Congress hears testimony on the impact of COVID-19 vaccine passports and coercive vaccine mandates.
Today, the US House Oversight Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic held a hearing entitled “Because I Said So: Examining the Science and Impact of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates.”
Among the four witnesses invited, three testified that vaccine passports and mandates were bad policies for health and liberty while the fourth said they were good for health and vaccine uptake as they coerced people into compliance.
Here is a quick recap of the witnesses’ opening statements before there was a recess for voting purposes.
In his opening statement, University of Washington affiliate assistant professor Dr. Kevin Bardosh cited a recent study which “found that indoor vaccine passports had no significant impact on COVID-19 vaccine uptake, cases, or deaths across all nine US cities that implemented the policy.”
Dr. Bardosh ended his opening remarks with a personal opinion:
“May I remind everyone here about the higher law, inspired by God, on which this country defines liberty.
“We consider a deprivation of bodily autonomy to be fundamentally humiliating and associated with a form of mental and physical enslavement. Inherent to human nature is the desire to have self-determination over ones own body and mind.
“Notice that many American chose to suffer the deprivations of losing their material income rather than be subject to the humiliations of forced medical treatments that would have denied their own medical privacy, physical agency and psychological freedom.
“The shock and dismay citizens of this country have expressed over these coercive mandate measures makes the situation clear for anyone willing to pay attention — that they are an affront to the God given order of freedom on which American liberty is founded.
“Never mind that they are scientifically inconsistent and illogical — the mandates are an insult to our American foundation of freedom and I hope we never are reduced to such humiliations again in the future- or we risk demoralizing an already demoralized people further.”
Fox Sports reporter Allison Williams shared her personal story of being let-go from ESPN for refusing the vaccine.
Williams observed that, “Anyone who didn’t obediently follow orders to get in line and roll up their sleeves was portrayed as the enemy, a threat.
“No regard was given to natural immunity, personal convictions, religious beliefs or individual health and medical history, all valid reasons for declining this injection.
“If you were unvaccinated, you were part of the problem.”
She added, “If we are truly the land of the free, the only thing that should be mandated is that we will never trample the civil liberties and bodily autonomy of our citizens again.”
University of Washington School of Medicine associate professor Dr. John Lynch testified that vaccine requirements were good because they boosted vaccine uptake, but that communications could be improved “to include more of the ‘why’ behind recommendations and requirements.”
Dr. Lynch cited reports “that COVID-19 vaccination mandates for health care workers, emergency first responders, federal workers, school staff, university students and staff, and other groups have garnered high levels of compliance and boosted COVID-19 vaccine uptake.
“Among US adults vaccinated from June to September 2021, 35% reported that a major reason they got vaccinated was to participate in recreational activities that required proof of vaccination, and 19% said their employer’s requirement was a major reason.”
First Liberty Institute senior counsel Danielle Runyan, in her opening statement, said, “As the pandemic unfolded, we realized our rights as Americans were not being honored.
“Eighteen months into the pandemic and eight months after vaccines first became available, the executive branch implemented coercive mandates aimed at removing hard working citizens, who chose to exercise their constitutional and statutory rights, from the workforce.
“By striking fear into the heart of Americans, many were left puzzled.
“How did we go from incentivizing vaccination with free beer and sports tickets to threatening to punish Americans by taking away their livelihoods?” she questioned.
Today’s hearing was still ongoing at the time of publication.