New York Post, December 30, 2021
President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he will issue an edict requiring vaccines for domestic travel if his scientific advisers recommend it. Tony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, has been yapping in favor of such a mandate in recent days, calling it “another incentive to get more people vaccinated.” But requiring vax passports for domestic travel would devastate airlines and the tourism business while doing nothing to vanquish COVID.
With soaring COVID case numbers, Biden is under pressure to make some dramatic gesture to prove he is in charge. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is spearheading a congressional push for a vax mandate for air travel, which she labels “a necessary and long overdue step toward ensuring all Americans feel safe and confident while traveling.”
The feds previously claimed that masking on flights was sufficient to protect travelers, but the Zoom class is terrified and demanding a comforting placebo. Effectively adding tens of millions of names to the No Fly List would also satisfy the blue-state lust to punish Americans who have failed to comply with the latest commands from Washington.
Imposing a vax mandate for air travel could be the opening step for far greater restrictions on Americans’ freedom of movement. The Associated Press reported in August that the Biden administration is considering “mandating vaccines for interstate travel” but is delaying any such decree until Americans are “ready for the strong-arming from the federal government.”
Restricting interstate travel across the board would be among the most intrusive federal policies since payroll-tax withholding. Enforcing such a policy would require the creation of COVID patrols, akin to pre-Civil War slave patrols, waiting to chase down anyone who crosses state lines without proper papers.
A Biden vax mandate for domestic travel would be built on the rubble of his prior disastrous mandates.
After Biden dictated that all health-care workers must be fully vaxxed, hospitals responded by firing thousands of nurses who refused to get injected (many of the nurses had natural immunity after surviving COVID infections). That spurred shortages of critical personnel at hospitals, so Biden sent in more than a thousand US military personnel to assist hospitals. That failed to solve the problem so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just revised its guidelines to permit employers to rely on asymptomatic COVID-positive employees previously banned from their premises.
According to Biden policymakers, it is better for hospital patients to be treated by COVID-positive nurses (whose COVID vaxxes failed to safeguard them from the virus) than by unvaccinated nurses untainted by COVID. Vaccination status has gone from being a proxy for health to being a substitute for sane health-care policy.
“Mandates have curbed almost everything except COVID-19 cases,” Yahoo editor Javier David quipped. Mayor Bill de Blasio dictated that all private employees must be vaxxed, and New York City has one of the nation’s most restrictive COVID passport regimes. But CNBC labeled the Big Apple “the epicenter of Omicron infections,” and 2 percent of Manhattan residents contracted COVID in the past week. Righteous political rhetoric will do nothing to prevent far more COVID cases here in the coming weeks.
Why would anyone have faith in a new Biden mandate? In his Jan. 20 inaugural address, Biden vowed to “defeat the virus,” but COVID cases are setting new records each day. In July, Biden promised, “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.” That pledge collapsed in a surge of millions of COVID infections among the vaxxed, which administration spinmeisters tried to dismiss as “breakthrough cases.” Biden said last week that “almost everyone who has died from COVID-19 . . . has been unvaccinated.” But the fully vaxxed account for roughly 30 percent of COVID fatalities in Illinois, 25 percent in Oregon and up to 50 percent in Vermont.
According to diehard COVID warriors and Biden supporters, the latest surge of COVID cases proves that the president needs more power. Effectively banning tens of millions of Americans from air travel would endear the president to his triple-vaxxed supporters. But another demolition of freedom will do nothing to end the most politically exploited pandemic in American history.
James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.