Dr. Leana Wen told Chris Cuomo that the Biden administration needs to tie reopening to vaccination status. While the administration has already begun discussing the possibility of a so-called "vaccine passport" with business leaders, Wen seems to believe that the government should go even further to secure their aim of sticking a shot into the arms of every American.
What she wants is to find a way to get more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Her big idea, however, is to hold Americans' freedoms hostage to their vaccination status. Wen proposes that those who are vaccinated be given their freedoms and rights to move freely back, in order to convince other people to get vaccinated so that they, in turn, can have their rights back.
Wen is the former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore, CNN medical analyst and a Washington Post columnist. We had been president of Planned Parenthood until June 2019, when she was ousted from her post after less than a year.
Wen said that she was concerned primarily that America will "not reach herd immunity due to vaccine hesitancy." The CDC, and the Biden administration, have been very insistent that every American get vaccinated against a virus that has a survival rate of some 98 percent.
"It has to be clear to them," Wen told Cuomo, "that the vaccine is the ticket back to pre-pandemic life. And the window to do that is really narrowing. And you were mentioning Chris about how all these states are reopening, they are reopening at 100 percent. And we have a very narrow window to tie reopening policy to vaccination status.
"Because otherwise if everything is reopened, what is the carrot going to be? How are we going to incentivize people to actually get the vaccine? So that's why the CDC and the Biden administration needs to come out alot bolder and say, 'if you're vaccinated, you can do all these things, here are all these freedoms that you have.' Because otherwise people are going to go out and enjoy these freedoms anyway."
Our rights are not a cudgel that we should be beaten with. Our rights are not a bargaining chip that the government can withhold to get us to do what they want. Whether the vaccine is or is not the scientifically correct thing to do has absolutely nothing to do with Americans' right to their God-given, Constitutionally explicated, rights to liberty.
But Wen, and the people of her mindset, including those in the Biden administration, feel that it is their job to create a criterion system that will authorize some Americans to take part in every day life while others are denied that, all as a result of whether or not they have consented to a medical treatment.
It's not just our basic rights that Wen feels it is appropriate to withhold until we get vaccinated, it's also our kids' education. Speaking to NPR, Wen said that a criteria to get all schools reopened should be that teachers all get vaccinated too.
Wen said that "I strongly believe that at the very beginning, we should have prioritized teachers and school staff for vaccination. If we had done that, we could have gotten schools back for in-person learning a lot sooner. There really should be no expenses spared."
Teachers unions, however, were not comfortable forcing their members to get the vaccine just so that they would be able to work. While yes, schools should be opened, granting the right to work based on whether or not someone has been vaccinated, despite their vulnerability to the virus, is not reasonable.
There cannot be caveats on our rights. We have the right to work. We have the right to move about freely. These must not be contained or restrained by medical experts, government leaders, or business interests.