- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Green Bay Packers’ star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been fielding a lot of criticisms from pundits, media types, leftists and others who think he’s compromised the health and safety of the world by refusing a coronavirus vaccine then testing positive for COVID-19 — all after suggesting he’d been vaccinated.

But he did nothing wrong.

It’s time to back off the criticisms and instead, offer up some praise.

Here’s a guy who stood up for, get this, American principles and American liberties. For that, he’s being condemned?

It’s not Rodgers who’s out of whack. It’s the country.

Pre-COVID, it was generally accepted that American citizens, born as they are with God-given rights, have the final say on whether or not to take a medical treatment. It was generally accepted that doctors and medical experts and government health officials and the like were there to advise, recommend, suggest and so forth — but it was the patient, that is, the American citizen, who gets the final say. And for those too young to make that decision, or too old and mentally incapacitated, or too handicapped in other pertinent ways, as the case with many senior citizens and others with serious health issues, the final say rested with parents, caretakers and legal guardians.

Note the omission?

The government.

Pre-COVID, it was generally accepted that the government had no right to force medical treatments on citizens — and yes, that includes vaccines. Thus, the religious exemptions. Thus, the medical and personal exemptions.

Pre-COVID, it was generally accepted that personal medical decisions were just that, personal, and did not rightly belong in the hands of employers, government bureaucrats, and general citizenry-at-large to disseminate, discuss and, God forbid, approve.

Then came COVID.

Then came tyrannical Democrats and elitists with lusts for power and eyes for exploiting chaotic situations for personal gain.

Then came President Biden, the feckless of all feckless leaders who first said vaccine mandates were impossible to do in this country but who now says he is zee law. Screw you and your constitutional rights, he says.

Now comes Rodgers.

He’s a football guy, not a politician. He’s an American citizen, not a Chinese robot.

He didn’t get vaccinated. He floated the idea he was vaccinated. He tested positive for COVID-19 and had to admit he didn’t get vaccinated. But why does he have to disclose his personal, private medical choices for his employer, for his fellow employees, for all of America in the first place?

Why does he have to get a vaccine he doesn’t want in the first place?

Why does he have to be put in a position of feeling like he must apologize for making statements like this — which pre-coronavirus, mind you, were generally accepted as common sense, American values, constitutional truths: “I believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body, not to have to acquiesce to some woke culture or crazed group of individuals who say you have to do something. Health is not a one-size-fits-all for everybody, and for me it involved a lot of study in the offseason,” he said.

Rodgers is 100 percent right. Government can’t toss the Constitution out the window then gaslight free citizens into believing it’s always been that way and expecting all to play along with the deception.

His naysayers want to rebut and accuse him of lying about vaccination status and demand what medical steps he’s taken — what medical treatments he’s taken — in order to protect the rest of his teammates, the NFL staff, the rest of his community, the entirety of the world even, from catching COVID-19. His naysayers want to put him on the defensive, in the position of having to explain his dastardly behavior.

But frankly, it’s nobody’s business.

Rodgers made a personal health decision based on personal research and personal conclusions based on that research. That’s the American way. That’s how individualism works. That’s how freedom continues to reign.

George Orwell once wrote, “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Rodgers has been caught in that web. He’s been put in a position of having to explain a decision he never should have had to explain in the first place, and then condemned as a liar for choosing to exercise his God-given liberties and failing to bow to those who would steal his God-given liberties.

And for that, he’s been deemed by many as dangerous.

The number of his naysayers versus the number of his supporters shows how far this nation has tipped from individualism to collectivism. Therein lies the real danger.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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