National Review published a column a couple weeks ago contending that people refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine “can’t be persuaded if they feel disrespected.”
My immediate response was twofold:
- If I express respect for vaccine refusers, I will be lying. If I lie, I lose respect (including my self-respect) and can’t persuade anyone.
- I should namby-pam over the “feelings” of cranks who’ve spent the last five years shouting “F*** Your Feelings“? No, vaccine balkers: F*** Your Feelings. Do your duty—get your shots.
Columnist Mike McFeely takes a similar tack, wondering just what we are supposed to say to fellow citizens who refuse to take the safe, effective, and free medical action that will save lives and quash the covid-19 pandemic:
I know, I know. We are not supposed to insult these people for their decision to not get vaccinated. We are supposed to try to understand their concerns and frustrations, to have empathy for their positions. Most are supporters of Donald Trump and to call their decision-making deplorable is worse than insulting their grandmother.
So we are supposed to say what?
“Yes, Bob, I understand your concern that Joe Biden might be inserting a microchip in your arm because he wants to track you. That’s a legitimate position and I fully respect it.”
“Jim, you are completely right to say that nobody’s going to tell you what to do, dammit, because that’s tyranny and that’s what led to Hitler killing 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. Do I have that right? Is that what you said? Anyway, I support your opinion as 100% valid.”
That deserves empathy and understanding?
What it deserves is scorn [Mike McFeely, “Unvaxxed Mostly Deserve Scorn,” Fargo InForum, 2021.07.26].
Our offering respect for the misinformed choice to refuse coronavirus vaccines would be bulls***, and the people most likely to refuse the vaccine love to say, “No More Bulls***.” Unless you have some underlying medical condition (and even then, most people in that situation can and should get the covid-19 vaccine), your reasons for not getting the vaccine are mostly bulls***. My telling you I respect you for believing and spreading lies and disease would be complete bulls***. GET YOUR SHOTS!!!
Or maybe folks who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine and spread lies to convince others to similarly refuse should just get sued:
A constellation of reasons can be cited for ongoing vaccine hesitancy, but one key factor is the prevalence of quack “experts” willing to misinterpret data, lie about statistics, and just plain make stuff up. Leading the misinformation charge has been Fox News—and particularly Tucker Carlson. Night after night, Carlson has provided a platform for sowing fear and confusion among his viewers about the efficacy of the vaccine and its side effects. Although the network has recently sounded a more responsible note, that turnabout has by no means been across the entire network and it comes too late for an untold number of people who have been newly sickened or died from the disease, and who might have been saved through immunization. There may actually be some legal remedy, though, for the damage wrought by the network. COVID victims who were taken in by Carlson’s vaccination misinformation, or their estates, may be able to sue Fox News under the ancient common law theory of fraud. They would have a reasonably good chance of success, too [John Culhane, “Fox News Could Be Sued If Its Anti-Vax Statements Caused People to Die,” Slate, 2021.07.23].
…or maybe pulled from their employment:
“The Vikings continue to hold discussions with Offensive Line Coach Rick Dennison regarding the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocols for training camp and preseason games,” the statement reads. “At this time, Coach Dennison does not have an exemption to the vaccination requirements of those protocols. We will adhere to the requirements of the protocols and of applicable law.”
Dennison is also still listed as the Vikings’ OL coach on the team’s website. However, unless he gets fully vaccinated — or receives an exemption — he will not regain his status as a Tier 1 staff member and will be unable to work directly with players on the field, in meeting rooms, or anywhere else. Essentially, it would be impossible for him to do his job as the team’s O-line coach. The Vikings presumably don’t want to have a virtual O-line coach if they don’t have to [Will Ragatz, “Vikings Coach Rick Dennison Hasn’t Been Fired Yet, ‘Discussions’ Ongoing,” Sports Illustrated, 2021.07.23].