Editor’s note: We endeavor to bring you the top voices on current events representing a range of perspectives. Below is a column arguing that private companies should not mandate coronavirus vaccines for employees. You can find a counterpoint here, where Tammy and Pete McCutchen argue that company vaccine mandates make sense.
Private companies should absolutely not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. There are myriad reasons for this but allow me to list a few of the most obvious.
Firstly, this is still an experimental vaccine. Yes, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are all actively pursuing full FDA approval, but current usage is permitted only under an emergency use authorization, or an EUA. If this was a good faith discussion, the EUA would render any discussion of vaccine mandates completely absurd, full stop. Mandates of the COVID vaccines should be illegal under any circumstance, but especially under an EUA.
That said, I’ll concede the FDA’s full approval is basically a foregone conclusion. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 3 in 10 unvaccinated adults would be more likely to get the medicine if it received full FDA approval and the government is very aware of this. It will exert significant pressure to help hurry along full approval.
If that sounds cynical, it’s because I am. It’s exactly this type of cynicism surrounding a once trusted institution — that I know I share with millions of other Americans — which is precisely why not to mandate such a novel and rapidly developed vaccine. According to HistoryofVaccines.org, the typical process for vaccine approval is 10-15 years, not 10-15 months. Nevertheless, the FDA assures us it is “working as quickly as possible” to grant approval, which is expected as early as September. Why? Precisely because, as ABC News puts it, approval “could drive up vaccinations by allowing vaccine mandates in places such as the military and schools.”
So, the FDA is working to fast track a vaccine because politicians want to leverage its institutional legitimacy to force mandates?
Such an extraordinary admission completely erodes the FDA’s legitimacy, or at least it should. But this is what the entire pandemic has perversely succeeded in doing time and again, namely revealing the corruption of so many of our institutions we once relied upon. The more Americans have been strong-armed into lockdowns, masks and vaccines, the less we trust the institutions doing the strong-arming. We’ve seen the politicization of the CDC, the DHS, our public schools, our medical journals, and many of our state and local public health officials as they destroyed our civil liberties in the name of “public health” and ever changing “science.”
Speaking of public health, there are legitimate concerns surrounding negative, even life-threatening side effects from the vaccine, according to VAERs, the government’s vaccine adverse event reporting system. While well-funded leftwing fact-checkers have quickly labeled anyone citing VAERs statistics as anti-vax conspiracy theorists, the truth is that people have died as a result of the vaccine, likely numbering in the thousands. Many more thousands have experienced severe reactions to the medicine. Shouldn’t young, healthy Americans have the choice of whether they get vaccinated if there is even a small chance of life-altering and life-ending consequences? My detractors will say the chances of serious complications are miniscule, but so is a young person’s chance of dying from the actual disease.
There are also legitimate questions surrounding the efficacy of the current vaccines. According to a report from Axios, the Pfizer vaccine was only 42% effective in July against the now dominant delta variant. While Moderna fared somewhat better, Dr. Fauci is already warning of booster shots in the coming months. The net result is that “experts” want to mandate a vaccine that may or may not work against the delta variant while there is even more reason to doubt vaccine efficacy when it comes to the emergent lambda variant.
And what about those millions of Americans who have recovered from COVID naturally? An Israeli study found those with natural immunity might possess 6.7x as many antibodies as those who have been vaccinated. Should they be mandated to get vaccinated? Of course not.
Supporters of vaccine mandates might think all of my arguments are rendered moot by their ultimate Trump card, namely that the unvaccinated endanger the rest of society by spreading the disease. Unfortunately for the vaccinated, they might transmit the virus just as easily as the unvaccinated, research published by Public Health England (PHE) suggested according to Forbes. This is why reports of so-called breakthrough infections have multiplied in recent weeks.
All of these arguments apply to both government and private mandates, but there are specific reasons not to mandate the vaccine that apply directly to private business. For one, just telling someone to find another job, as even some Republicans have done, is an unacceptable solution in any other context, so why would it be okay now? At this point, those who have not received the vaccine likely have made that decision based on deeply held convictions and beliefs, or they are naturally immune. Private businesses that attempt to mandate vaccines despite these convictions place unnecessary hardship on unvaccinated employees and customers alike. Many people would be unable to find other employment that meets the financial needs of their family, or they might be forced to move to find another job.
Mandates also make little sense for struggling businesses still trying to recover from lockdowns of the past 18 months. Banning certain groups from shopping or dining at your business would only reduce revenue. Meanwhile, many businesses are desperate to hire qualified workers and mandating vaccines for young people and minorities — the least vaccinated groups in society — would radically shrink their labor pool.
Perhaps most poignantly, mandating vaccines is a form of medical apartheid. I first said this on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” when Turning Point USA launched its No Forced Vax campaign for college students, and many in the media collectively lost their minds. But when data revealed that black Americans were the least vaccinated group in America, others began echoing the sentiment along racial lines. As it turns out, less than 30% of black Americans have been fully vaccinated. Cities like New York and Los Angeles are effectively segregating most blacks from full participation in society. Do elites pushing vaccine mandates really want to tell black Americans to just get over the legacy of the Tuskegee Study? I don’t think so.
There are many other reasons not to mandate an experimental vaccine such as medical privacy, the onerous act of having to show one’s medical papers (and the black market of fake vaccine cards this has already created), and a simple desire to avoid America becoming a medical police state beholden to the irrational cult of safetyism. Mandates are nothing more than medical virtue signaling that give those ruling over us the license to justify all sorts of tyrannical power grabs in the name of public health. We should allow adults to make decisions for themselves based on consultation with their own family, their own doctor and their own God.
Anything else is tyranny, whether it comes from private businesses or the nanny state.
Charlie Kirk is the founder and president of Turning Point USA and host of the top-rated podcast and nationally syndicated Salem radio program, “The Charlie Kirk Show.”