President Biden announced measures that will expand the number of Americans vaccinated to fight COVID-19. These include requiring Federal employees and Federal contractor employees to be vaccinated unless an exception applies. Along with those working for companies with more than 100 employees to either be vaccinated or tested weekly.
Not surprisingly, this has led to lots of grumbling. Included, of course, was Iowa’s Branch Trumpvidian Governor Kim “CovidKim” Reynolds who hopped on Facebook and Twitter to whine that the President was “taking dangerous and unprecedented steps to insert the federal government even further into our lives.” Des Moines attorney Gary Dickey, who worked for then Governor Vilsack explained that the President clearly is on solid legal footing to impose these mandates.
Of course, if CovidKim had bothered to study history she would have found Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), which held that it was within the government’s police powers to require vaccination when appropriate. Writing for the majority Justice Harlan said, “a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members” and that in times of great danger liberty may “subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.”
The pandemic is a great danger, made worse by the acts of Branch Trumpvidian Governors like CovidKim. Not only has she failed to do her job, but she also took away the right of communities to protect themselves. It’s not unreasonable to ask people wanting to participate in society to accept some restraints on their liberty, including being vaccinated if it’s safe to do so. Since CovidKim and her GQP buddies won’t do the job, it’s up to actual leaders like President Biden to do the job.