The American Disease

I ran across a telling quote about the American psyche in Ed Yong’s How the Pandemic Now Ends:

Emily Brunson, an anthropologist at Texas State, has studied vaccine attitudes and thinks that broad, top-down orders “wouldn’t play well, and the pushback could do more harm than good.” But strong mandates that tie employment to vaccination are easily justified in hospitals, long-term-care facilities, and prisons — “high-risk settings where vulnerable people don’t have a choice about being exposed,” Wiley told me. Mandates are also likely for university students, government employees, and the military, who already have to meet medical conditions for attendance or employment. (emphasis mine)

Segments of the American public do not see the scientific-medical consensus on vaccines as legitimate, but they do see tying employment to survival as a just contract between life and liberty. Amazing!

Granted, the quote in question limits the reach of such “easily justified” mandates, but the principle in question is the same: government acting on behalf of universal wellbeing is somehow suspect; private entities doing the same just adds to their legitimacy in deciding who lives and who dies.

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Samuel R. John

American living in Russia with interests in politics, history, and culture