Just before Christmas, state Rep. Vicki Strong, R-Albany, announced that she would not be able to attend Statehouse sessions in Montpelier because she is unwilling to comply with recent state mandates regarding vaccination and masking against COVID-19. Representative Strong’s brave determination reflects her married surname — to Pastor Nathan Strong — but also her commitment to the legacy and sacrifice of their son, Marine Sgt, Jesse Strong, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2005.
Strong issued a respectful explanation of her opposition to vaccine and mask mandates at the Vermont Statehouse:
Please allow all who enter our beautiful State House the freedom to follow their own personal beliefs, and don’t “mandate” vaccine passports, PCR testing, and mask wearing. … As an American, Vermonter, and person of faith in Christ, these unnecessary protocols are against my personal beliefs, and are against the freedoms given to me in the Constitution of the United States. For those reasons, and for many other personal beliefs about the efficacy of these restrictive and discriminatory protocols, I will not be complying. My objections reflect the voices of thousands of Vermonters who are not able to be there in person today, and who don’t want to have their medical decisions dictated to them while visiting the People’s House.
In a recent exchange on Vermont’s Front Porch Forum, a concerned voter criticized Rep. Strong for her stance, and asked for an answer, which Strong posted in response. Front Porch Forum promptly deleted Strong’s response, but the original inquirer posted this:
Several folks have asked for Rep. Strong’s response regarding the concerns I expressed about her not being vaccinated or taking other precautions to stop the spread of COVID. She told me it was OK to post her response that she sent to me on December 22, 2021.
When I tried to put her e-mail on Front Porch Forum they told me it could not be posted because it violated FPF policies regarding “Content: g) that is false, deceptive, misleading, deceitful, mis-informative, or constitutes “bait and switch” (also see the FPF Coronavirus / Covid-19 Content Policy”
I agree with this policy. But I am disappointed that our state rep would hold views that are counter to the mainstream and what health professionals say is needed to save lives. Let me know if you would like a copy of Rep. Strong’s e-mail. I urge you to reach out to her directly.
Vicki Strong’s deleted email stating her reasoning for refusing to comply with mandates is as follows:
I appreciate your email with your thoughts, and respect your opinions. Several months ago my husband and I had the virus, and believe me, I know it is a difficult virus for many people to deal with and to fight. I deeply grieve for those who have suffered because of it.
However, I truly don’t believe that mandates are the answer to the spread of these viruses, as mandates can be a “one size fits all” solution, and they don’t address other things like natural immunity, preventative measures, and early treatment for those who are ill, which promotes quicker recoveries and keeps people out of hospitals. Our health officials have been very silent on these aspects of fighting a wide spread virus. Also, some people can’t wear masks for health reasons, or take vaccines because of potential health complications, and that is why I believe we need to honor each person’s choice in their personal health decisions.
When looking at the VAERS report, which is a partial record of those who have been adversely affected by vaccines, there is much to be concerned about. The numbers are growing for vaccine injuries. The covid shots are experimental and are not FDA approved. Vaccines can have serious side effects that can include death. I have a constituent whose five year old daughter died several years ago after having a flu shot, which is tragic and unfortunate. Whenever there is risk with a medical treatment or procedure, there must be choice and informed consent. That is why I am a big advocate for medical freedom and personal bodily autonomy.
A number of complaints were made to Front Porch Forum about its deletion of Strong’s response to a constituent’s inquiry, eliciting this response:
As an attorney who has also studied microbiology and the Centers for Disease Control’s statistics for COVID-19 and VAERS reports, I cannot fathom how anything written by Mrs. Strong is false, deceptive, misleading, deceitful, mis-informative, or constitutes “bait and switch,” let alone a “violation of common sense rules.”
Partisan censorship aside, the treatment of Vicki Strong is a disgrace to the Green Mountain State by those sworn to defend its Constitution, and that of the nation. Vermont puffs itself up as the progressive forefront of social justice, and its Progressives clamor to “elect a woman to Congress,” yet these same people are flouting basic constitutional liberties for a Gold Star mother.
How about the Vermont Legislature? If there are long-term health effects that damage children from a still-developing vaccine administered despite the fact that healthy kids have a near-zero risk of serious illness or death, the Legislature and governor can shoot out a slip of paper referring victims to the federal fund set up to “compensate” them. Have our legislators no fear whatsoever that the (essentially useless against COVID) vaccine they are compelling others to take may actually injure their constituents? Is that not selfish? This techno-mystical faith in dubious COVID vaccines is not a religion that should be injected into others — especially those already suffering from certain medical disabilities.
Regardless, it is unconstitutional to inflict these restrictions. Vicki Strong seems to have “violated Front Porch Forum’s common sense rules” by making common sense. She is standing up for Vermonters’ liberties and health, while most others cower like sheep.
Vicki Strong is a profile in courage. I hope Vermonters will read and share her common sense defense of their constitutional liberties. So few are standing up in strong character. Free exchange of ideas (and critical thinking) are being stifled even between citizens and their legislators.
Vicki Strong is right — and her words must be carried widely. And her son Jesse, who believed in the Constitution she defends, would be deeply proud of her.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.