When science is fabricated to advance a bizarre dogma to intimidate others by violating clearly-established constitutional liberties, Vermonters should be troubled. When this is done by an elected official with a law degree, Vermonters should be livid.
Sen. Dick McCormack, D-Windsor, has displayed the toxicity and fear-mongering that has infested Vermont under the pretense of COVID. First it was “flatten the curve,” then it was “wear a mask unless you have a reason not to, which you shall decide.”
McCormack now calls for anyone who does not get injected with a vaccine to be barred from schools, medical care, or the ability to purchase food or clothing. In making this call, he denigrates anyone insisting on liberties as “stupid” while declaring himself a responsible, patriotic adult.
In a letter titled “Legislative Report: Science, Liberty and Nonsense,” McCormack presents the issue of COVID vaccinations as solely a “scientific discussion.” This is the first manipulation — discarding constitutional issues in favor of “health professionals.” The senator openly boasts that he has abdicated any concern for liberty or constitutionality, yielding all to “science.”
Implying those who question the government on constitutionality challenge science (referencing climate change and evolution), Dick ironically preaches that:
Stubborn loyalty to any accepted theory perverts that theory into dogma, and that is profoundly unscientific. Equating untested hypotheses with scientifically proven theory is pseudo-science. The most immediate problem with pseudo-science is the confusion about Covid vaccination.
McCormack then asserts as facts his profoundly unscientific pseudo-science:
To the extent that we can know anything scientifically, we know that the Covid vaccines are reasonably safe and safer than Covid. We know they greatly lessen the odds of contracting Covid and/or spreading it to others. We know that vaccination not only protects each individual patient, but lessens the spread of Covid among the population.
Where did the good senator garner his assertion that we “know” vaccinations “greatly lessen the odds of contracting or spreading COVID”? We certainly do not know any such thing. According to the CDC, “although COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting sick, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms.”
McCormack has far exceeded his expertise. And even if the vaccination did reduce spread, is it by 10 percent, or perhaps 40 percent? Constitutional law requires that in order to discriminate against citizens the way he demands, he and the government must scientifically prove that the disease rises to the “compelling state interest” level, that the vaccine prevents transmission, and if so, how much — 10 percent wouldn’t cut it. McCormack lacks the omniscience he feigns — we will never know these things, scientifically. What we do know is what the Constitution says, and what our legal protections are. And for that, McCormack maligns us as stupid.
The senator’s proselytizing continues:
Not being vaccinated risks prolonging the pandemic, not only for the unvaccinated but for everyone, prolonging it long enough for the virus to evolve resistant variants.
Generally, the science of microbiology holds that the tendency of viruses is to mutate over time into more benign variants in the unvaccinated. “Doctor McCormack” has reversed science and held up his personal hypothesis as factually true in lieu of the experts. (Indeed, some scientists have warned that administering vaccinations during an active pandemic risks creating vaccine-resistant variants in the vaccinated, so McCormack would then be the breeding ground.)
Instead of Dr. McCormack the mad scientist, let us weigh what reliable experts say about variants:
Mutation. The word naturally conjures fears of unexpected and freakish changes. Ill-informed discussions of mutations thrive during virus outbreaks, including the ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2. In reality, mutations are a natural part of the virus life cycle and rarely impact outbreaks dramatically.
Translation? McCormack has his science reversed and is “conjuring fears” in order to discriminate against others. How will variants develop “resistance to the vaccine” in people who have not been vaccinated?
McCormack is scaring Vermonters with false science to inhibit their liberties. He says:
We must not agree to the pseudo-libertarian argument that vaccination should not be a requirement for entering indoor public spaces, using mass transit, school, camp, work places, etc. The right to not be vaccinated does not translate to a right to infect others or to prolong a pandemic.
This is lies and manipulation — there is no evidence that vaccination prevents transmission, let alone that the unvaccinated will prolong the pandemic. Dick is contentedly vaccinated, and the “science” says he can still transmit the disease, prolonging the pandemic.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Government is prohibited from infringing upon any fundamental rights unless it demonstrates that it employs the least restrictive means to accomplish a compelling state interest. McCormick (and Gov. Phil Scott) lack anywhere near the evidentiary foundation to constitutionally restrict travel, assembly, or access to food; coerce people to take an experimental drug, or discriminate against those who “don’t comply.” Due process considerations for those who wish to object are also dismissed: what of those with underlying health issues or previous adverse reactions to vaccines?
Sen. McCormack makes this provocative declaration to Vermonters: “My freedom ends where it interferes with your freedom, and yours ends where it interferes with mine.” Very well said, Senator. Indeed, you are not “free” to abuse your platform as a representative to fabricate science and pervert the law in order to seize hard-won liberties, in flagrant violation of your oath to the constitutions.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and the former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2021. All rights reserved.