Posted 56 days ago
What seems to be a minor point in Frum's article really jumped out to me. He writes:
Biden’s America produces 70 percent of the country’s wealth—and then sees that wealth transferred to support Trump’s America. Which is fine; that’s what citizens of one nation do for one another. Something else they do for one another: take rational health-care precautions during a pandemic. That reciprocal part of the bargain is not being upheld.
70% of the countries wealth is A LOT. Of course, the calculation from the Brookings Institute is questionable at best and horribly, ideologically biased more likely. Agriculture, of course, is always measured as a lesser economic growth indicator, even though literally no human on the world could live without it. Its essential nature is not built into these calculations. Numbers like these swill go to the heads of left-leaning centrists who believe that they make America.
But Frum's point is a good one. Even though if this thought is wrong, it is one that will grow powerful if large parts of America refuse to get vaccinted. As someone who is fully vaccinated, I am somewhat compassionate of those who are hesitant. Skepticism is a good trait to have, even a desirable one, but there is a limit where skepticism turns into something bad. Confronted with evidence and pragmatic reasoning, if somebody still refuses vaccination, they are not doing so for skepticism, but for something else entirely. Frum writes that it is for a "statement of identity and a test of loyalty." That might have a good amount of truth to it.
Although Frum writes that "this pandemic could’ve been over by now," I don't agree with that. Variants will crops up all over the world until we can distribute vaccines effectively. Of course, it could be much better if people would get vaccinated, but over is taking a step too far. How to we raise the numbers? Frum offers the following suggestions:
The Biden administration could require proof of vaccination to fly or to travel by interstate train or bus. It could mandate that federal contractors demonstrate that their workforces are vaccinated. It could condition federal student loans on proof of vaccination.
Living in Europe at the time and seeing of France, for example, has enacted for strict vaccine requirements (and the resulting percentage of vaccination increases), I tend to agree with these policies (obviously with clauses for health-related exemptions).