Vermont state senator Richard McCormack has once again abused his constituents with dishonesty and name-calling. In a partisan harangue against the unvaccinated, McCormack has publicly requested that Vermont's secretary of education, Dan French,
limit entry to Vermont public schools to people fully vaccinated against Covid-19. (It is not clear whether this is directed at children themselves).
Though Senator McCormack smugly chirps that
like my legislative colleagues, I've generally refrained from injecting myself into the details of managing a public emergency, he has ambitiously injected his dishonesty by openly calling for discrimination against unvaccinated citizens. Says McCormack:
People have a right to not vaccinate. But the rest of us also have the right to bodily autonomy, including the right to public spaces that are as free of contamination as possible. This government duty, to protect bodily autonomy, is especially pressing regarding our schools, where unvaccinated people act in a manner that threatens the health, indeed the lives, of staff, faculty, parents, visitors, and, most importantly, unvaccinated children.
This legislator is spreading a tyranny more dangerous than COVID-19 and is eminently unqualified to comprehend, let alone protect, the Constitution. Nowhere has he informed the citizenry of the constitutional standard required under federal law in order to impose any restrictions on liberties. Yet the government must demonstrate a
compelling interest, using the least restrictive means possible to restrict the liberties of Vermont schoolchildren. Has that standard been met, and are other impacts on children being weighed?
McCormack calls for all unvaccinated people to be banned from public schools. "[I]f we must allow viral vectors into our children's schools, let us at the very least require masks, hand sanitizing, social distancing, and a negative Covid test."
Well, Senator, each of those measures potentially impacts a constitutional right as well as the health of a child. Each must be justified, using science, to then meet the government's duty to use the least restrictive means possible to protect children. Instead, this senator states that the government's duty is to violate others' rights to protect him from other people!
McCormack has not related the scientific evidence justifying his "Andromeda Strain" histrionics. Instead, he further misinforms:
We have many mandates and prohibitions. We ban drunk driving. People go to jail for committing physical assault. We don't treat these as matters of personal choice in which we try to persuade people to choose to behave well. Rather, we recognize certain behaviors as invasive, assaultive, dangerous, and we prohibit them.
To equate the medical decision not to get vaccinated to
committing physical assault and
drunk driving is reckless and false. Is it any wonder people are losing trust — including in doctors and the CDC — when there is misinformation this dysfunctional being distributed?
McCormack suggests that Governor Scott was too lenient in his COVID edicts:
The governor's gentle persuasion may have gotten better results than he'd have gotten using the full authority available to him. But it has had the unintended effect of lending credence to anti-vaccine nonsense, as though this public health imperative is a mere matter of differing opinions, and not a question of life and death[.]
Senator McCormack does not define what the governor's
full authority available to him is. Neither has attorney McCormack cited any legal authority to mask children or deny them an education.
The Constitution sets clear boundaries to protect individual liberties from government intrusion, which McCormack seeks to eliminate in the name of enlarging state power — without ever making either the factual or the legal case. He seems to think his public calls for government to discriminatorily violate the well established and hard won rights of others are
a mere matter of differing opinions, and not a question of life and death.