Friday, September 10, 2021

Mandatory Vaccination

 It's always good to check in with The Volokh Conspiracy on these things.  Usually very sound.

25 comments:

Gavin Longmuir said...

"Finally, does Covid really pose a "grave danger" to employees when the vast majority of them can easily minimize it by getting vaccinated voluntarily, thereby almost completely eliminating the risk of serious illness and death?"

That sort of undermines the "usually sound" assertion. The vast majority of people -- 99.7% -- are at no risk of death from Covid. That has been clearly established. Covid is comparable to flu, for which Biden has not instituted any mandatory injections. It is also clear that those who have subjected themselves to injection are still at risk of serious illness and death, and are also at risk of demonstrated short-term complications and possible currently unknown longer-term complications.

A real vaccination protects the vaccinated person from the disease; if other people choose not to get vaccinated, they are not putting the vaccinated person at any risk. Biden's statement about vaccinating the unvaccinated to protect the already vaccinated is an outright admission that the Covid treatments are not genuine vaccinations. So what are they? And why are the Usual Suspects so keen to get everyone injected? And do any sensible people still trust Biden or the CDC?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

There will be a post forthcoming. 99.7% of people have not died of covid. That is not the same thing as saying they are at no risk (and especially, that they were never at risk and are not at risk going forward) of death from covid. I have no idea whether you are being dishonest or just not very smart in not seeing that. 750,000 Americans have died of this illness, which is 30 times greater than a typical flu year, and worse than anything since 1918, by far. It is not "comparable to the flu" in any way except playing with numbers. The current deaths - which hit 2,000/day last week - are about 90-95% among the unvaccinated*, so the vaccinated have a greatly attenuated risk of "serious illness and death," yes. The "demonstrated short-term complications" are basically pain in your shoulder or a temporary rash. The currently "unknown long-term complications" are basically zero nine months in, while Long Covid is a real thing, as in the upcoming.

The yearly flu vaccine is a "real vaccination" and offers varying immunity year-to-year, not absolute protection. If there is some breakthrough covid, even among the vaccinated however mild, then the unvaccinated do present a danger to them. Admittedly, having been vaccinated and being prepared to get a booster as soon as possible, I don't much fear them, but there is real contagion, and occasional death, from the breath of the unvaccinated.

So every reason you offered is in ruins. Not that that will stop you in the slightest, because you are among the many who are displaying motivated reasoning, so that you scramble for possible scientific rationales after first arriving at your conclusion. But others may hear and exert some effort to ask themselves if they have engaged in the Red Queen's "sentence first, verdict after."

I will also touch in that post on your framing of this issue as to whether people trust Biden, or some of the people at the CDC. Those are irrelevant. I am following the data, and all the people I know who have gotten the vaccine have cited data and reasoning, not "because Biden and the Democrats tell me to." I am not "deferring" to them, or "complying" with their orders, or "obeying" them. I had some initial sympathy with that skepticism, but that is long gone. The accusation is now reversed. The people complaining about vaccines are projecting their own motivated reasoning, that they just resent people telling them what they don't want to hear. They have wanted to pretend they are independent, but are just teenagers saying "You can't make me," ignoring very simple things they have known since childhood about smallpox, polio, whooping cough, etc.

Your insistence that those other people just want to tyrannically tell people what to do I now read as a signal that this is what you yourself would do, as you cannot conceive of any other possibility.

The numbers and evidence are stunning, and stark, which is why people avoid those and try to change the subject to "Maybe only 90% of those are real covid deaths," or "but Biden is a liar and can't tell me what to do," or "schoolkids don't need masks" (like they care.)

*How many died of the vaccine yesterday? Stop squirming on the pin like a captured butterfly and answer the difficult questions. 1500 dead from covid. How many from vaccinations?

Earl Wajenberg said...

I draw attention to the bit at the end:

"I should, perhaps, add that it is unlikely that any of these mandates can be successfully challenged on individual rights grounds, as opposed to issues of federalism and separation of powers. The Supreme Court's 1905 ruling in Jacobson v. Massachusetts likely precludes such challenges[...]"

This is where the Supreme Court determined that state governments have the authority to mandate vaccination despite protestations of personal liberty. Personal liberty does not extend so far as making a public safety hazard of yourself.

Gavin Longmuir said...

AVI -- You doth protest too much. Your "numbers" are the fruit of a poisoned tree. You are ignoring very real complications -- and you are forgetting how long it took for the nasty complications of Thalidomide or DES to show up.

It does seem that you understand the postulated risk to the "vaccinated" from the "unvaccinated" is very minor. So why this harsh insistence that other people have to inject a particular substance into their bodies?

The initial Lock Down reaction to those never-repeated photos of well-dressed working-age men collapsed in the street in Wuhan was understandable -- and arguably appropriate. Now we know it was an over-reaction. There is no reason for those who bought into Operation Fear now to double down on that over-reaction.

Some people wanted to take the experimental injectants; others decided to wait and see. Let's just respect each other's choices and get back to normal life.

Gavin Longmuir said...

Earl W: "... the Supreme Court determined that state governments have the authority to mandate vaccination ..."

Great! Let democratically-elected State Representatives vote to make vaccinations mandatory for their individual States, knowing they will face their voters -- the people among whom they live.

That is very different from a remote Chief Executive forcing his solitary decision on all the States, without even a vote by Congress. Remember the 10th Amendment!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ah, more arguments that will take a sentence or two each. Each individual unvaccinated person is not much danger. Millions of them sitting around and cooking up new variants actually is dangerous, however. Also, taking up the ICU space around the country - even very safe NH has full ICU's - and accelerating the resignation of nurses is always bad and potentially catastrophic. The vaccine has already been studied far more than thalidomide was. Compared to the daily deaths, how many vaccine deaths, again? Trouble answering that one, Gavin? Still think your conjured uncertainty is worse than real deaths, somehow?

I have to assume you have led with your best arguments, all quickly dispatched. I am done.

Gavin Longmuir said...

AVI: " Millions of them sitting around and cooking up new variants actually is dangerous"

Millions of THEM! The Othering of your fellow human beings! You probably revealed more than you intended to there, AVI.

There are scientists who are concerned that the gene therapy mRNA injectants may be creating an injected population in which the evolution of "new variants" of Covid is promoted. I guess we will all find out in time whether the CDC or the scientists & medical professionals who are being silenced by the Powers That Be make better predictions.

The really interesting issue here is psychological. What makes some people so frightened or so sure of themselves that they want to use extreme pressure to force all other human beings to submit to an experimental treatment for a disease which is little more than a nuisance except for people who are old or have pre-existing medical conditions? The "Wait & See" crowd do not block access to injection clinics and try to prevent people from getting injected. Why can't the Covid injection enthusiasts display the same level of maturity and respect for other people's choices?

Zachriel said...

Gavin Longmuir: There are scientists who are concerned that the gene therapy mRNA injectants may be creating an injected population in which the evolution of "new variants" of Covid is promoted.

There are more infections that last longer in the unvaccinated than in the vaccinated; therefore, there are more available mutations produced in the unvaccinated population, grist for the evolutionary grindstone.

Gavin Longmuir: an experimental treatment for a disease

The Pfizer vaccine has full FDA approval, and hundreds of millions of doses have been given. COVID vaccines are far beyond experimental.

Gavin Longmuir: Why can't the Covid injection enthusiasts display the same level of maturity and respect for other people's choices?

"Your right to swing your arm leaves off where my right not to have my nose struck begins.” COVID is highly contagious, so society has an interest in limiting its spread.

Gavin Longmuir said...

Zachriel: "COVID is highly contagious, so society has an interest in limiting its spread."

Flu is highly contagious. Why do we not have mandatory flu vaccination?

As for the FDA approval of the Pfizer treatment -- you know that is politics. You know that the normal evaluation of long-term effects has not been done. We will have to wait for the results of the giant ongoing experiment. If you wish, you can think of the "Wait & See" crowd as the scientifically-essential control group.

If you wish to get injected, Zachriel, that is great! Go ahead -- I respect your freedom to act as you wish; your body, your choice. There is a huge difference between deciding what to do with your own body and forcing other people to do things they do not want done to their bodies. Note that your analogy on swinging your arm applies equally for other people's right not to have their nose struck by your arm when you compel them to inject something into their bodies.

Zachriel said...

Gavin Longmuir: As for the FDA approval of the Pfizer treatment -- you know that is politics.

There is a five-step process; discovery/concept, preclinical research, clinical research, FDA review and FDA post-market safety monitoring; which Pfizer has completed under the "Fast Track" designation and the "Accelerated Approval" process established in 1992. Your position is based on a false premise.

PenGun said...

"Flu is highly contagious. Why do we not have mandatory flu vaccination?"

The stupid is strong in this one. ;)

Gavin Longmuir said...

Zachriel -- The false premise is that the safety of mRNA treatments has been demonstrated. But you know that.

Let's take the concern that the Covid "vaccines" may lead to sterility or other pregnancy-related problems in young women. To get statistically meaningful information on that is probably a 5-year cycle. And that ignores DES-type second generation issues. You know those long-term studies have not been completed.

Let's hope that the long-term concerns about the Covid "vaccines" turn out not to be a problem. If they are not a problem, it will be luck -- not science -- which has saved us. If there are long-term problems, how will today's "vaccine" enthusiasts expiate their personal guilt?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ GL - I dunno about that expiating guilt part. How are you planning to expiate your guilt in the continuing known deaths of the unvaccinated who have fallen for the crap you're peddling? Maybe that will give us a model. I will keep hitting the point: tens of thousands of deaths among the unvaccinated. Zero deaths from the vaccine. Most logical people would consider that a fairly high hurdle to overcome. You have yet to answer.

Gavin Longmuir said...

PenGun -- Good to see you here! Here's something for a Canadian to think about, while waiting to get on the queue to see a doctor eventually. Death comes to us all -- even Canadians. Here are the numbers of Canadians dying each year:
2015 - 270 Thousand
2016 - 276
2017 - 281
2018 - 286
2019 - 291
2020 - 295

Supposedly 15.6 Thousand Canadians died of Covid in 2020 -- 5% of all Canadian deaths. Yet the trend of total deaths does not show any bump above the expected trend. In fact, if no-one had died of Covid in Canada in 2020, total deaths would anomalously have dropped back to about 280 thousand, a level last seen in 2017.

You know the stupid is strong in me, so please help me out. Where is the Canadian pandemic?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I must have missed PenGun getting in without deletion, but now that he's in, I won't fuss this time. Gavin, I can answer this for you: Talk to the people you know who work in your local ICU about where the C19 cases are. Or any Canadian ICU. Oh, you don't know any health care workers? Fancy that.

The "trend" of expected deaths in Canada? There is an increase in 2020, but somehow it's not real be cause 2019 also had an increase? What is that trend based on? Flesh this out, if you wish to make a point. And you left out what is happening in 2021, well ahead of usual, and visible even now in Canada. Their spike was later than ours. As I keep saying, you think you have these killer cards to play, but everyone tops them. You don't answer other people, but keep adding in some new factoid you found in the rubble.

Zachriel said...

Gavin Longmuir: Let's take the concern that the Covid "vaccines" may lead to sterility or other pregnancy-related problems in young women.

There is no evidence of harm to fertility or to pregnancy from the vaccine, but there is substantial evidence that natural infection can be dangerous to health.

Gavin Longmuir: Supposedly 15.6 Thousand Canadians died of Covid in 2020 -- 5% of all Canadian deaths. Yet the trend of total deaths does not show any bump above the expected trend.

Canada suffered 5.6% more deaths than expected {in 2020}.
https://www.investmentexecutive.com/news/research-and-markets/the-toll-on-two-countries-excess-deaths-in-canada-u-s/

Texan99 said...

We're getting awfully confused about whether the point of vaccination is to protect oneself or to protect others. When it seemed that vaccination stopped contagion, there was a stronger argument that someone has a duty to protect others even if he's not afraid of contracting the disease himself. Now it seems that the primary benefit of the vaccine is to protect the vaccinated person, since he can still get COVID but has only the tiniest risk of getting seriously ill from it--but at the same time, he can still be contagious to others, which is minimally dangerous for the vaccinated people around him but rather more dangerous for the unvaccinated nearby.

So we're trying to argue that vaccinated people are still so potentially contagious that they should mask, not so much to protect themselves as to protect their benighted unvaccinated neighbors. At the same time we're now disgusted and impatient enough with the benighted unvaccinated neighbors that we're willing to take their jobs away if they won't agree with us that vaccination is warranted for people of their age and health status. We've stopped making sense, and that won't help convince vax skeptics. It would help, too, if we'd acknowledge that anyone with natural immunity ought to be treated the same as (or better than) a vaccinated person.

I'd like people I care about to get vaccinated because I think it means I'm less likely to lose them. If they're young and healthy, however, that makes about as much sense as expecting them to stop driving so I won't have to worry. Does this mean my heart is a stone toward people who die in wrecks? No, I've suffered bitter losses from car wrecks. I just don't think I can avoid the problem by assuming control over the behavior of others when I fail to convince them to do things that I believe are for their own good.

I'd also like people to get vaccinated so they won't clog up hospitals. In areas where hospitals are really struggling, that is the argument with the strongest impact on me--other than the argument that actually won me over more than half a year ago, which is that the vaccine seems pretty safe and the disease seems pretty scary for someone of my age and health status.

I know, however, that the vaccine seems far from safe for a lot of people. I also know, even though the Volokh article glides over this part, that the strong precedent for mandatory vaccines refers entirely to state power, which is surprisingly broad under the U.S. Constitution. Federal power is nowhere near so broad, by explicit and very important Constitutional design, so it's hazardous to rely on cases like Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Chucking the Constitution whenever the current feds in power convince themselves something might be beneficial is an awful idea. If we truly think feds should have a power, we ought to be amending the Constitution to give it to them. At a bare minimum, Congress should be passing a law, not just letting the White House go wild with whatever scheme they've fixed on this week for engendering a spurious sense of safety in the public mind and propping up their plunging standings in the polls.

I hope the Dems are absolutely obliterated in the 2022 elections. It would show me that people are capable of balancing risks in a rational manner. You think this virus is deadly? Try giving the executive branch unfettered power whenever people are spooked by a new kind of danger they haven't learned to think rationally about yet. There's no vaccine against that kind of danger.

Harold Boxty said...

AVI: "The "trend" of expected deaths in Canada? There is an increase in 2020, but somehow it's not real be cause 2019 also had an increase?"

I'm not following you. If his data is correct then there is about a 5k increase in deaths per year from 2015 to 2020. The 2020 numbers follow the trend from 2015 to 2019. Given the trend in his numbers, wouldn't you would expect an additional ~20k in deaths over the 2019 number in 2020 due to the additional 15k in COVID deaths?


According to this chart at https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/CAN/canada/death-rate the death rate in Canada has been increasing since 2009. The increase in 2020 was the same as 2018 to 2019 and estimated to be the same in 2021.

What am I missing?

Zachriel said...

Texan99: We're getting awfully confused about whether the point of vaccination is to protect oneself or to protect others.

Both.

Harold Boxty: According to this chart ...

From your link: "NOTE: All 2020 and later data are UN projections and DO NOT include any impacts of the COVID-19 virus"

The projection was for 294 thousand deaths in 2020 (accounting for demographic changes). Instead, about 310 thousand died, or an excess of about 16 thousand.

https://www.investmentexecutive.com/news/research-and-markets/the-toll-on-two-countries-excess-deaths-in-canada-u-s/

Cranberry said...

According to Statista (dot) com, as of September 8th, 94.7% of the dead were over the age of 65. Thus, the president's unconstitutional demand that the administrative state fire people who refuse to be vaccinated would not even reduce deaths in the workplace to any significant degree.

There's a good comment by "Rob Aught" at Instapundit about this. It's on the thread about Britain giving up on vax passports. (https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/473399/) You know why the huge megacorporations aren't falling over themselves to say what a great idea this is?

Take it from me, we're already losing people who don't want to go back to the office. Our customer facing locations are short-staffed. $15 an hour minimum wage? We surpassed that some time ago. I can only imagine how job interviews are going.

Less than 25% of our staff has submitted to having their vax status confirmed. I'm being conservative but wouldn't surprise me if it is 10% or even less. We KNOW that more people are vaxxed than that but they don't want to sign the HIPAA waiver to confirm and I don't blame them.

If Biden could pass a vaccine mandate I am not kidding when I say we would be forced to fire tens of thousands of people. These are jobs that can't be outsourced or given to illegals. Let's say only 10% of our staff resists and refuses. Then you'll still force us to lay off tens of thousands of people which will cripple our business.

Imagine every megacorp located in the US facing this right now and all of their buddies in Government. They won't pass this. They can't pass this. Is it misdirection or outright idiocy?

David Foster said...

Tex..."I know, however, that the vaccine seems far from safe for a lot of people."

I've seen data showing a slight risk of heart inflammation in males under 18...don't think any of these have been reported as leading to deaths. Are there other side effects that you've seen reported in meaningful numbers, other than the temporary unpleasantness some people get right after the shot?

Texan99 said...

I don't mean that I'm personally convinced it's far from safe, only that it seems that way to a lot of people. In their shoes, I'd reach a different conclusion, but I'm not in their shoes. If I'm going to try to persuade them to support a policy, I have to take seriously the fact that they don't look at the safety of the vaccine the same way I do. And frankly, even if the risk is very, very low, which is my own assessment, it's one thing to say it's obviously safer than risking the infection, for someone of my age and health, than it is to reach that same cost/benefit conclusion for someone quite young and healthy. It's extremely hard to trade off very, very small probabilities of risk of different and mutually exclusive sorts. I would leave it up to individual choice for that reason.

My niece and heir announced she won't be vaccinated. She has asthma, so we worry. Does that mean I'm going to beat on her or try to strong-arm her? Should I threaten to disinherit her? If I'm going to bring her around, that won't be how I do it. I will continue to tell her calmly why I think the risk trade-off judgment supports her getting vaccinated and hope she comes to believe me, because she's accustomed to hearing nothing but the truth from me, and (I hope) has learned to trust my judgment about science and medicine. I don't get to decide for her what kinds of risks she's prepared to take, no matter how fervently I want to protect her. I would never bend the truth or manipulate her "for her own good."

Donna B. said...

Most of what I was going to say has been said by others, so there's no need for me to repeat it. I'll just note here that I've revised downward my opinion of the reasoning ability of quite a few friends and relatives -- most of them because they post much the same balderdash as Gavin did. A few have gone the other way... so very few. I find it all depressing.

Gavin Longmuir said...

Texan99 -- Thank you for being a voice of reason in a world in which so much effort has been put into trying to make us all afraid. I understand your concern about your niece. I can also understand the concerns of young women who have to weigh a very low risk of dying from Covid versus a currently quite unknown risk of being rendered sterile by the injectant -- a risk which at this stage of lack of data could range from nil to worrisome.

To help put your mind at rest about your niece, it is worth looking at some of the data. These figures are from England & Wales, which may be less affected by some of the political & financial incentives affecting US reporting.

There are approximately 30,000,000 females in England & Wales.
In 2020:
303,103 of those females died (all causes -- mostly elderly, as expected).
Only 2,512 of those females were under 30 years old (all causes)
Only 102 of those young females had Covid mentioned on their Death Certificates.

Covid is hardly a serious threat to young people.

Texan99 said...

I probably wouldn't worry about my niece at all if she didn't have asthma. Even with that, I can't honestly say I think she's at very great risk. Some, of course, and I genuinely think the vaccine is a lesser risk. But again, that's for her to decide. It's not as clear-cut as if, for instance, she proposed to treat cancer with a Ouija board. Nor do I have to be in control of everyone else's decisions just because I have a conviction that I'm better than they at thinking it through. I do have a strong preference for making my own decisions about myself on that basis.