To preface, I am not an anti-vaxxer.
On the contrary, I happily participated (and continue to participate) in the Phase III trial for the Moderna vaccine. However, I don’t think that the jab should be forced upon you. More importantly, I don’t think the jab should be forced upon children — even when it’s eventually approved for their use.
But Richard H. Ebright, the Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, disagrees. He tweeted on June 23rd that “the unvaccinated need to be excluded from public spaces, businesses,” and most infuriatingly, “schools.”
Ebright was, in the replies, given ample opportunity to retract, modify, or clarify his proclamation. Instead, he doubled down on it.
Undoubtedly, Ebright views himself as some paragon of virtue, a defender of truth, science, and collective safety. That view is misguided. Instead, Ebright is effectively a segregationist who would create millions of healthy second-class citizens unable to participate in public life.
Furthermore, even if we are generous and assume that Ebright would only mandate vaccinations in children once the vaccines are approved for their use, he would still create a generation of children whose development and learning are permanently stunted as a result of bad policy.
American children have suffered enough. They have endured more than a year of learning loss stemming from school closures, battled ridiculous guidelines at schools that did manage to open for in-person instruction, and endured widespread victimization at the hands of teachers’ unions who used the pandemic as a tool for expanding their political sway. Our families don’t need some Harvard-educated academic sitting in an ivory tower pontificating about how they should raise their children.
The routine vaccines you find required in schools currently have been around for decades. They are well-understood and ubiquitous, and many states list numerous exceptions to their mandates. The COVID-19 vaccines, on the other hand, are new, and the side effect profiles are constantly evolving. As approval for younger children approaches, the hesitancy of many families is understandable.
In addition, children cannot make their own medical decisions. Keeping unvaccinated children out of schools is effectively “punishing” them for the “sins” of their parents. It perpetuates the idea that kids are state property rather than independent agents under their parents’ gentle, temporary guardianship.
COVID-19 (even the Delta variant), while a furious villain to adults, is relatively benign in children — less dangerous than the flu. While transmission within schools has occurred at a higher rate with the Delta variant, it has not been the cataclysmic event in the United Kingdom that many politicos predicted. As such, the heavy-handed measures advocated by left-wingers like Ebright are being proposed to alleviate the unwarranted fears of hypochondriacs and nanny-state lovers — not to protect children.
A vaccinated child is a protected child. There is no need for them or their parents to worry about the vaccination status of others. Once the vaccines are approved for use in children, it is not necessary for people like Ebright, who presumably will have their kids and grandkids vaccinated, to push for mandates.
At best, Ebright’s online rants are an expression of internalized hypochondria and, at worst, a willful assertion of government power over American children. Either way, his plan would create a second class of American children, underserved and undervalued because of the views of their parents. That should never be allowed to occur in the United States. Period.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.