"We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin," President Joe Biden said on Sept. 9 as he announced his plan to require more than 80 million private sector American workers to consent (sic) to a COVID-19 vaccine, or submit to weekly testing, or be fired by companies with more than 100 employees (those companies will be fined $14,000, by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for each instance of failure to enforce the edict).
The ostensible purpose of the mandate is to combat a raging COVID-19 pandemic, but that supposed purpose doesn't pass the smell test.
US COVID-19 deaths in August, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, came to less than one-third the number for January — and total deaths from all causes in the US in August came to 1% less than the expected number (less than 100% for the first time since January 2020), compared to 138% of the expected number in January.
With the "delta" variant, the virus is taking exactly the path one expects high-R0 respiratory viruses to take: Getting more contagious, but weaker, passing from "pandemic" to "endemic." Vaccine mandates and media scare campaigns won't change that trajectory. Vaccines are certainly helping reduce deaths in the meantime, but any supposed emergency is over and has been for some time.
Biden's vaccine mandate brings to mind another vaccine mandate from last year:
As of May 2020, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine had established its basic safety according to the US Food and Drug Administration's criteria, but its efficacy was still being tested.
The FDA — which subsequently gave "fast-track" full approval to an Alzheimer's drug that has likewise proven its safety but not its efficacy — mandated that you couldn't receive that vaccine.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans died while FDA sat on its hands for six months before issuing its first COVID-19 vaccine "emergency use authorization."
The FDA wouldn't let you have the vaccine even if you wanted it.
Now Biden's trying to force you to accept it even if you don't want it.
These mandates aren't about vaccines, or about COVID-19.
They're about letting the serfs know who's in charge, and maybe scoring a few partisan culture war points.
No number of deaths is too many for FDA where the question of establishing its authority is concerned.
No amount of damage to civil liberties or the economy is too severe if it allays Joe Biden's impatience with your slowness to bend the knee.
Resist much, obey little.
Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).