By: Davis Taylor
The war being waged against our rights under the pretext of controlling infectious disease is not new and didn’t arise with COVID-19. Vaccine freedom advocates have been fighting this war for years, attempting to protect those rights. With their experience, they have a wealth of information that can be drawn upon in the fight.
Many libertarians and conservatives have expressed the view that the current government repression related to COVID-19 is a “new war” on our rights. I respectfully disagree. There is nothing new about this war. It’s a continuation of highly concerted efforts by the state and their corporate cronies to strip away rights based upon a scientific narrative that is riddled with conflicts of interest and pharmaceutical industry influence, under the guise of protecting Americans from infectious disease.
I’m a libertarian. I’ve voiced opposition to vaccine mandates. The second statement can’t be inferred from the first, as many libertarians have voiced little to no opposition to vaccine mandates.
This article shall serve as my confession of sorts, to an error that I and others in the vaccine freedom movement may have made in presenting our case for opposing vaccine mandates, and also as my rallying cry to fellow libertarians regarding this war that has been raging for years.
Rights have already been stripped away under the pretext of protecting Americans from infectious diseases.
The tendency of libertarians to frame the COVID-19 rights battle as something new, which is separate and distinct from the rights battle which has been fought for years by vaccine freedom advocates, is misguided. In fact, COVID-19 is just another in a long line of infectious diseases being used as a pretext to strip Americans of their rights.
Our youngest and most vulnerable, our children, were the first victims in this war. They were victimized when, based upon a scientific narrative that is not supported by the weight of the scientific evidence, vaccinates were mandated upon them and unvaccinated children were stripped of the right to attend public schools and, in some locations, private schools.
These “lockouts” of unvaccinated children from schools were a precursor to the lockdowns that Americans of all ages are now experiencing and, for those of us paying attention, they served as a forewarning of what was coming.
The history of child vaccine mandates is discussed at length in my prior articles, including one entitled “Central Planning of Your Immune System is Dangerous” and won’t be extensively discussed in the instant article.
Libertarians in the vaccine freedom movement have asserted to their fellow libertarians for years that the scientific evidence does not support the frightening risk levels portrayed by the state and its corporate cronies concerning unvaccinated children and the infectious diseases parents are forced to vaccinate their children against. These arguments generally fell on disinterested ears and most libertarians have not put significant effort, or any effort at all, into opposing vaccine mandates. Hopefully, libertarians will reconsider these arguments in light of the recent, obviously inflated risk levels being associated by these same state and corporate players to COVID-19.
Perhaps healthy, vibrant libertarian adults forced to wear masks and locked in their homes during COVID-19 madness, due to exaggerated risk levels, will take a fresh look at unvaccinated children and consider whether any potential risks they pose to society have also been exaggerated and subject to a similar madness. Perhaps they’ll also reconsider whether or not they should actively join the fight against vaccine mandates.
Although prior to COVID-19, U.S. adults had generally not yet been stripped of rights based upon the pretext of infectious disease (except for parental, decision-making rights regarding their children’s vaccinations), those of us in the vaccine freedom movement repeatedly warned that the battle plan of the state and its corporate cronies has a next phase, which clearly includes smashing rights belonging to both children and adults. We explained that this next phase will include tracking and monitoring, restrictions on the right to travel and assemble, restrictions on the right to use state services and to do other things based upon vaccine status and forced vaccinations for both adults and children.
Soon, COVID-19 will be just another of many infectious diseases for which there is a licensed vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine will likely be forced upon the entire populace. It will likely be the first of many vaccines mandated upon adults in the U.S., and will likely join the long list of vaccines already mandated upon children. (Denmark has already passed legislation authorizing forced vaccination against COVID-19, so it’s getting a jump on its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.)
The extent to which COVID-19-related repression is inextricably wound up with the vaccine freedom battle is illustrated by the fact that those from the state and their corporate cronies have argued that Americans’ release from lockdown should be conditioned upon the masses receiving the future COVID-19 vaccine.
I confess to having framed the issue of vaccine mandates too narrowly in the past.
One of my goals in writing this article is to respectfully and constructively suggest that some libertarians have been misguided and short-sighted in failing to pay attention to the issue of vaccine mandates. However, before exploring this further, let me first confess to an error of my own.
I realize that some vaccine freedom advocates, including myself, have done a less than ideal job in presenting our reasons for opposing vaccine mandates. We started with a tree and ignored the forest. There’s never been a more important time than now to properly frame the issue, in order to prompt action, as the state’s use of infectious disease as a pretext to strip away our rights is ramping up. Therefore, I’d like to take another stab at properly framing it.
This is the old, too narrow, overview of the war.
For the last handful of years, when trying to persuade fellow libertarians to take an interest in the vaccine mandate issue, my points usually went something like this: vaccine mandates for children exist at the state level; mandates are coming for adults; mandates will likely be issued at the federal level; orchestration exists at the global level to impose vaccine mandates; tracking of vaccine status will be imposed and the ability to travel, use state services and do other things may be based upon vaccine status; the pharmaceutical industry heavily influences the regulatory agencies tasked with regulating them; strong conflicts of interest exist within the context of vaccine public policy; liability has been removed for the manufacturers of many vaccines; special liability rules apply to most vaccine injury claims; discovery isn’t allowed against vaccine manufacturers in the claims process; vaccines are categorized as biologics, not drugs, and are subject to less stringent safety testing then drugs; inert double-blind placebo studies are not conducted on most vaccines; and there’s evidence of far more extensive vaccine injury in the U.S. and elsewhere than depicted by the state, Big Pharma and the media.
This is the improved, bird’s eye view of the war.
This story needs to be told from the bird’s eye view, which is set forth below.
Rights are often stripped away for pretextual reasons. Most libertarians seem to be aware that, although valid environmental concerns exist, the prevailing environmental narrative has been used as a pretext by some in the state and their corporate cronies to strip away rights. Libertarians are generally also aware that this has involved the state and corporate players declaring what is “settled environmental science” and acting to suppress conflicting scientific information and voices.
However, most are unaware (or were unaware until COVID-19 madness struck) that there is another pretextual reason to strip away our rights that has been hammering away at us (complete with the declaration of what is “settled infectious disease science” and the suppression of conflicting scientific information and voices) that will make the aforementioned environmental pretext look like a mere rookie. This is the great infectious disease caper, which may nearly completely strip us of our rights to privacy, to travel, to move about freely, to assemble, and to decline vaccines.
Control of infectious diseases is being used by the state and its corporate allies as a pretext to usurp power and to enrich themselves and they’re using a contrived, controlled fraudulent scientific narrative to achieve this. That is the forest and vaccine mandates are a tree in that forest.
The state, the media and Big Pharma did not just start exaggerating the risks of infectious diseases with COVID-19, and forewarnings about this behavior were contained in the vaccine freedom articles, and in the vaccine freedom speeches, that were largely ignored by libertarians.
For years, opponents of vaccine mandates have pointed out that the risks of death and serious harm from infectious diseases, both in the past and in modern-day, have been grossly exaggerated by the state and its pharmaceutical company cronies in order to garner support for vaccine mandates, and for other rights violations planned for us, under the guise of protecting us.
The example of this risk exaggeration most often cited by vaccine freedom advocates has been the measles and the MMR vaccine. We’ve pointed out that the death rate from the measles virus in the U.S. has been significantly exaggerated to generate support for MMR mandates. Although the CDC now recommends for children upwards of 70 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18, many of which are mandated throughout the country, the MMR vaccine is the one that the state and its Big Pharma collaborators have primarily focused upon in their fear campaign to rally support for vaccine mandates.
Prior to the use of vaccines, the annual death rate in the U.S. from measles was low, at approximately 1 in 10,000 of those infected. Of course, not every American was infected with measles each year, so the overall annual death rate among the entire U.S. population from measles was even far lower than that. The state, Big Pharma and the media often provide an estimate of the U.S. pre-vaccine era annual measles death rate which is an order of magnitude higher than cited above, i.e., 1 in 1,000. Such calculation has generally based the method of using reported cases as the denominator rather than overall cases. This method is deceptive because measles was generally viewed as a benign childhood illness in the pre-vaccine years and most measles cases were not reported in that era.
This misrepresentation of the risks associated with measles is thoroughly documented and discussed in Jeremy R. Hammond’s article posted (pre-COVID-19) on May 16, 2019, entitled, “How the CDC and Media Lie About the Measles Death Rate” which can be found on Hammond’s website. Hammond is a well-known libertarian and journalist and his work has focused on foreign policy and vaccine policy.
Hammond’s website has a section devoted exclusively to vaccines, which is a repository of articles he has written on the topic, many of which discuss not only the scientific misrepresentations and statistical sleights of hand specifically being used with respect to infectious disease death rates, but also regarding the larger issues concerning the necessity for, the efficacy of and safety of vaccines. His materials include, among other things, a four-part series on the influenza vaccine and the whoppers we’ve been fed in connection with it. Many other infectious diseases and vaccines are discussed in his articles.
To my knowledge, Hammond has not been widely invited to appear on libertarian podcasts, or to give speeches at libertarian events, to discuss his above-referenced article about the scientific/statistical deceit being used as a basis to mandate the MMR vaccine upon children (or to the discuss the other instances cited in his articles of the state’s/Big Pharma’s scientific/statistical deceit in connection with other vaccines mandated upon children). I believe that these have been lost opportunities. Perhaps if more libertarians had taken an interest in this issue and banded together (with other libertarians and vaccine freedom advocates) to tell the state and its corporate cronies that we won’t stand for public policy based upon scientific and statistical deception, the state wouldn’t be using the same scientific/statistical shenanigans on us now with regard to COVID-19—and we wouldn’t be locked down, forced to wear masks and subject to the other “COVID-19 madness” repressive measures that we’re all suffering through.
The groundwork for the COVID-19 lockdowns was laid when Americans accepted, within the context of vaccine mandates, that the state is entitled to declare “settled infectious disease science” and they relinquished control from themselves and their doctors to bureaucrats for making medical decisions related to infectious diseases.
Within the context of the vaccine mandate debate, the state and its corporate collaborators have repeated the mantra for years, in a concerted fashion, that “the science” is settled in that it’s been scientifically proven that the mandated vaccines are necessary, effective and safe. This is false because the science is not settled regarding any of this. Nonetheless, this mantra has been drilled into the heads of the masses and largely accepted by them.
Part of this alleged “settled science” shoved down the masses’ throats has been the concept that natural herd immunity should be rejected as a solution for the infectious diseases faced by mankind in favor of medical intervention through a lifetime series of vaccinations. (Natural herd immunity and the artificial, inferior “herd immunity” from vaccines are separate and distinct and the latter affords the populace less protection, as discussed here and here, in articles posted on CHD’s website.)
It should be noted that the lockdowns we’ve suffered through during COVID-19 madness have been, in part, based upon the state’s ongoing attempts to interfere with natural herd immunity and to prevent it from occurring.
Additionally, in the fight over vaccine mandates, scientific evidence contradicting the state’s/Big Pharma’s “settled science” narrative has been systematically suppressed by the powers that be.
Further, those in the vaccine mandate debate questioning the “settled science” have been widely portrayed as anti-vax crazies by the media, which receives a substantial portion of its funding from Big Pharma. Similarly, we’ve seen derogatory propaganda in the media concerning those questioning the state-sanctioned version of science concerning COVID-19, but, because a COVID-19 vaccine hasn’t arrived on the scene yet, it’s taken the form of the skeptics being labeled as selfish Granny-killers.
With regard to mandated vaccines, the state has succeeded in shifting the decision-making role for medical decisions from the individual (along with any medical provider he/she may wish to consult) to bureaucratic administrators. This shift is discussed in my article “Central Planning of Your Immune System is Dangerous” and in this video by Barbara Loe Fisher, President of the National Vaccine Information Center.
Americans have overwhelmingly sat idly by while the state deemed itself to be the appropriate declarer of “settled science” in connection with vaccines and they’ve largely acquiesced the right to make medical decisions regarding the vaccination of their children to bureaucrats.
This laid a groundwork which was well in place when COVID-19 arrived on the scene, with the following concepts accepted as a “given” by the masses: a body of settled science exists with regard to infectious disease, which is whatever the state, Big Pharma and the media declare it to be; and bureaucrats are entitled to make infectious disease-related medical decisions for us based upon that state-sanctioned settled science.
I believe the reason that so few Americans, including libertarians, bothered to oppose vaccine mandates was because they accepted the state’s propaganda that settled science exists which proves that all vaccines mandated by the state are necessary, effective, and safe.
In fact, there’s a large body of science which arguably indicates for most, if not all, of the mandated vaccines that they are not necessary or highly effective and that the risks associated with them may be greater than the risks associated with the infectious diseases they are designed to prevent. My article “Central Planning of Your Immune System is Dangerous” discusses this and the websites of Jeremy R. Hammond, Children’s Health Defense, the HighWire/Informed Action Consent Network, the Vaccine Reaction and others have extensive information regarding this.
Science is never settled, particularly on a matter as complex as the human immune system, and it should continually be questioned, reviewed and investigated, with new findings openly discussed and never suppressed. Americans should be free to make their own medical decisions, and not have them forced upon them based upon a stale, cherry-picked, frozen “settled science” declared by the state and Big Pharma.
A purportedly new coronavirus, COVID-19, showed up on the scene, which is just one of an immeasurable number of viruses floating around the globe. There has been no consensus among doctors, immunologists, epidemiologists or other medical and scientific professionals about any of the following aspects of the virus: the transmission risks associated with it; the risk of death or serious bodily harm it poses; or the best manner to address any risks posed by it.
Despite the lack of consensus within the scientific community regarding these issues, the state applied the groundwork already set within the context of vaccine mandates. It “settled” the issues of what scientific evidence would be taken into consideration (and what would not be) and of what steps Americans would take in response to COVID-19. This resulted in our forced lockdowns, forced masks, and the (sometimes bizarre) social distancing rules we’ve been made to follow.
It sure was easier for the state to impose “COVID-19 rule” upon us in light of the fact that the precedent for most of its elements had already been set in place within the context of mandated vaccines. Mandated vaccines “softened us up” for this.
To defeat the plans they have for us, we must delve into the science.
Some libertarians have argued that government lockdowns should be opposed based upon principle, on the grounds that lockdowns violate our natural rights and that the state lacks authority to impose them and, further, that this approach should be used rather than a risk analysis argument showing that the risks from COVID-19 are not as severe as being depicted by the powers that be. While I agree that our natural rights should be enough to prevent lockdowns, I believe that a strategy of not delving into the science will ultimately fail to stop public support for draconian, rights-violating state action taken under the guise of protecting the public from infectious disease.
Based upon discussions I’ve had over the years within the context of vaccine mandates, I’ve concluded that, as long as the public is persuaded that an unvaccinated individual walking into a room poses a risk to others of death or serious bodily harm, they will overwhelmingly favor nearly whatever oppressive tactic that the government wants to impose upon that individual. I believe that this will also apply with regard to someone walking into a room who has, or potentially has, COVID-19 if the state is successful in its scientific con-job associated with it.
Therefore, I see no way to persuasively argue that individuals should have the right to refuse vaccines, and to be free from tracking, travel restrictions, activity restrictions, masks, lockdowns and government anti-social behavior requirements without, at least in part, arguing the science and attempting to disprove an inaccurate scientific narrative.
Knowing the vaccine mandate history and background will help libertarians to defeat COVID-19 related oppression.
In my view, the issue of the state’s response to COVID-19 and where the state is heading with respect to it can’t be discussed in any comprehensive fashion without at least touching upon vaccine mandates. Furthermore, I don’t believe that the state’s COVID-19 narrative can be as effectively smashed by one not schooled in the “back story” of the infectious disease narrative which has been playing itself out for years in the vaccine mandate arena.
Most vaccine freedom advocates experienced little to no shock about the COVID-19 situation for one very good reason. We’ve seen this movie before. All of the same government and corporate cronies have starring roles in it and it has the same old, tired storyline of a “deadly” infectious disease, with the weight of the scientific evidence actually indicating that the disease isn’t deadly (at least not to the overwhelming majority of people living in a first-world country).
We weren’t alarmed because we know this song and dance well and also know where this train is heading. It’s heading to the same place that it’s been traveling to for years, to a town near you with universal vaccine mandates, surveillance, almost no right to privacy, and limited right to travel, move about freely and assemble.
The battlefield in this fight against the use of a scientific narrative riddled with conflicts of interest and Big Pharma influence to strip away rights has largely been lacking libertarians.
As noted above, we are not facing a new war, but are well into a war that’s been raging for years, being fought on the liberty side by advocates for medical and vaccine freedom.
Below is an overview of the players I’ve observed on the battlefield, on the liberty side, during my vaccine freedom journey over the last handful of years.
Generally, I’ve been in a sea of Republicans while attending vaccine freedom events. Those describing themselves as libertarians, or as being members of the Libertarian Party, have been few and far between at the events. Democrats have been the rarest birds of all at them. (This is not to say that there aren’t many Democrats, and those from all parties and walks of life, working for vaccine freedom because there are.)
In fact, two organizations with leaders from “the left” have been highly active in attempting to defeat vaccine mandates and to preserve medical freedom: RFK, Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense (CHD) and Del Bigtree’s The HighWire/Informed Consent Action Network (HW, ICAN). Based upon their recent comments, RFK, Jr. identifies himself as a Democrat and Bigtree was a lifelong Democrat until recently and now associates himself with no party.
Both RFK, Jr.’s (CHD) and Bigtree’s (HW, ICAN) platforms provide a voluminous amount of scientific information related to infectious disease and vaccines. Their platforms are also replete with materials regarding the following areas: state/Big Pharma cronyism permeating public policy related to infectious disease and vaccines; conflicts of interest permeating the CDC, FDA, NIH and other regulatory bodies; the revolving door between the state and Big Pharma; and violations of rights within the context of infectious disease and vaccines (parental rights, the right to informed consent, constitutional rights, natural rights).
Ironically, in recent years, these two “leftists” (RFK, Jr. and Bigtree) have often sounded far more “libertarian” than most libertarians on issues related to infectious disease and vaccines. I respectfully suggest that more libertarians should consider collaborating with them in order to further medical and vaccine freedom, including that related to COVID-19, in the same manner that libertarians have worked with the left on issues related to war.
Although libertarian voices have been somewhat rare in the vaccine freedom movement in recent years, there have been exceptions to this, including, among others: Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Jeremy R. Hammond, and Bretigne Shaffer. Also, in recent years, the Tenth Amendment Center has posted numerous articles on the topic of vaccine mandates, and Peter Quinones has conducted numerous interviews on it. (It should also be noted that Robert Murphy interviewed Shaffer on the issue of California’s vaccine mandates and, during the interview, had the insight to mention a parallel between the “settled environmental science” and “settled infectious disease science” scenarios discussed above.)
The above list of libertarians who have voiced opposition to vaccine mandates is not exhaustive, but I believe that it’s fair to say that most libertarians have not done so to any significant extent. They are badly needed in this war.
Let’s work together to smash attempts to use COVID-19, and the other infectious diseases that came before it and will come after it, to strip us of our rights based upon pretext and a fraudulent scientific narrative.
This author is hopeful that libertarians will work together, along with non-libertarians, to prevent the state and its corporate pals from using COVID-19 and other infectious diseases to rob us of our rights to make medical decisions, travel, move about, associate with others and to live our lives as free individuals.