In recent days, Americans have been provided with new information regarding what they can do once they are fully vaccinated and, more broadly, how vaccinations might help improve their lives. At the same time, many communities in America demonstrate a lack of trust in the vaccine, resulting in a term called “vaccine hesitancy.” However, their decision to decline the vaccine should not affect the ability of America to reopen for one simple reason — freedom.
More specifically, personal liberty. In simple terms, the vaccine is a method of protection, and if a person does not want to be protected, he or she should be able to make that choice.
Americans have been making decisions like this to varying degrees throughout the pandemic. Some wanted to stay home and avoid all unnecessary travel, while others deemed certain risks worth the potential reward. This same method of risk assessment also applies to the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, rather than being a decision based on the weighing of risk and reward, the rhetoric surrounding vaccination often relies on an almost authoritarian tone. For example, the former head of Planned Parenthood appeared on CNN recently to speak about the connections between vaccination and “freedoms.” As reported by the Daily Wire:
“Dr. Leana Wen, the former head of Planned Parenthood, told CNN during a segment last month that a ‘very narrow window’ existed for the Biden administration “to tie reopening policy to vaccination status,” warning that as states were reopening that people may not get vaccinated because they would go out and start enjoying their freedoms.
Wen made the comments a few weeks ago, but the segment went viral this week after people recirculated the video clip on social media.”
This style of messaging could only be adding fuel to the fire when it comes to vaccine hesitancy, with the added perception that the government is viewing COVID-19 vaccines as a further lever of power. In response, the Biden administration launched a new campaign to instill trust by presenting local community members to encourage their peers to get vaccinated.
The issue is, though, that “personal liberty” is being hastily pushed from the debate. After all, personal liberty involves the ability to protect oneself against potential hazards, but it also includes the freedom to decide against doing so.
The question remains as to why sports fans shouldn’t be allowed to come back at 100% capacity in the stadiums, restaurants and bars able to fully open, movie theaters welcome guests back without mask-wearing requirements, and travelers move about freely if people are getting vaccinated and able to protect themselves.
It is therefore crucially important to maintain a platform of commonsense thinking as states continue to ramp up their vaccine programs, and as more Americans decide whether or not to receive immunization.
At this stage, we have the necessary information to decide whether or not the individual risk of contracting COVID-19 is high enough to justify vaccination.
Politicians should simply step aside and let Americans make the decision for themselves.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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