Last March, I followed the CDC’s advice and got fully vaccinated against COVID-19. I did so more out of a sense of civic duty than any actual fear that I might contract the virus. It was just an easy and scientifically sound way to help slow its spread. Naturally, I was delighted when the CDC finally announced that fully vaccinated people could safely participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing inconvenient and clinically useless face masks. Now, the CDC has reversed itself and issued new guidance telling 163.6 million fully vaccinated Americans to put our masks back on. Sorry, no sale.
First, the CDC published no data supporting its bizarre reversal. The Washington Post reports: “In the text of the updated masking guidance, the agency merely cited ‘CDC COVID-19 Response Team, unpublished data, 2021.’” Moreover, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is struggling to produce a plausible explanation. She claimed without evidence on ABC News that “new science” has emerged showing that fully vaccinated people should be masking.
Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) points out that the CDC decision was based on a defective study involving a vaccine that hasn’t been approved in the U.S.:
The “game-changer” data the CDC used for the mask mandate is from a single study from India. The study was rejected in peer review. . . . And just before the new decision was made, the study’s status was mysteriously changed — it no longer listed the study as “rejected after peer review.” The site said it was a “glitch.” Pretty convenient glitch. . . . The “party of science” isn’t listening to science. They never have. This latest mask guidance is proof. But Democrats don’t care. Because this isn’t about public health. It’s about public control.
Crenshaw is right. The Democrats never approved of lifting any of the “temporary” mitigation measures they imposed on us last year, ostensibly to get COVID-19 under control. When the CDC finally acquiesced to public pressure last spring and permitted the vaccinated to return to our normal lives, they immediately revealed themselves as anti-science zealots. We began to hear calls for vaccine passports despite the absence of public enthusiasm. A recent Gallup survey found that majorities oppose such passports for restaurant dining, staying in hotels, and entering the workplace. But Democrats don’t trust us with so much liberty.
After the CDC set the vaccinated free last May, former Obama administration official Kavita K. Patel wrote in The Hill that trusting Americans to follow an honor system on vaccinations was magical thinking: “People are much more likely to lie, especially if they enter a business or establishment with the majority of persons unmasked and they are simply asked to self-report vaccination status.” This provides a valuable insight into the contempt Democrats have for the voters.
Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya explain in the Wall Street Journal how inequitable and dangerous vaccine passports would become.
Vaccine passports are unjust and discriminatory. Most of those endorsing the idea belongs to the laptop class — privileged professionals who worked safely and comfortably at home during the epidemic. Millions of Americans did essential jobs at their usual workplaces and became immune the hard way. Now they would be forced to risk adverse reactions from a vaccine they don’t need. Passports would entice young, low-risk professionals . . . to get the vaccine before older, higher-risk, but less affluent members of society. Many unnecessary deaths would result.
Also, as a practical matter, mandating vaccine passports would inevitably create a black market through which forgeries could easily be purchased. Indeed, they are already available. Second, it isn’t necessary to rely on the honor system. If you have been fully vaccinated, your chances of contracting COVID-19 or the dreaded Delta variant in a restaurant or grocery store are very nearly zero. Even considering the immunocompromised, it isn’t reasonable to impose a passport mandate on the entire country to accommodate 3.6 percent of the population. Consequently, the public should reject vaccine passports and face masks.
All of this brings me back to my refusal to wear a mask that no one who recalls middle school biology believes will protect me. The last time I was in a doctor’s office, I asked if it was really necessary to wear a mask. He took off his own mask and said, “I’ve been vaccinated, and you’ve been vaccinated. You have a higher chance of being struck by lightning than of contracting the virus.” Another physician with whom I cycle from time to time put it a little more coarsely (this is the cleaned-up version): “If you can detect flatulence through your face mask, it won’t protect you from COVID-19, the Delta variant, or any other virus.”
So, I’m not going to wear a mask. If any employee of any retail establishment asks me to put on a mask, I will take my custom elsewhere. If anyone in any public building paid for by my tax dollars tells me to don a mask, I will tell them, “No,” and invite them to call the police if they dislike that response. If anyone bothers me in any place of public accommodation, I will politely tell them to mind their own business and advise them that I myself will call the police if they continue to harass me. I’m not wearing a face mask.