To the Editor:
There is much talk and writing about civil rights with regards to vaccinations; this is a question of civic responsibility coupled with a personal sense of safety awareness.
Those in our nation who served in the military knew from the time we entered and that if we went overseas in any capacity, we would receive a host of vaccines. In the military, this kind of order is possible. I preface this by saying that I have all three COVID shots.
In 1932, 400 black men in the U.S. unknowingly and intentionally were injected with syphilis in an experiment called the “United States Public Health Services Syphilis Study at Tuskegee”— this was without their consent, and a severe breach of civil rights. The Nuremburg trials (held after WWII) deemed experimentation on people with chemicals to be illegal.
In this respect, people who are against getting vaccinated had historical points of reference of mandates gone wrong. Furthermore, what gives the right to a civilian employer to subjugate its employees to get a vaccination as a condition for continuing to work; much less the president of the United States to give them such an order?
Such an action could be understandable when one is under the employ of the UNHCR or working in disease infested areas. Many, on principle, have quit their jobs as even such mandates seem to some to be unreasonable and without precedent, FDA approval notwithstanding.
The problem with this current self-centered resistance is that personal rights have been deemed more important than the rest of society. As a result, all surgeries (even cancer) at Baylor Scott & White and other hospitals were put on hold during various surges of COVID to deal with a large group of unvaccinated people.
Only other emergencies and urgent case were treated; an understandable triage. Though there was a segment of the population who due to age or medical condition could not be vaccinated until recently, many people who were and still are against this jab are unnecessarily filling the hospitals.
This is because because their negligence is now considered a privilege and in some case a mark of new age martyrdom.
As such, their health has now been compromised because they refused to get a vaccination that could have mitigated their sickness or prevented their death.
I am not an epidemiologist, virologist, immunologist, or an infection disease specialist; but I believe all four of these disciplines should be on the national advisory board to the president.
With such a board, a broader picture of the facts would help the nation to forge a way towards wellness. Infections are still a problem to be sure; but mounting deaths especially among the young would be far worse.
One man hospitalized from COVID in a widely televised interview was stubborn to the end, claiming he would not be vaccinated once he was discharged. He died in the hospital.
As a result of many COVID vaccine refusals, children are left parentless, and adults are left without many of their loved ones that included (in many cases) children.
Please, when discerning to get vaccinated or not, make a determination of how your decision affects those around you and what graves risks are worth taking.
As seen by the test of many years, no vaccine can work forever because of mutations, but it is better to have some well founded level of protection and hope as opposed to neither.
retired major, U.S. Army