is vaccine mandates. Walmart, Disney, Facebook, Google are requiring some or all of their employees to be vaccinated to come to work. Walmart and Disney are two of the country’s largest private employers. Here’s a list of companies that are requiring vaccines: Netflix, Saks Fifth Avenue, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Delta, and United Airlines for new employees only … Morgan Stanley, the Washington Post, which was a surprise to me. Lyft, Uber, Twitter. What do you think? It’s not just employees — restaurants and Broadway shows are starting to require ticket holders to show proof of vaccination. Will this work or produce a backlash, Stephanie?
Ruhle: Who cares if it produces a backlash? They damn well should. Right? In France, every day we could turn on the TV and say, look at the protesters. What are there, a thousand protesters, 10,000 protestors? The first week Emmanuel Macron put the requirement in place, almost 4 million people in France got vaccinated. It works. And I guess I’m angry because for all the noise corporate America gives us about wanting to do the right thing and being leaders for social justice and writing letters for voting rights, here’s something they absolutely can do to protect our country, to protect their employees, to also pay back the government who just bailed out businesses big and small to the tune of trillions of dollars. And now do your part. Businesses have that giant carrot. You’re always going to have anti-vaxxers, right? But in the middle are all of these people, and especially youngish people who are like, “I’m healthy. I don’t really need it.”
But if you say to that person ‘Great, well — you can’t go to work, can’t go to a bar, can’t go to the gym, and can’t go to your favorite sporting event,’ they’re going to run out and get vaccinated. And I think it’s super-selfish and shortsighted that businesses … Remember when we first got the vaccines, we kept hearing that people who are fully vaccinated will be able to go to this store without a mask on. When was the last time anyone asked you your vaccination status when you walked in a store? When I’m in a store and I see people with masks on, they don’t seem to be people who aren’t vaccinated. More likely, they’re people who are being extra cautious.
This will be the next big wave of people getting vaccinated. And I think when the vaccines go from emergency approval to full approval, you’ll see a lot more businesses do it.
Swisher: Incentives have been tried. Monetary rewards, event tickets, time off. I just talked to the head of American — they were doing things like that, an extra vacation day for current employees. So what would be your argument that you should make them? I was like, “I don’t think I’ll fly American Airlines if I don’t know if all your people are vaccinated. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think I will.”
Ruhle: I just think this argument that you can’t make people — I don’t know. I don’t like shots either, but when I walked my 5-year-old to show up for kindergarten on the first day, if he wasn’t vaccinated, my other choice was to homeschool. So we, of course, yes, boom, I’m going to get my kids vaccinated. So all of this is just crazy. …”
What is this based on except for terrible polling for the Democrats?