As widespread vaccination and other factors have brought case rates down across the United States, state and local governments’ legal authority to impose extraordinary measures in the name of fighting the virus is becoming more limited. Governors and mayors have steadily lifted restrictions not just because infections are down, because vaccinations have increased, or because the public can no longer tolerate pandemic-related restrictions, but also because officials’ power to impose blanket limits on the behavior of individuals and businesses has a defined end: when people have the ability to protect themselves. Nationally, thousands of new coronavirus infections are still occurring every day, but efforts to combat the pandemic from this point on will have to operate within stricter legal constraints than they did in the early weeks of the pandemic.
“early weeks”? Many have operated that way for 16 months.
The author of the above fails to note that despite having done everything they asked, we still have 600,000 dead. Did their restrictions work? Most places without restrictions had nearly identical outcomes to those with restrictions. No one offers a coherent explanation for this.
And yet for public-health agencies to use their authority, expert opinion is not enough. They also need broad community consensus that the government is justified in invoking its police powers. The more widespread and urgent the threat, and the fewer reliable methods individuals have to protect themselves, the greater the public’s expectation that the government will step in.
Yes, public health DEPENDS ON VOLUNTARY COOPERATION. Yet they operated on the basis of ORDERS, at times enforced by police actions. Public health must use a “Sell, don’t tell” approach to obtain voluntary cooperation. Using an approach of inconsistent, contradictory, illogical and frequently incoherent messaging, enforced by police actions, is a non-starter.
The author says proof of vaccination “must be a component of pandemic policy” and that “being unvaccinated [is] extremely inconvenient”. Some employers should mandate vaccination as condition of employment and/or mandate weekly Covid-19 testing and wearing of “medical-grade masks” (because the DIY masks they told everyone to wear do not work?)