Home The Washington Diplomat Op-Ed: Sit down. Get the vaccine. Act like an adult.

Op-Ed: Sit down. Get the vaccine. Act like an adult.

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Op-Ed: Sit down. Get the vaccine. Act like an adult.
Young man receiving vaccine shot during coronavirus pandemic.

On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced sweeping new mandates in an attempt to stem the US coronavirus pandemic.

The new rules amount to Biden saying “enough of the bull” as he steps up efforts to get stubborn Americans vaccinated. When I asked about mandatory vaccinations at the beginning of the Biden administration, press secretary Jen Psaki said the president was opposed to them.

Now? Biden wholly embraces them as vaccine hesitancy persists among Americans—particularly those who would a deworming medication meant for horses instead of a medication designed by scientists to vaccine humans against the coronavirus.

The rest of the world views us much the way you might stare at a dog who gets hit by a moving car while trying to bite a tire. It’s sad the United States is in this position, but it is entirely our fault.

Biden set up a six-point plan to mandate vaccinations while keeping schools open and continuing economic recovery, by also mandating mask usage. Mind you, none of this would be necessary if people would simply get vaccinated. Many haven’t. They are still holding out for reasons that escape logic, and many who have gotten sick and died of COVID have recorded last words pleading for the unvaccinated to get the shot.

Still, the Republican Party is racing to seal its fate as a death cult, with several members of the GOP continuing to whine about the vaccine—using a scientific problem as a wedge political issue.

“Forcing main street to vax or pay a fine will not only crush an economy he’s put on life support—it’s flat-out un-American, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wrote on Twitter. “To Joe Biden, force is more important than freedom. Americans won’t stand for it.”

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement: “It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do. Once again President Biden is demonstrating his complete disregard for individual freedoms and states’ rights. As long as I am governor, there will be no government vaccine mandates in Oklahoma.”

Biden’s response? It was a mixture of frustration and anger: “My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We’ve made vaccinations free, safe and convenient,” Biden said. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us. So please do the right thing.”

But the stubborn stupidity remains, with news stories popping up from time to time of people threatening police, flight attendants, teachers, principals and shop owners when they request people to “mask up” or demand that people to show proof of vaccination before being served.

For the general public, common sense must prevail—and while you can argue that Biden’s new mandates are confusing, it’s merely that as usual the Biden administration’s communication staff is inadequate and sophomoric in its approach as it tries to explain the administration’s policy.

In today’s hyperactive news environment, it is nearly impossible to get on top of any topic. While Biden grapples with the pandemic, he still faces questions about our withdrawal from Afghanistan, commemoration of the 9/11 anniversary, infrastructure, abortion rights and other issues large and small.

The way we’ve handled the pandemic in this country remains reprehensible. In Texas, you have the right to choose whether or not to wear a mask, but a woman has no right to choose what she can do with her own body. The Handmaid’s Tale reality of Texas is spreading across the country with touchstone issues like voter suppression and abortion.

But it is the pandemic issue that has helped to drive a wedge deep into the American soul. You can see a mask. You can document a vaccination. It seems to be, for those who scream the loudest, an issue with direct and tangible evidence to prove their point.

However, the pandemic is NOT a political issue. We don’t have polio and smallpox anymore because vaccines ended those afflictions. We wear a mask so we don’t spread the virus. We really are all in this together. Science doesn’t care about your politics.

So, please. Sit down. Get the vaccine. Act like an adult.