This, of course, is a post about COVID-19 vaccination.
Over the weekend, an extremist rightwing Republican congressman (are there any other kind?) Thomas Massie introduced a bill, HR3680, that would prevent mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in the military. This seems likely, and is a good idea: ‘long COVID’ is not conducive to military service, nor should it be a ‘reward’ for said service.
But Massie’s foolishness (the bill likely won’t go anywhere) highlights what is so frustrating about our response to COVID-19. There are crazy ass uncles in this world, and, on occasion, we are forced to put up with them (e.g., the whole spate of articles about how to survive various holiday get-togethers). But we aren’t obligated to take their policy recommendations seriously. If your crazy ass uncle believes there are (non-existent) tunnels underneath a D.C. pizza joint that are somehow involved in child sex slavery, the District of Columbia isn’t obliged to send DRCA inspectors to examine them.
If there is a vaccine that prevents hospitalization and long term illness in its recipients (as well as those in contact with the recipients), and there are millions of people who have taken that vaccine with far fewer and milder side effects than if they contracted the disease, we don’t have to consider seriously your crazy ass uncle’s ‘theory’ about the vaccine based on his ‘research.’
We just don’t.