Left-wing people dominated when it came to beliefs that vaccines cause autism. Not just on the fringe either. In 2009-2010, where there was concern about a new Swine Flu epidemic, the Obama administration ran the risk of having a short supply because they refused to allow multi-dose vials. The reason was that they believed preservatives might cause autism, despite the science consensus - a talking point which had been made by vaccine deniers for a decade, though it had been debunked.
California state politician Dr. Richard Pan had to fight for years to get breezy philosophical exemptions from childhood vaccines removed in the state. California Governor Jerry Brown signed it half a decade later, over the objections of his likely successor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had been Mayor of San Francisco, the hotbed of the anti-vaccine movement.
Immediately, wealthy elites rushed to boutique pediatricians catering to the upper class and got medical waivers. Gov. Newsom has refused to tighten up the loophole by creating a neutral oversight commission for those but it has at least stopped people from casually filling out a form in Marin County, where some schools had a vaccination rate under 30 percent.
Now that has changed. When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, the California governor not only wanted no exemptions, he wanted vaccines to be mandatory for kids - and if you don't have a vaccine, your child can't go to any school that 40 percent of California taxes fund.
That's fine as long as it is egalitarian. That equality and equity people are alway saying the other side opposes. Except it is none of those things.
Instead, we have media criticizing Republican states that don't want to enforce a law saying businesses have to police vaccine status of employees or be fined. And a Democratic state suddenly folding the minute a powerful union opposes mandatory vaccines
Is there any evidence this second problem will happen and prison guards will quit? In New York City, police unions said 10,000 officers would be off the job if a mandatory vaccine policy was created. In a city with a runaway crime problem, that would be devastating. Instead, it was 34. Is the city intentionally not counting a lot more? As in, just letting cops say they are vaccinated? Maybe. Is the city simply not following up by asking anyone who didn't reply if they are vaccinated? No idea.
In the two headlines above, the motivation for Republicans and Democrats is the same: Protecting their interests, not the public. Businesses see the costs of enforcing a mandate for vaccines when there is already "stagflation" - inflation leading to higher costs but a stagnant economy - while Governor Gavin Newsom wants to show a union he is even willing to look like a Republican and oppose mandatory vaccines if it means they keep funding him.
That means it is about politics and that is a terrible place to be during a public health crisis. Instead of addressing the core issue, political pundits on Twitter will continue to blame each other.
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