The Meaning of the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates in 2023

by | Jan 17, 2023

The Meaning of the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates in 2023

by | Jan 17, 2023

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On September 18, 2022, President Joe Biden told a CBS news reporter in a “Sixty Minutes” interview that “The pandemic is over.” Two months later, on November 16, 2022, at a G20 meeting in Bali, Biden signed, on behalf of the United States, a declaration which states (in Article 19) that “the pandemic is not over.” Among the provisions of the lengthy G20 agreement is a green light for the possibility of a legally binding global (supranational) vaccination passport scheme, ostensibly to facilitate international travel:

“We support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) that will draft and negotiate a legally binding instrument that should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements to strengthen pandemic PPR and the working group on the International Health Regulations that will consider amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) mindful that the decision will be made by World Health Assembly.” (Article 19)

“We acknowledge the importance of shared technical standards and verification methods, under the framework of the IHR (2005), to facilitate seamless international travel, interoperability, and recognizing digital solutions and non-digital solutions, including proof of vaccinations. We support continued international dialogue and collaboration on the establishment of trusted global digital health networks as part of the efforts to strengthen prevention and response to future pandemics, that should capitalize and build on the success of the existing standards and digital COVID-19 certificates.” (Article 23)

By the end of 2022, three months after Biden’s claim that the pandemic had ended, the United States was still requiring noncitizens to present proof of vaccination at the border—a requirement imposed only by these other countries as of today: Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Pakistan. This despite the fact that the president himself (quadruply jabbed at that time) had already been infected with COVID-19, thus demonstrating for all the world that the shots did not stop the spread of the virus.

While Biden was busy abroad networking with globalist friends whose plans have far-reaching, indeed, universal effects, a few members of the U.S. Congress, including Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, were working diligently in the homeland on legislation to repeal the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on military personnel. As Massie and many others have repeatedly (and cogently) observed, a so-called vaccine which does not prevent infection and transmission serves no public health purpose whatsoever, and a mandate on groups, including large groups such as the military, does not protect the members of the group from the possibility of infection by other members of the group. Without what has proven to be a spurious public health pretext, promoted through an aggressive, relentless propaganda campaign, the decision of whether or not to undergo inoculation can only remain, rationally speaking, a private medical choice, for individuals to make for themselves in consultation with their doctors.

The military imposes a variety of medical requirements upon troops in the name of battlefield readiness, but mandating a medical treatment for the military corps in this case was especially dubious, for one of the well-documented side effects of the experimental mRNA shots is myocarditis, and this ailment, while rare, is most common among younger males. Requiring healthy young men at nearly no risk of death from the COVID-19 virus itself to undergo a treatment which has as possible side effects organ injury, collapse, or even death, makes no sense whatsoever, except perhaps as a policy of forced submission. Yes, soldiers are duty bound to follow orders. But the reason for that is supposed to be related to the importance of coordination in potentially dangerous operations, where a failure to follow orders may result in the deaths of the soldier’s comrades and ultimately jeopardize not only the mission but also the greater battle underway.

The Biden administration’s COVID-19 “vaccine” mandate on soldiers had the opposite effect of the presumed requirement of obedience. Rather than increasing the military corps’ battlefield readiness, about 8,400 enlisted persons were relieved (without pay) of their positions for refusing to follow the dubious order. It is perhaps worth pointing out here that the loss of this particular subset of the larger group arguably constituted, at the same time, something of a brain drain on the military, leaving behind a less intelligent group, given that the persons forbidden from serving had refused mindlessly to submit to what was manifestly an illogical order.

A more complicated, moral argument could be made here as well. If we accept the Nuremberg court findings, then the requirement of obedience does not absolve a soldier in all cases from culpability in having followed illegal orders. If a human being has a right not to be experimented on against his will, as the Nuremberg Code itself affirms, then in refusing to accede to such an order, the soldier is in fact complying with the court’s own broader ruling on obedience, although in the case of the mRNA shots, the person not to be violated is the soldier himself. The Pentagon maintains, of course, that the order to undergo vaccination was legal, having evidently failed to comprehend the inherent contradiction (or simple Newspeak) of a “vaccine” which prevents neither infection nor transmission.

The shot may serve a therapeutic purpose, by making infection less severe and deadly to persons already vulnerable to those outcomes (because they are elderly, infirm, and/or obese), but for the vast majority of persons in the active military, who are young and healthy, the risk reduction of the shots is minimal, indeed less 1%, whichever of the various shots one considers. A consciously inculcated equivocation between Absolute Risk Reduction (ARR) and Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) began with the very launch of the vaccines, the resplendent projected success of which was based upon analysis of likely outcomes in vulnerable cohorts, not among the young and healthy persons who comprise much of the military corps.

In the end, the argument made by the Republican congresspersons who succeeded in halting the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the shots may harm young people, nor that any rational risk-benefit analysis would side with the troops who declined to roll up their sleeves, given that they are among the least vulnerable of all cohorts to the virus itself, and the shots do not prevent infection and transmission anyway. The primary line of reasoning used to persuade congress to outlaw the mandate (and pressed by Republican governors as well) made no mention of the Nuremberg Code, human rights, or bodily autonomy, specifically, the right of free persons to decide which substances to introduce into their very own bodies. Instead, lawmakers maintained that by reducing the number of active-duty troops, the mandate was jeopardizing national security.

The history of the military’s use of soldiers as subjects in a variety of experiments, often without their knowledge, much less informed consent, reveals a notoriously cavalier attitude among administrators toward exposing soldiers to toxic substances such as Agent Orange in Vietnam, the emanations of bombed chemical factories during Operation Desert Storm (the 1991 Gulf War), and the burn pit fumes in Afghanistan and Iraq in the twenty-first century “War on Terror.” Given the persistence with which injured soldiers’ claims have been diminished or outright denied by authorities in conflict after conflict, it seems fairly clear that, from the perspective of the military’s top brass, a soldier’s right to bodily autonomy is effectively renounced upon enlistment. The implicit logic, reduced to its essence, seems to be something like this: if a person is already willing to sacrifice his life for his country, then every lesser sacrifice may be asked of him as well.

The relatively recent acknowledgment by the Biden administration of the damage caused to soldiers by the burn pits may be attributable to the fact that President Biden believes that his own son, Beau, was one of the victims, having developed brain cancer and died as a result of exposure to toxic substances during his service in Iraq. But the more general point stands: in setting up the burn pits, administrators disregarded the effect that they would have upon not only the civilians but also the soldiers located nearby.

Contractually speaking, soldiers, by offering their services in exchange for a variety of benefits—from a stable salary, to healthcare, to education, to a pension—do in fact agree to follow orders. In the case of the mRNA shots, however, the loss of more than eight thousand persons from the active military was painted by lawmakers as harming national security, particularly in a time of flagging voluntary enlistments and failed recruitment campaigns, which have not managed to improve the image of the piggish “War on Terror” no matter how much lipstick is applied. The suicides of thousands of formerly healthy and happy troops have no doubt served as an effective anti-recruitment campaign for the past two decades, try though the public relations wing of the Pentagon may to burnish its image by pretending that the outcome of World War II absolves it from every U.S. government crime of mass homicide committed since 1945.

The military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate had already survived a variety of court challenges, thus demonstrating once again that scientific illiteracy is distributed throughout the populace at every socioeconomic stratum, including among persons in possession of a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Nonetheless, thanks to the tireless efforts of Representative Massie, et al., the mandate was successfully outlawed by congress and signed into law by President Biden on December 23, 2022, as a footnote or sidebar to the 3,854 page, gargantuan military budget in excess of $858 billion. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre expressed the expected lamentation to the effect that, by including the anti-mandate provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the congress showed that it did not care about the health of the troops: “What we think happened here is that Republicans in Congress have decided that they’d rather fight against the health and well-being of our troops than protecting them.” Nonetheless, the mandate was indeed revoked, having been strategically appended to the piece of legislation most likely to pass each year, and which for that reason has become the place to tuck any and every provision which could never secure needed votes otherwise.

With the military mandate terminated by law, an ancillary debate rages on over whether the troops who refused to follow orders to roll up their sleeves should be compensated, or at least given back pay for the period during which they were essentially made into pariahs for asserting their right to bodily autonomy and refusing to serve as subjects in an experimental trial of a treatment for which they had no need. To date, the troops who lost their means of livelihood and suffered dismissal have not been compensated. This is because the government’s own COVID-19 disinformation campaign plows ahead, undeterred by the data analyzed in a barrage of rapidly proliferating, peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Indeed, while the Pentagon has complied with law to lift the mandate, it is nonetheless continuing to base deployments on vaccination status, again, as though the vaccines prevented both infection and transmission. In ending the mandate as required by law on January 10, 2023, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, too, claimed that the policy imposed by him on August 24, 2021, had saved lives, and he issued a memo asserting the Pentagon’s discretionary ability to continue to consider vaccination status in its daily operations:

“Other standing Departmental policies, procedures, and processes regarding immunizations remain in effect. These include the ability of commanders to consider, as appropriate, the individual immunization status of personnel in making deployment, assignment, and other operational decisions, including when vaccination is required for travel to, or entry into, a foreign nation.”

Both Defense Secretary Austin’s and Press Secretary Jean-Pierre’s insistence on perpetuating the government’s 2021 narrative, according to which prior infection is somehow irrelevant to vaccination decisions, illustrated their failure to comprehend the intrinsic dependence of any effective vaccine on the tenability of the body’s own immune system. That so many other people have failed to recognize the manifest absurdity of requiring anyone to undergo treatment for a disease which they have already survived is a testament to the scope and intensity of the marketing campaign of disinformation deployed against the populace over the past two years during the reign of public health guru Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Every vaccine in fact depends upon the human body’s immune system in order to work. If the body’s own immune system could not, in principle, fend off the invader, then no vaccine designed to prompt the immune system to fend off the invader could possibly work. Many of the persons who refused the shots, and were publicly denounced and denigrated by the government and media alike as “antivaxxers,” did so on the entirely science-based grounds that their own bodies had already produced the antibodies and T-cells needed to fend off “severe illness and death,” to borrow a turn of phrase from the White House Christmas 2021 message of impending doom directed toward unvaccinated persons.

Before Congress acted to outlaw the military mandate, the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirement imposed on companies with 100 employees or more had already been struck down on January 13, 2022, by the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling, ending the federal government’s requirement of vaccination or weekly testing upon approximately 84 million persons. In this case, too, however, the executive order was struck down neither because of concern with human rights and bodily autonomy, nor for the utter arbitrariness of such a requirement upon persons in firms with 100 but not 99 employees. Rather, the OSHA mandate was struck down as having overreached the stated purpose and intent of OSHA itself. The majority opinion reasoned that allowing the mandate to stand would bestow broad new powers upon the Office never granted to it by the legislature.

That justices on the Supreme Court which struck down the OSHA mandate were nonetheless under sway of the pro-vaccination propaganda according to which the shots would stop the virus in its tracks was clearly demonstrated by their decision to allow the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services), acting through the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), mandate on healthcare workers to stand, in a 5-4 ruling, also on January 13, 2022. Because healthcare workers had been exposed to the virus during the first year of the pandemic, many of them had already been infected with and recovered from COVID-19. The mandated vaccination of already recovered hospital and nursing home workers made no sense from the perspective of science, illustrating the very illogicality inherent to the military mandate. The nurses and orderlies and lab techs and doctors who refused to comply with the mandate were in fact basing their decision on their professional training, according to which there is no better vaccine than the body’s own recovery from infection by a virus, a position once championed by Anthony Fauci himself.

One might reasonably presume that healthcare administrators should have at least a rudimentary understanding of immunology. And yet, defying any semblance of logic, somehow it came to be that vaccinated persons who were infected with COVID-19 were permitted to work, while unvaccinated persons who had already recovered from COVID-19 were forbidden from working in medical contexts. The fact that five out of nine of Supreme Court justices saw fit to uphold the healthcare employee mandate was an indication not only that they sincerely wanted to protect patients, but also, more importantly, that they actually had no understanding of immunology.

It wasn’t just Supreme Court justices who were hoodwinked by the redefinition of “vaccine” so as to imply that anyone who declined the mRNA shots was a selfish, ignorant antivaxxer. This harsh moral denunciation seemed justified in the minds of those who applied it, because they were operating under the assumption of the former definition, according to which any genuine vaccine would stop infection and transmission, and people who refused to undergo vaccination constituted, therefore, a public menace. The linguistic scenario represented an inverted case of Shakespeare’s “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Millions of persons—from Supreme Court justices, to pundits in the mainstream media, to celebrities, to the press secretary and defense secretary themselves—were convinced that because the shots were called “vaccines,” this obviously implied that they stopped the spread of the virus.

In coming to terms with the stark statistical reality, that the number of deaths from COVID-19 in fact increased subsequent to the widespread uptake of the “vaccines,” we are left with two possibilities. We can continue to call the mRNA shots “vaccines” but qualify them as “very bad vaccines,” or we can return to the earlier definition and acknowledge that they were never vaccines at all. “Vaccine” was just another pleasing label attached to a newly launched product in order to maximize its sales and in fact goad governments to impose mandates upon citizens against their will.

Viewed purely from a marketing perspective, the positive characterization of the experimental mRNA shots as “vaccines” was not unlike the inclusion of package inserts in boxes of Oxycontin asserting that the new class of narcotic painkiller was nonaddictive and, moreover, resistant to abuse. By now, it has become undeniable that the unscrupulous marketing ploys used by pharmaceutical companies to maximize sales of narcotics, which were fully condoned by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), fueled the opioid addiction crisis in the years subsequent to the launch of Oxycontin, leading ultimately to an epidemic of narcotics overdose deaths.

Now that the populace has confused shots with vaccines for more than two years, and indeed people regularly refer to the flu shot as a “vaccine,” despite its middling efficacy, it would seem that the honorific term will continue to be applied to any elixir which is being promoted by the powerful pharma-government alliance. This use of neologism or rebranding does not bode well for the future of free persons, given the explicitly stated plans in the works to require “vaccine passports” for international travel. By loosening the definition of “vaccine” to include whatever the powers that be wish for their subjects to ingest, we are careering toward a dystopian Brave New World in which citizens are required by law to dose themselves with substances or suffer dire consequences if they resist. The threat of job loss and cutting off access to their very own bank accounts were two of the sticks already brandished by governments during the Coronapocalypse, in addition to the refusal to allow noncompliant persons to cross borders.

As though in the throes of yet another senior moment, President Biden, who had declared the pandemic “over” back in September, announced in mid-December 2022, that every U.S. household would be eligible once again (as he had announced at about the same time the previous year, in 2021) for “free” COVID-19 tests to be delivered to their doorstep for at-home use. Predictably enough, after Biden’s magnanimous provision of “free” test kits (funded by taxpayers) to every household, on December 30, 2022, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) quietly extended its Emergency Order requiring vaccination of any person attempting to ford U.S. shores. The new order is set to expire on April 10, 2023, with the same rare exceptions admitted, including for those who wish to immigrate to the United States. Anyone attempting to visit relatives not seen now for years, or to do some tourism, must first demonstrate that they have been “fully vaccinated.” Let us briefly review the actual “public health” implications of this requirement.

According to the TSA Order, vaccinated travelers infected with COVID-19 may enter the United States—this follows from the fact that there is no testing requirement on anyone in possession of proof of having been fully vaccinated. Many vaccinated persons (including President and First Lady Biden) have become infected with COVID-19. Therefore, any vaccinated person, including those attempting to enter the United States, may in fact be infected with the virus. QED.

Unvaccinated travelers who do not carry the virus, however, as could be demonstrated through a negative test, may not enter the United States, nor may persons previously infected who have fully recovered from a bout of the wild virus and therefore definitively demonstrated their ability to survive infection. Note that a number of other countries (Brazil, China, Colombia, Nicaragua, et al.) continue to require either proof of vaccination or a negative test, a policy which at least has the semblance of common sense and consistency, having been crafted under the assumption that the shots do prevent infection and transmission—which we now know that they do not. But the point is that, if the shots prevented infection and transmission, then it would at least not be completely illogical to require testing of the unvaccinated. Three countries remain closed to all visitors, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated: Libya, Turkmenistan, and Yemen. Ten countries currently require unvaccinated persons to both test and quarantine in order to enter. (The entry requirements have changed frequently since 2020 but are regularly updated on the Kayak countries map.)

In contrast, the U.S. requirement defies all logic, at least from the perspective of public health, showing that we have truly entered into Nineteen Eighty-Four territory, with government officials regularly spouting out nonsensical locutions such as 2 + 2 = 5 and expecting the citizenry to applaud in response and parrot the pronouncements throughout social media. Preposterously, a noncitizen who underwent vaccination two years ago may enter the United States, while someone who recovered from the virus six months ago may not enter. Yet anyone who dares to point out that the government’s policies contradict the deliverances of empirical science continues to be shamed by the president, the press secretary, and many in the media and the populace who have been taken in by what is manifestly a ruse.

The requirement of COVID-19 vaccination on persons entering the United States serves, in reality, only two purposes: first, to punish those who refused to comply with the ubiquitous propaganda campaign to inoculate everyone everywhere with an experimental mRNA elixir; and, second, and most ominously, to normalize the notion that governments have and should have the authority to tell people which medications they must ingest. There is no sense in which the TSA requirement and the associated ongoing State of Emergency is supported by either theories of science or the statistical evidence amassed since 2020. Instead, “vaccination” has become a badge of compliance, which people continue to be indoctrinated to believe should be mandated on everyone against their will.

It’s not over ‘til it’s over.

About Laurie Calhoun

Laurie Calhoun is a Senior Fellow for The Libertarian Institute. She is the author of Questioning the COVID Company Line: Critical Thinking in Hysterical Times,We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering to Assassination in the Drone Age, War and Delusion: A Critical Examination, Theodicy: A Metaphilosophical Investigation, You Can Leave, Laminated Souls, and Philosophy Unmasked: A Skeptic's Critique. In 2015, she began traveling around the world while writing. In 2020, she returned to the United States, where she remained until 2023 as a result of the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by governments nearly everywhere.

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