COVID-19 vaccines are an effective tool in protecting people from serious illness and death. Vaccine passports, however, are a terribly misguided policy that should be resisted and/or rescinded. Here’s why.
The inconvenient fact is millions of vaccinated Americans are still getting the coronavirus in what are known as breakthrough infections. In November, The Wall Street Journal found, “There have been more than 1.89 million cases and at least 72,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths among fully vaccinated people in the U.S. this year.”
That 1.89 million figure is likely a significant undercount, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention curiously stopped tracking breakthrough infections last May. Shockingly, the federal health agency announced last spring they are only recording vaccinated individuals who are hospitalized or die from COVID-19 — not everyone else getting breakthrough infections.
Hence, when daft politicians such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio mandate that businesses can only allow vaccinated customers to dine inside restaurants or enter entertainment venues and other establishments, they are creating a misleading illusion that vaccinated individuals are safe to be around while the unvaccinated that likely have natural immunity are not.
That false dichotomy is not supported by the data.
The reality is businesses being forced to comply with the discriminatory mandate have no idea whether any of the “approved” patrons who show proof of vaccination have the coronavirus or not. These individuals could be asymptomatic and spread the virus to others — including to their employees — as being tested for COVID-19 isn’t a requirement for entry, only proof of vaccination.
How is this sound public health policy? It’s not.
Last summer, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a COVID-19 outbreak occurred over the July Fourth holiday where the vast majority of COVID-19 cases were those who were fully vaccinated. On its site, the CDC reports “469 COVID-19 cases were identified among Massachusetts residents who had traveled to the town during July 3-17; 346 (74%) occurred in fully vaccinated persons.” The CDC added, “Cycle threshold values were similar among specimens from patients who were fully vaccinated and those who were not.”
More recently, in Massachusetts — one of the most vaccinated states in the country, with nearly 4.9 million residents fully vaccinated — breakthrough cases are surging. On Nov. 23, state public health officials reported 6,917 new COVID-19 breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated individuals between Nov. 13 and Nov. 20. Cumulatively in Massachusetts, there have been 77,647 total cases in fully vaccinated individuals who’ve contracted the coronavirus as of Nov. 27, according to data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Again, this means that if any of these folks showed proof of vaccination in New York City or elsewhere that require vaccine passports, they would be permitted to dine at restaurants and other indoor establishments — potentially spreading the virus to others — while unvaccinated patrons are being stigmatized and blocked from entry.
Meanwhile, ever-growing COVID-19 restrictions are harming businesses already struggling to survive due to labor shortages, supply chain snafus and other challenges such as criminals committing smash-and-grabs and costly property damage in an alarming new trend. These businesses scrambling to stay afloat throughout the nearly two-year pandemic are being forced by government officials in major cities such as New York and San Francisco to turn away unvaccinated customers who, like their vaccinated counterparts, may or may not have the virus.
News flash: This won’t help the U.S. economy recover from the most devastating pandemic in a century. Nor will it help small mom and pop shops keep their doors open.
So, before Americans vacate their liberty and comply with the government’s ever-expanding control over our daily lives, ask yourself if any of this makes sense. And remember that once you give your freedom away — which our brave veterans have lost life and limb protecting — it’s extremely hard to get it back.
Food for thought as we continue to endure the multiyear pandemic we were told by the government — advised by infectious disease “expert” Dr. Anthony Fauci — would only take two weeks to #StopTheSpread.
How did that turn out?
Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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