To the Editor:

This is in reply to the Voice of D’Amocracy column headlined "Mixed messages from gov’t" (Times, Sept. 13). Before I proceed, note that I am a registered Republican; I state this to affirm this is not a politically driven response.

The column opens by claiming the Democrats are sending mixed messages by supporting freedom of choice for abortion rights while limiting freedom of choice for COVID-19 vaccination mandates. But these messages are not mixed because the decision to get an abortion affects an individual while the decision to not get a COVID-19 vaccination affects everyone. Two completely unrelated topics and two completely different effects.

It is additionally claimed that vaccine mandates are unconstitutional because they take away freedom of choice. So ask yourself, is mandating the vaccine more unconstitutional than endangering your fellow Americans, yourselves, and the economy? Because that’s what you’re doing. Should we de-emphasize the myriad of “childhood” vaccines in the spirit of freedom of choice? Going to a different extreme, should we ban any future military drafts because a third of our people don’t want to join? There goes your freedom, literally.

Digging into the COVID-19 situation a little further, imagine where we would be if the desired vaccination rate were achieved and we actually reached herd immunity in the U.S. We likely wouldn’t be facing a fourth major surge but instead, here we go again. More people are getting sick, some are dying, hospital space is once again filling up, masks are becoming commonplace, schools and business are trying to figure out what to do, the effects on the economy are already becoming apparent.

So if you’re going to play the blame game for vaccine mandates, blame those who chose not to get vaccinated, they are the ones who are taking away our freedom, not the government. At least on this point.

BILL GOODMAN

Town of Phelps

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