Written By: Anton Sawyer & Nicole West
"This is a simple, basic proposition: If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in an ICU unit, and you’re not going to die."—President Joe Biden, July 2021. And with that quote, he armed the Republican party who has disavowed the need for a vaccine mandate to the teeth.
It was quotes like that which made the January 2021 decision of removing the President Biden nationwide OSHA vaccine mandate by the Supreme Court of the United States be applauded by many.
In an attempt to maintain complete transparency, all research and statistical fact-checking for all articles can be found in the bibliography linked here.
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As much as I may come across as a blue-blooded liberal, there are events and statements made by the Democratic party that makes my skin crawl in how blatantly dishonest they can be for anyone who has any idea of how science works. Especially when those quotes are used by conservative media to plant a bias. The statements like Biden’s are incredibly irksome knowing how much the DNC relies on various scientifically based research pieces to compose their facts. If you have any understanding of how viruses work, once Covid crossed a certain threshold of infection rates, it was going to become a new reality. Like the Spanish Flu of 1918, all of the similarities were there to ensure that such a deadly threat would be around for quite a while. And that’s what the article today is going to be about; our life hereafter with Covid, and some of the key events leading to this new reality.
With the lack of scientific knowledge the GOP has presented when it comes to their handling of the Covid pandemic—from initially calling it a hoax, to providing welfare for the anti-vaxxers so they can get paid to stay at home because “freedom”—I can’t get behind their recommendations for handling the crisis. Yet, because I listen to so much conservative talk radio for research, there’s one argument that’s being repeated ad nauseum that has some legs: the quote from the first paragraph, along with others like it.
Since the turn of 2022, the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton show has been playing three-to-four-minute compilations of various DNC leaders, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, making public declarations like the one from Biden. These are usually followed by some out-of-context quotes that essentially have the president of Pfizer saying the vaccine and boosters are worthless until you get to at least the third booster level.
Looking at the amount of opposition towards the Democrat party that has flourished this century by the Republican party, it was clear from the get-go that at least half of the country would refuse vaccination simply because the advice was given by someone with the letter D next to their name, no matter what would have been said. When you take that pre-existing bias and then compound that with the DNC coming out so strongly that the vaccine will stop Covid in its tracks, all while we’re seeing people with the vaccine being hospitalized at points, it builds a very strong argument to the case of those who oppose the vaccine and the mandates.
No matter what the actual numbers say (which I promise to get to in a moment), the liberals did this to themselves by making promises that, scientifically speaking, cannot come to fruition. Fauci has seen various viruses throughout the decades in various stages—he knew mutations and surprises would occur. Though the experts (and DNC as a whole) didn’t know exactly what the virus would do, they knew it would be something completely out of left field. Given all these mitigating factors, the American people should have been told that this is now the norm. That Covid is going to be like the new flu—except much deadlier. That you need to get vaccinated and yearly boosters because if you don’t, you’re statistically more likely to die.
Millions of people across the country have been vaccinated as of this publication. In fact, as of July 12, 2021, more than 159 million people in the US had been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. With 48 states and territories reporting, there were 5,492 confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among them. Those cases included 5,189 hospitalizations and 1,063 deaths. That data shows that among vaccinated people, approximately 0.0033% were hospitalized and 0.00067% died.
Because the science is more favorable to the DNC, I understand the need for the mandates.
And before anyone gets too crazy about the whole notion of “personal freedoms” and vaccine mandates, don’t. It’s a red herring. Most of those who are of the conservative bent were more than happy to have the US government gain access to every single piece of personal data ever on anyone that lived in America via the Patriot Act to have a sense of security. There are a hundred different quotes from high-ranking Republicans within the party that I could throw here when it comes to the need for the Patriot Act (all while disavowing the vaccine mandates due to them stripping personal liberties). What’s important to remember is that many of those who are so committed to this notion of what freedom is when it comes to fighting the vaccine mandates were also more than willing to let those freedoms go in order to “fight terrorism.”
Outside of all this misdirection, when you look at the ruling by the Supreme Court to gut these mandates, it’s less about the mandate itself, and more about expanding the potential of judicial reach.
When you start digging into OSHA and look at what it can and cannot do as it pertains to employee health, the government-approved mandates are spelled out pretty succinctly. Per OSHA’s “Indicators of Occupational Health Surveillance” (which has been around since 2007), the case it presents clearly outlines the need for medical testing and keeping tabs on employee health. “[Millions of] US workers are injured on the job or become ill from exposure to hazards at work. These work-related injuries and illnesses result in substantial human and economic costs for workers, employers, and society; estimated direct and indirect costs of work-related injuries and illnesses are approximately $170 billion annually.” Keep in mind, these are pre-Covid numbers. The OSHA file continues by explaining how this is done. “The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) convened a workgroup that identified priority occupational health conditions to be placed under surveillance, addressed cross-cutting surveillance concerns, and made recommendations regarding the role of states in a comprehensive nationwide surveillance system for work-related disease, injuries, and hazards. CSTE recommendations led to the generation of 19 occupational health indicators (OHIs) and one Employment Demographic Profile.” By using a national database, it allows for the CDC to track the potential spread of diseases or other illnesses that may be targeting certain groups of workers.
It’s also important to know that tracking occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards have been an integral part of the NIOSH since its creation by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970.
When you look at the fact that there have been federal mandates on the health and testing of employees going back over 50 years, you have to wonder why the SCOTUS would even want to take up the case since it’s been long-established? Hint: it’s much more nefarious.
Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said the ruling on the business mandate could have wide-reaching effects in future cases about the power of government. "These cases were not referenda on vaccine mandates—which can still come from states, local governments, and private businesses—they were referenda on whether these kinds of expert policy decisions are better made by agency experts accountable to the President or by judges accountable to no one," Vladeck said. "And if the answer is the latter, that's going to be true long after, and in contexts far beyond the immediate response to the Covid pandemic."
He isn’t wrong. Within a day or two of the SCOTUS ruling, Salt Lake County Council upheld a countywide mask mandate issued by its health department and Mayor Jenny Wilson. Sadly, he’s also not wrong about them now setting these referenda. Because of things like Judicial Review, a side-effect to this ruling will be SCOTUS’ ability to stick their grubby fingers into any number of future policy decisions, no matter who the President is, and no matter the issue.
One element that I left out of the SCOTUS ruling is in the fact that in an adjoining 5-4 ruling, the court allowed the vaccine policy rolled out in November by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to remain. This sought to require the Covid-19 vaccine for certain health care workers at hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. According to government estimates, the mandate regulates more than 10.3 million health care workers in the United States. Covered staff was originally required to get the first dose by December 6, 2021, and the mandate allows for some religious and medical exemptions.
Because our very own Nicole West works in a diagnostic medical testing facility (which does Covid testing for both patients nationwide, and those who play on the city's professional sports franchise), there have been recent events that she’s witnessed which will show that even though this secondary mandate was upheld, it’s essentially useless because of Capitalism and the need for money. Take it away Nicole …
I gladly went along with receiving the vaccine and boosters. I wear all appropriate PPE which covers every part of my body except the hair on my head and from my knees down. I have done all of this without question, believing that these precautions were put in place to keep us, the employees, safe. Safe not only from the potentially infectious specimens we are handling, but also to protect ourselves from our potentially infectious coworkers. Then we have my coworker “Petrie.” I call him that because of the positive Covid test he received the day prior; he was a walking Petrie dish that our in-house clinic determined wasn’t “sick enough” because his symptoms were mild. What makes this situation even worse is around the same time, another employee was told to quarantine after receiving their positive Covid test. Our clinic is dictating who is sick enough to be in the workplace.
These are the most recent in a series of events that have taken place over the last couple of months that lets me know that accepting Covid as part of our daily lives is going to be the new normal. The first thing I noticed changing was the way we dealt with the Covid testing of professional sports teams. It hasn't been uncommon for us to receive notifications along the lines of “Sports game today, samples will be in at 6:30 am, testing to be done by 9:30 am for tonight’s game.” Recently, a pattern emerged where shortly another email would be sent stating that testing wasn’t going to be done for the team, which I find odd as they still played their home games those evenings.
Shortly after this began, we also received an email stating that company policy had changed per CDC guidelines. Even if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive as long as you have mild or no symptoms you do not need to get tested. Because we handle thousands of Covid samples daily, I was surprised to see them play along. Throughout the pandemic we have always followed the guidance of the CDC, however, this most recent guideline appears to be geared towards positively impacting the bottom line more than the health of the employees. We are in direct contact with different forms of DNA transmitters—including the separated DNA itself—that vary in their transmission capabilities. It’s like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” of disease spreading.
Everything that the GOP has strived for when it comes to keeping people in their jobs has come to pass. Companies can now dictate whoever they want as being “too sick to work,” or in the case of Petrie, a needed employee with whom the economy will collapse without. The GOP liked to hide behind their God, I wonder how they reconcile their belief with Matthew 6:24: “… Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
I’ll get off my soapbox now, Anton …
I don’t like being the harbinger of doom and gloom. For a while, I truly thought Covid could be fought down. When I saw that New Zealand had gotten to zero cases in 2020, it seemed like there was a way out.
I guess there’s always a level of overestimation when it comes to hope. Like a little kid on Christmas eve being utterly convinced that the one toy he REALLY wants will be there because of how hope can cloud reality sometimes. Sadly I, just like the DNC, vastly underestimated the need for Capitalism in America and the ability of the GOP to weaponize that fact, no matter the cost towards human life.
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