Two top officials at the ACLU wrote an op-ed the other day arguing that mandatory COVID vaccination would advance civil liberties. They have gotten some criticism, including here. One oddity of this situation, though, has not drawn any remark, at least from what I’ve seen: These civil libertarians are urging governments to seize more power than the governments themselves seem interested in taking.
They appear to be talking about government policies that would require most people who are eligible for COVID vaccines to take them. They are not, that is, merely talking about requiring some or all government employees to be vaccinated or about allowing private-sector employers to require their employees to be vaccinated. The broader mandate they appear to have in mind is one that isn’t being pursued in even the bluest or most COVID-fearful state in the country. It isn’t (to my knowledge) being urged by public-health agencies either. The people who are most enthusiastic about this infringement on freedom — sorry, this enhancement of freedom rightly understood! — are professional civil libertarians.
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