2002 September 23 Monday
Smallpox attack response: vaccinate all of US
A wise decision:
Federal health officials will issue detailed guidelines today for vaccinating the entire U.S. population against smallpox within five days of an outbreak of the dreaded disease.
I still think individuals should be free to voluntarily get themselves vaccinated. But this is a step in the right direction.
Question: Would the US close its borders for 5 days while the vaccination program was conducted?
By Randall Parker at 2002 September 23 01:26 PM
There are two major points here.
First, the Smallpox vaccine, while a phenomenal breakthrough for its time, outright killed an unacceptably high number of the people who were injected with it and crippled far more. While the country was fighting a deadly, debilitating disease whose signs, symptoms and generally poor outcome were terrifying to the populous, the same drug would not pass today's more rigorous standards. True, it is available and now used daily, but in retrospect if it had to begin from scratch today as a new drug, with no prior use, it wouldn't be out there.
Second, the idea of mandating injection is reserved for the military. This is something far more frightening a concept than the idea of seatbelt and helmet laws "for our safety," which more often translates to the government acting "in our best interests," "for our own good." The government may have the right to line me up with 250,000 other soldiers and require that I take injections when I sign away my rights to the military during a tour of service, but I am a product of freedom, and I do not give up that freedom lightly.
There are those who will always seek to control for control's sake, as well as those who will always seek to change the world for our collective betterment. It is often difficult to tell, except in retrospect, which kind we have welcomed into our highest offices to lead us.