With COVID-19 on the rise again in the United States, vaccine passports may be the only path forward
By Jeremy Knight
Yesterday, Biden announced that all federal employees MUST be vaccinated in order to continue working, eliminating the option of weekly testing. Biden also mandated that the Department of Labor requires all companies with over 100 employees to be vaccinated or face weekly testing.
Time and time again, science has shown us that not only do vaccinations lead to reduced levels of spread, but they also represent our only path to normalcy. By making this call for Mandatory vaccinations, Biden is leading this country and providing us with a fighting chance against another national shutdown.
However, is it enough? If we compare France and the USA as two modern societies, we see that the US shot out way ahead of France due to the early availability of Covid-19 vaccines and took a clear lead. However, vaccine hesitancy in the US kicked in and a large amount of Americans refused to get vaccinated and France started to catch up. France was soon facing a similar situation to the US with a large percentage of people not willing to get vaccinated. In July 2021, the pace of vaccinations dropped like it did in the US. Hospitals were being overrun and the health system was being pushed to its limits.
It was at this point that Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, made a political gamble. He introduced the requirement of a Vaccine pass to the French people. This required PROOF of vaccination to enter restaurants, museums, cafes, and bars. His decision was to make it very painful for people who did not want to be vaccinated. It was a political gamble for sure.
Protests happened, but the gamble appears to have paid off. The French people have decided that the thought of another lockdown was far worse than being vaccinated. If being vaccinated means they can go back to a normal lifestyle, then that was a price they were willing to pay. However, this only works with the political willpower to do the right thing despite the political consequences.
With the FDA approval of vaccines removing any remaining plausible arguments against vaccination for 99.9% of the population, is it time for Biden to double down and create a vaccine passport for the US? We cannot have a system where some businesses require vaccination while others do not. This does not help the country prevent another lockdown.
If someone wants to remain unvaccinated, then let them stay at home and share their theories on Facebook about secret messages and how vaccinations are the government’s first step to mind control or whatever other rant they choose. Let the unvaccinated keep their freedoms but NO PASSPORT = No restaurants, no bars, no shopping, and no sports. There should be consequences for those who knowingly are putting other people at risk.
Mark Davis of the Las Vegas Raiders showed the leadership that Vegas needs by requiring vaccination at their events. Thus, Raiders fans can enjoy the game without a mask, which is the normal way. It was disappointing that the Golden Knights failed to show leadership, and as a mass public gathering, are likely contributing to the further spread of the virus. Anyone who has been to a Knights game knows that masks come off and on, and often are off longer than they should be.
I don’t want to wear a mask1 but allowing unvaccinated people in, even with a negative test, is a huge problem. It is strange that the Golden Knights, who have shown such leadership since the Route 91 mass shooting, made this decision which by contrast is such an epic fail of the Knights front office. Still, it’s hard to place blame on the Knights when Casinos and other large attended facilities also do not require vaccinations to enter.
This is why we need President Biden to take his bold initiative one step further, following Macron’s lead and mandate vaccine passports for all businesses. I think if you ask Americans they will agree. It’s time to get back to normal and if that means vaccination passports, it’s a small price to pay. I don’t want another lockdown.
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