The blunt truth about vaccination

The blunt truth about vaccination

Posted: Jul 8, 2021 4:40 PM
Updated: Jul 8, 2021 4:40 PM

It is time to impose vaccine mandates and passports. The Covid-19 vaccines continue to perform extraordinarily well, but the rate of infection is worsening in unvaccinated populations. The Delta variant is offering a sobering reminder that the pandemic has faded in much of the country but certainly not ended.

Both political parties have made the mistake of framing vaccines within the tradition of individualism. Even President Joe Biden, who has demonstrated his comfort with a muscular role for government, keeps appealing to individuals to make the right and patriotic choice when it comes to receiving their jabs.

Governors are imploring residents of their states to vaccinate soon. For many, the goal has been to keep making it as easy as possible for persons to have quick access without being too overtly pushy. Incentives, from multimillion-dollar lotteries to baseball tickets to a shot and a beer, have all been thrown in as part of the package. The message has been that the government will keep making vaccines as easy, accessible and attractive as possible.

It's not enough. Easy, accessible and attractive are important; nobody should face barriers toward receiving vaccines. But citizens must also not see this as an optional inoculation.

Biden and other political leaders need to start thinking about the good of the collective and not just the rights of the individual. Doing so is not some sort of move toward socialism, as conservative critics inevitably argue. Thinking of the common good is as American as apple pie.

The United States has a long history of requiring citizens to participate in programs that help all of us.

Created in 1935, Social Security stipulated that all industrial workers pay taxes to finance pensions for the elderly. During World War II, a mass income tax system and a Selective Service program were essential to defeating the global threat of fascism.

America used taxes to pay for an interstate highway system in 1956 that enabled our communities to grow and spread all over the country. At the state and local levels, we already require students to receive vaccines (mumps, measles and more) if they are going to attend our schools. Individuals need to pass tests and receive licenses if they want to drive, so that everyone on the road is as safe as possible.

Collective obligations have always been part of what actually makes America great and we need to start talking about vaccines through this vital lens. If we want to restore normality on a long-term basis, restore our economy, create opportunity for everyone and live in a society where we and our loved ones are safe, healthy and happy, much more of the population needs to be vaccinated.

Civic obligation is a crucial partner to individual rights. With the pandemic, the connections between these two elements of our political culture have become clear. If we do not insist upon the steps necessary to truly contain Covid-19, and our hospitals start to be overloaded again, individuals in America simply won't be able to claim their rights.

Over the July Fourth weekend, much of the country enjoyed the sweet taste of what post-pandemic life can be. We can't afford to take too many steps backward -- and the Delta variant is showing us right now how easily that could happen.

Requiring vaccination must be at the heart of our public health agenda.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1003647

Reported Deaths: 16423
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1351072116
Lake661851159
Allen57674800
Hamilton46217464
St. Joseph44210611
Elkhart35807508
Vanderburgh32162480
Tippecanoe27859258
Johnson25007444
Hendricks23795357
Porter22856365
Madison18694408
Clark18505252
Vigo17393303
Monroe15218199
LaPorte15101250
Delaware15024261
Howard14681289
Kosciusko12260147
Hancock11682175
Bartholomew11548180
Warrick11270189
Floyd11059214
Wayne10946253
Grant10019219
Morgan9438176
Boone8891116
Dubois8249131
Dearborn819893
Henry8174152
Noble8003106
Marshall7891135
Cass7519121
Lawrence7433171
Shelby7171119
Jackson695889
Gibson6567115
Harrison646691
Huntington636899
Knox6360106
DeKalb628699
Montgomery6229109
Miami591498
Putnam577678
Clinton572171
Whitley563455
Steuben558976
Wabash5309103
Jasper527879
Jefferson509297
Ripley498686
Adams479775
Daviess4653114
Scott438473
Greene423596
Wells422588
Clay421360
White417364
Decatur4152102
Fayette405787
Jennings385961
Posey375844
Washington356150
LaGrange356078
Randolph343499
Spencer338743
Fountain333860
Sullivan327852
Starke315570
Owen313970
Fulton309167
Orange292663
Jay283445
Franklin265143
Perry264852
Rush260832
Carroll260633
Vermillion257254
Parke230426
Pike228443
Tipton227259
Blackford191841
Pulaski183157
Crawford159023
Newton156848
Benton150217
Brown145747
Martin138019
Switzerland134811
Warren120816
Union107016
Ohio84213
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COVID-19 Important links and resources

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