- - Monday, March 7, 2022

President Biden, at long last, last week conceded that people “should have the freedom to make the medical decisions that are best” for themselves “without politicians getting in the way.” Now, he tells us! This, of course, is completely contrary to everything his administration has said since he was sworn in.

Congress should take note and defund all federal COVID-19 mandates when it is given the opportunity to vote on the government funding bill this week. One of the most powerful tools Congress has, constitutionally, is the power of the purse. And it’s precisely because Congress needs that tool to defend liberty — an executive branch edict without funding to enforce it is an executive branch edict that goes nowhere.

The Senate has already taken tentative steps to get the ball rolling. In early December, the body voted — in bipartisan fashion, with two Democrats crossing over to vote with all the Republicans — to overturn Mr. Biden’s vaccine mandate on large employers. And this week, the Senate voted to terminate Biden’s vaccine mandate on health care workers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, too, has begun to acknowledge the change in pandemic status. Last week it officially changed the metrics it uses to determine if a given locality should be considered “high risk,” “medium risk” or “low risk” for COVID-19 for purposes of determining guidance on mask requirements. 

Under the old standard, 95% of the counties in the country were deemed “high risk,” and were “guided” to enforce indoor mask mandates. Now, with one change in the “science,” voila! Just 30% of the counties in the country are deemed “high risk,” while 70% are not, and can “safely” do without masks in indoor spaces.

The federal mandates declared by the executive never should have been declared in the first place.

First, from a utilitarian perspective, as experience shows, the vaccines failed to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. Though some (foolish) government officials, Mr. Biden included, continue to declare, “this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” every frontline doctor, nurse, and hospital administrator who’s honest will acknowledge — granted, sometimes only privately, for fear of the consequences — that there are now, and have been for quite some time, more vaccinated coronavirus patients than unvaccinated.

Second — and more importantly — from a liberty perspective, no government that claims to be free should ever require any individual citizen to accept into his or her body injection of an experimental drug, especially one whose long-term effects are unknown, and whose manufacturers are shielded from liability for any adverse effects caused by their experimental drugs.

Health care decisions simply should not be the province of government bureaucrats, even those who burnish the image of their authority by regularly wearing white lab coats and trailing multilettered suffixes after their names.

Mr. Biden himself recognized the personal nature of such health care decisions just this week. Criticizing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s actions to enforce a Texas law he opposes, Mr. Biden said, “Children, their parents and their doctors should have the freedom to make the medical decisions that are best for each young person — without politicians getting in the way.”

Yes, they should. And adults and their doctors should have the freedom to make the medical decisions that are best for themselves, without politicians getting in the way, too. Claims of “science” simply do not trump individual liberty, and even Mr. Biden now acknowledges that.

It’s time to end the federal government’s vaccine and mask mandates, once and for all — and, because the decision on whether or not to fund a program is the acid test for federal policy, that means it’s time to defund administration, implementation and enforcement of the remaining federal mandates.

Conveniently, the House and Senate will both be given the opportunity next week to vote to end all federal COVID-19 mandates, when they vote on the omnibus spending package currently being assembled. 

Now that Mr. Biden, the most important politician on the pro-mandate side of the argument, has acknowledged health care decisions are the province of individuals and their doctors and not government bureaucrats, Congress should be able to take the next step and end all funding for the mandates without too much argument.

Unless, of course, there was another reason for the mandates that had nothing to do with “science”?  

• Jenny Beth Martin is honorary chair of Tea Party Patriots Action. 

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