With COVID Vaccines now being distributed, many government officials are talking about “vaccination passports,” paperwork that would restrict a lot of our daily activities UNLESS we can prove we have been vaccinated? Should vaccines be mandatory, and is that even constitutional?
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Connor.
Connor: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: So, following our routine of, you know, talking about things that are a little spicy, a little controversial, we’re gonna do the same thing today and we’re gonna talk vaccines, which I know are all over the news, at least when we’re recording this. And I’m sure they will still be in the news by the time our listeners are, listening to this episode. So, after over a year of covid changing everything, I mean, literally everything in our lives, you know, terrifying people destroying the economy, people are fighting, finally starting to get the vaccines. There are three of them, and there’s, what is it, Pfizer, Moderna, and then I’m saying these. So Disdainfully, it’s hilarious. There’s the Johnson and Johnson one. Yeah. so a lot of people are now, are now getting these, but one thing that’s very scary to me is there are some government officials that are proposing vaccine passports be instituted for Americans. So this would mean, I mean, imagine trying to get on a plane. Imagine me trying to go home to Utah to visit my family and them telling me, you know, can I see your vaccine papers or not being able to go to Disneyland, or for me, I go to a lot of concerts. I can’t imagine not being able to go to a concert because I personally have chosen not to get the vaccine. So basically, governments don’t want you to do anything. As I made the joke before, show your papers. that’s kind of an old saying because back in like Nazi Germany and other tyrannical societies, you couldn’t go anywhere unless you proved who you were. Like people could just stop you and say, you know, tell me who you are, show me your id. So that’s what it feels like. Now, oddly enough, the funny thing about this is they still want us to wear masks after the vaccine, which to me, I’m like, wait, what? Like, what? Like, nothing makes sense anymore.
Connor: Your masks are three or five or, yeah.
Brittany: they’re gonna be seven maybe just to be, just to be safe. And then one of those weird plastic visors I see people wearing. so private businesses obviously have the right to implement their own policies as kind of a whole different thing. That doesn’t mean they should, that doesn’t mean that the policy is good, but do governments. So that’s the topic for today. I want to talk to you, Connor, about can governments force us to get vaccinated and can they force us to have this vaccine passport. So let me throw this to you, Connor. I know you have a lot of thoughts. What do you think about all this? Right.
Connor: Well, it’s an interesting question. Can the government, and I feel like that’s a dangerous question because it’s basically saying, you know, can a bully do this? Well, yeah, technically we can. Like they’re very powerful and you know that that doesn’t mean it’s right. Yes. And it doesn’t mean that they should. And so I know what you are meaning to ask Britney is, you know, is it right, is it moral? Is it proper justice?
Brittany: Is it constitutional, too?
Connor: Yeah, constitutional. And, you know, as we look back in history, it’s important to know that across the country, governments have required, state governments, I should point out, our listeners will remember that we’ve talked about, you know, the difference between federal government, like Congress and then state government here in, each of our states. And so different state governments have all required vaccines of children to go to government school. And that’s kind of typically how they’ve tried to make sure that people are vaccinated, which is also kind of silly cuz if you understand vaccines, you’re supposed to get these, they’re called booster shots. Yeah, right. every, you know, 5, 10, 20 years depending on the vaccine. But like, no one does that. Like hardly any adults do that. And, so anyways, that’s beside the point. but that’s what’s been done historically. The government says, okay, well if you wanna go to our schools, then your kids are gonna have to be vaccinated. And typically in different states, there have been exemptions. In other words, a way to not get vaccinated. And, those exemptions differ in different states. Some exemptions are for a religious exemption if you feel and want to make the case that vaccines kind of go against your religious beliefs. Or, sometimes, usually, there’s a medical exemption if you’ve got like a doctor’s note or something to say, well, you know, Bobby can’t get vaccinated with this vaccine, so here’s his exemption. or some states still have a personal exemption. basically any reason mom or dad is like, no, we’re not gonna do that. And under the state law, you’re allowed to kind of excuse them. Now, over the years, several states have started to restrict, and remove those exemptions, making it harder for, parents to exempt their children. Well, of course, the answer to this historically has been homeschool your kids. Right? Like, yeah, if you don’t want them vaccinated, don’t send them to a government school. but that’s how the government has really been involved in the vaccine, I should say. The compulsory vaccine, arena compulsory meaning it’s, coercive, it’s forced, the government says you have to do it. And that’s kind of all that’s happened. Of course, flu shots, for example, have been around forever, and.
Brittany: Have they been around that long? I just remember them be like, as an adult that people like really starting to push the flu shot. I don’t remember when they came around.
Connor: Yeah. I mean, that’s fair. I don’t know the exact history. It feels like they’ve been around for a long time. Yeah, but they’re, optional, right? Influenza kills a lot of people, gets a lot of people sick. but it’s always been optional. We’ve never had this, idea before that the government would force adults, or children outside of, you know, government school, to be vaccinated, not just to travel, but to engage in commerce, in other words, to go into stores, concerts, like you, pointed out, Britney Sporting events, things like that. So it remains to be seen how they’re going to, do that with the Covid vaccine. But I do think Brittany, it’s a big worry, because the government is now, or many people in government are claiming the authority, to require this of people. And look, I’ll, say this, you know, I’m, I don’t call myself an anti-vaxxer as they’re kind of nicknamed, However, we haven’t vaccinated either of our kids and they’re almost 12 to 10, with one exception when my boy got bit by a dog.
Brittany: Like the rabies shot or whatever.
Connor: A tetanus shot.
Brittany: Tetanus Shot, that’s what it’s called.
Connor: And, yeah, cause it tested negative for rabies or that wasn’t an issue, but you know, that made sense. And so we chose that. So for our kids, it’s a very informed decision. We read a ton of different books of different perspectives when they were born. And we felt like, especially when I look at how, how many vaccines they wanted kids to get when I was a kid, yeah, there was a much smaller number. And now when kids are born, it’s like three to four times as many vaccines. So my wife and I, we made the personal decision, you know what, we’re gonna take this very slow as they get older. If there’s a need, we’re very open at that. But we didn’t want as babies for them to get loaded up. Okay, so where am I going with all this? My point is, I’m not someone who’s like, yay vaccines or whatever, but I’m also not saying vaccines are evil, and Yeah. You know, Bill Gates, micro 5g, whatever, like there’s some, funky ideas out there. But, my, concern is that you know, I’ll use me as an example. I had covid, I think I’ve shared that on this podcast before and it was very mild, but everyone’s out there saying, everyone’s gotta get vaccinated. I’m like, wait a minute. I already had covid. Yeah. Why should I get vaccinated? And then I saw on Twitter just the other day, it was this guy who works for the CDC, well, he doesn’t work for them. Excuse me. He’s an epidemiologist, which means he studies viruses and things like that. And he is part of the CDC’S committee, this official committee of scientists where they review vaccines. So this is like a smart guy and he’s part of the government’s process. And someone asked him on Twitter, they said, Hey, you know, everyone is saying everyone should get the vaccine, but does that make sense? And he replied, and he said, no, that doesn’t make sense. It’s, we shouldn’t say everyone needs the vaccine. Just like we also shouldn’t be saying no one should get the vaccine. His point instead was we should be focused on the people who are the most vulnerable older people should get the vaccine people caring for them. That is where the vaccine should be focused. And so Twitter censored his tweet, they prevented anyone from liking it or retweet, like sharing it. even though this guy was like an official leg legit guy. This is kind of beside the point, but it shows the craziness we’re living in. Back to the point of the conversation, Brittany, here’s the guy who’s saying, well, you know, in some cases, yes, in some cases, no. In my own case where I had COVID, I’m like, I don’t think it makes sense for me to need a vaccine, especially to travel. Like I’ve already have it. I have the antibodies. I don’t think my kids should get it. This hasn’t been tested on kids. And yet all we hear out there and what many of these politicians are starting to say is, everyone needs to get the vaccine. And there’s no, there’s no recognition. I’ll end here, Brittany, and throw it back to you for your thoughts. Cause I know you’ve got a lot as well. There’s no recognition in these conversations that vaccines can also harm people, right? Vaccines are not 100% all the time butterflies in lollipops and rainbows and they work all the time. Vaccines can and do harm people. There is a risk. Maybe it’s a small risk and it depends on the different vaccines. I’m not saying that you know, all vaccines are horrible and all are perfect, but there is a risk. And because there’s a risk, because people might get harmed, even paralyzed, killed, whatever, that should be a decision for individuals to make. The government should not force people to make decisions that are risky, that can harm them. That should be up to each person. And that’s why I think the government does not have the constitutional or moral or ethical authority to tell us to get this vaccine because there is risk involved. And because for some people like me, it just doesn’t really make sense to get the vaccine.
Brittany: You actually a perfect segue into what I was gonna talk about. So I wanted to give a little historical context into why the government thinks they can. And that is an old lawsuit or like Supreme Court. So major precedent-setting case meaning precedent is like when this court get case gets decided, it can impact the law forever essentially. So Jacobson versus Massachusetts was a 1905 case and that was after, a smallpox outbreak I believe all across the country, or starting in Massachusetts at least. Cause somebody took on Massachusetts. and this one guy refused to get vaccinated. And so he went all the way up to the Supreme Court. But here’s the interesting thing. Even though he lost, he was not forced to get the vaccination, he just had to pay a fine. So I think it’s interesting where we’ve gone cuz now it’s like, no, we, you know, we will hold you down. We’ll vaccinate you almost, not literally, but that’s kind of the attitude of the public. Like they don’t wanna hear why you don’t wanna get one. They just think you should get one. and Jacobson versus Massachusetts, while it did say the government had the court said or thought, you know, give their opinions that the government did have the right, if health and safety were, you know, jeopardized to mandate vaccines, the only thing you’d have to do is pay $5 and that would be about a hundred dollars today. so I mean that’s, at least there was a way out that didn’t involve forcing somebody to get a vaccine. So still bad. And I do not agree with the court’s decision, but it’s interesting because that’s what’s still cited today. Hmm. Cited meaning that’s what people reference, that’s what people go to. So when we talk about these vaccine passports and there’s a lot of people who agree with them, a lot of times they refer back to this, lawsuit or because that’s what kind of said, yeah, okay, the government can tell you to do this. It’s for your health. The problem is, and we’ve talked about this before, if we did everything because it would make us safer, we would all be living in cages, right? We wouldn’t be able to do anything cuz there is a little bit of risk associated with everything and it seems like the government wants to and not, seems like the government wants to kind of control all that, or like you said, force us to take a risk. It’s basically they get to decide what risks we take and which risks we don’t. And I agree with you as somebody who’s healthy, who eats well and you know, gets a lot of exercise, I’m not worried about COVID. It’s very possible that I could have had COVID. That is not to say it is not very serious and that some people have suffered greatly or lost their lives. But I’m not in the category of people who is going to likely, I mean anything could happen, but who’s right at risk? And so for me it just, the risk is not worth the benefit. but I like that as of for now I can say no, I’m not gonna take it though. I do make people uncomfortable. I’ve noticed a lot of coworkers getting uncomfortable cuz they’re all starting to get it and I’m like, no, I’m good.
Connor: You know, it’s interesting too cuz it’s like all of this craziness is just because COVID is a new scary thing, right? when people like your coworkers, you’re pointing out, do that to me. I say, sorry, did you wear a mask for all the years past where influenza has been killing people? Yeah. And, you know, like if you didn’t then, then you have no like ground to stand on today to call me out or to question my, you know, motives or anything like that when you weren’t doing it before. It’s just that influenza, the flu was something that we’re all used to. We all, it’s so boring. Like it’s not on the news every day showing the case counts of influenza, right? Like scaring everyone and it’s just normal. It’s just the, it’s kind of baked into life, right? Where we just accepted that well yeah, like some people get sick and they die, but now there’s this big scary thing. And, everyone is out there saying Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. And, the vaccine passport is particularly problematic. We got a law passed here in, our state of Utah that we worked on at Libertas Institute, that says that the government cannot require anyone to get the Covid vaccine. And we put the words directly or indirectly in there. In other words, the government can’t directly require it and say, Hey, everyone has to get the, you know, vaccine. They, also can’t do it indirectly. Which is kind of like the example of that, the government going to a company like a business and saying, Hey guys, you should, you should require, you know, we’re gonna make the businesses require, well that’s kind of indirect. You’re not going directly to the person getting vaccinated. You’re going indirectly kind of in this roundabout way, to accomplish the same thing. And so we pass, we got the law passed, the legislature passed it because everyone is saying, no, we’re not gonna, you know, we’re not gonna force anyone, we’re not gonna do anything. but this covid passport thing is concerning with airlines, for example, Yep. Start requiring it. If, as you say, kinda the sporting events, concert venues and everything like that, it’s like, well I have no need. I’ve had the antibodies, you know, and I don’t think I should be required to, and like you pointed out, yes, businesses legally can and that’s more proper cuz it’s private property rights and so forth. But it does also still become a concern if they feel kind of bullied into doing it because of the government and if they feel like they need to do it to appear safe to their customers, right? Oh yeah, yeah. No, we make sure everyone on our planes are vaccinated, so come fly with us and they want to appear safe, to everyone even though like, you know, COVID. Yeah. Anyways, I could go on all kinds of I probably shouldn’t. Back to the question as we wrap things up, Brittany. Should vaccines be mandatory? Well, the answer is clearly no. Because, and I feel because there’s risk involved there, are potential harms. Vaccines can do wonderful things for the people who, fit the profile, who really need who without them would suffer more, be likely to suffer and die for them. Vaccines are wonderful for everyone else. Maybe it doesn’t make sense and because there is risk involved, you know, they should be free to decide. And just because something is new and scary like COVID doesn’t mean that we should surrender our freedoms or empower the government or do anything crazy. We have our 12th Tuttletwins children’s book coming out very shortly that hits on this topic, not vaccines, but the idea of surrendering our freedoms because we’re scared in a new crisis. So stay tuned for that guys. There’s gonna be a big announcement and it’s exciting. This is a book that everyone will wanna check out, so make sure you’re following us on social media and you will see the alerts. Great conversation Brittany. Something we need to be paying attention to and guarding our freedoms for sure. Until next time, we will talk to you later.
Brittany: Talk to you later.