COVID-19 Vaccination proof

Businesses could require a patron to show a vaccination record of some sort of vaccine passport to prove that they did all they could to assure their health and that of those around them.

Three weeks ago executives at a Ripon-area business asked themselves, “When the pandemic is behind us, do we welcome customers into our operation who have not been vaccinated?”

Gauging their responsibility to not intermix healthy customers with those who may be at risk, they prudently decided to defer their decision by following the lead of others in bigger markets. Their production strategy does not include reinventing wheels.

But the issue of vaccine passports — a topic du jour among cable’s talking heads — creates anew the classic conflict we’ve confronted in various permutations for the past 13 months: freedom vs. public health; politics vs. science; government edict vs. individual responsibility.

In short, liberty vs. lives.

To be clear, the issue now isn’t whether government should require people to show vaccine verification before receiving services.

But that actually has been an ongoing phenomenon for years. Wisconsin law requires, and the Ripon School District enforces, that students must receive state-mandated vaccinations, or furnish a parent-signed waiver claiming a health, religious or personal-conviction exemption. Absent a shot or a note, the student is expelled.

Some states are even more hardcore. In 2016 California told parents or guardians of students in any school or child-care facility, whether public or private, that it would no longer allow them to submit a personal-belief exemption to a currently-required vaccine. In that state, guaranteeing the immunity of the herd trumps individual preferences.

But the question before the public now is whether businesses, not the government, can speed up their return to normalcy by excluding patrons who refuse to be COVID vaccinated.

Conservative dogma suggests government should stay out of such matters — leave free enterprise truly free to make its own decisions. But ironically the private sector’s prerogative to base determinations about who they will serve has been short-circuited by at least two conservative governors — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott and DeSantis during the last three weeks issued executive orders prohibiting businesses such as airlines, concert venues, sports arenas and cruise lines from requiring patrons to provide vaccine credentials before allowing admittance.

Here in Wisconsin, two legislators are circulating a bill that would prohibit implementation of any vaccine passport plans. Republican authors Rep. Gae Magnafici of Dresser and state Sen. Rob Stafsholt of New Richmond argue their plan prevents “government overreach” although its ban pertains to business owners as well as to Gov. Evers.

Private sector vaccine gatekeepers argue their businesses will be healthier when they can assure customers that their facilities are safe by minimizing any opportunity for viral contagion.

That’s the “lives” argument.

The “liberty” position is equally straightforward. People should not be required to share any of their public-health information as they go about their daily lives.

With at least 28% of Wisconsinites now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the notion of a reasonably “normal” post-pandemic United States seems obtainable.

But until herd immunity is achieved in Ripon, in Wisconsin, in America and beyond in countries that have had little access to vaccines or haven’t taken the pandemic seriously (Google: Brazil or India vaccination), we all remain at risk.

That includes those of us who have been vaccinated or have survived COVID, two conditions that are temporary. We all remain vulnerable to contracting COVID and its ever-evolving variants, becoming sick, getting hospitalized and spreading the virus to others including those we love most.

So passports?

Probably a good idea, with exemptions for those who are masked and for legitimate medical reasons cannot be vaccinated.

Lives can be saved. And liberty preserved, too.

Hard to be free when you’re arms are strapped to your sides while you breathe from a ventilator as your lungs slowly fill with fluid.

Life vs. liberty?

How about both, if we act responsibly and continue to care about others as much as we do for ourselves.

— Tim Lyke

(20) comments

Dale Failor

Trump and the Republicans had more than 4 years to come up with a health plan and came up with nothing. So much for fast response. They had 4 years to build a wall and accomplished VERY LITTLE. If it is because Democrats blocked him, The Republicans had control, how can this happen. Obama Care is very popular and wanted by Americans. It is not popular just because of Macain.

Dale Failor

Trump does what he says he will do in record time, what a laugh Sallie. What about the wall? What about ending Obama Care?

Sallie Helmer

What about the Wall? I am glad you brought that up. Democrats blocked Trump from accomplishing the building the Wall. On February 15, 2019, Trump declares a national emergency to bypass Congress and approve billions in funding for his wall. Trump didn't start building the new wall until 2019.

Sallie Helmer

President Donald Trump repealed the Obamacare individual mandate included in the congressional tax package. That ended Obamacare in it's illegal form. "The individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act required Americans to buy at least a basic level of health insurance, or else they would have to pay a penalty. In the tax bill approved by Congress in 2017, a small provision removes that requirement. Trump has referred to the mandate as "terrible" and "unfair and unpopular" in his efforts to end his predecessor's law, often called "Obamacare."

For now, the Affordable Care Act, hobbles along and remains an option for Americans, because Senator John McCain (now deceased) betrayed Republicans and the American people by voting to keep Obamacare.

Dale Failor

Trump did say you should drink bleach. Lysol made a statement after Trumps comment begging people not to drink bleach. Accidental poisoning was increasing so bad that Lysol made that statement. Bill you are right on the date and I remember watching it on the news. Sallie will never admit how stupid Trump really is.

Eric P Godfrey

Claims were made here that are simply factually wrong. The mRNA vaccines have nothing to do with DNA, and as constructed could not possibly alter it. The claim that they are not vaccines shows lack of knowledge of how vaccines do work: they all do exactly the same thing regardless of how they work – train the immune system to recognize a virus that is a threat so it will zap it the next time it enters the body. Inactivated virus, viral vector, mRNA - they all do exactly the same thing. As to the claim that the vaccines don't work, that is simply absurd as any glance at trends in cases, death, and hospitalization where vaccines have been given. The claim that vaccine passports are coming to satisfy a government demand is also completely wrong – if you read real newspaper coverage, you'd see the push is coming from private industry: entertainment and sports venues, airlines, the cruise industry, and an awful lot of the public plus the tech industry are who are behind it. Government is only in the game to provide funding for a single tech standard (like computer file types) so people won't have to carry around a dozen vaccine certification cards (or whatever it ends up getting called), and to make sure personal privacy is preserved. There were other factual mistakes here as well, but these were the main ones.

Kriss Standke

We have never in history used mRNA "vaccines" we have only studied them in the past. Now we have 3 all at once? I'm just saying, I'm not a guinea pig and no matter what anyone tells you nobody knows the long term effects of these experimental shots not to mention any possible interactions with the myriad of other drugs a person may be taking. There has not been ANY time to study.

The definition of mRNA:

Jim Dittmer

A fascinating article in that it completely misses the point.

What do private businesses gain by requiring their customers to prove they have been vaccinated? Actually, nothing! Like the vast majority of Conservatives, I believe that the prudent and responsible thing to do is get vaccinated if you can. Everyone is responsible for the state of their own health. With that in mind, everyone who elects not to be vaccinated, has decided that is the most responsible path for them. In what way does that effect the business? If a person has been vaccinated, the chances of them catching the virus are vanishingly small. No special precautions are warranted for them. If someone who is not vaccinated comes into the business, the risk is to that individual. Anyone coming into the business knowing that they have not been vaccinated, recognizes that they have a small chance of encountering and succumbing to the virus in that venue. If they do not wish to take that risk, they are not required to shop there.

So what is the reason that a proprietor should require proof of vaccination? Only to satisfy government edict. And what is the purpose of such a governmental edict? To lessen the citizen's control over said government by removing the citizen's agency, or to more effectively control the citizen's individual ability to control their own destiny… perhaps both.

We would think it preposterous if a store owner refused us admission to their establishment if we drove there in a car. Or were a smoker. Or didn't get a flu shot. We should examine our hearts and minds to discover why we think Vaccination Passports aren't equally unreasonable.

Kriss Standke

When you got your vaccine for polio or measles, did they tell you that you can still catch them? No... why? Because those were vaccines. Vaccines contain a small inert amount of a virus so your immune system can develop antibodies and kill it. These new shots are not vaccines! They do not contain any viruses at all dead or alive. They alter your human DNA. You still need to wear your mask and social distance even after you get the shots... WHY? Because they don't work! To even ask if someone has been vaccinated is illegal your health records are between you and your doctor.

Bill Bumby

Breaking! Study finds there is no link between anti-vaxxers and science

Adam Umbreit

Contrary to your ignorant response Kriss, people DO still get the measles and Polio worldwide, and NO the Covid vaccinations DO NOT alter your DNA. How are folks still contracting these diseases? Because folks DO NOT GET VACCINATED against them therefor the disease is still in the population circulating! Personally, myself, wife and children have never gotten any yearly flu vaccinations because we believe you don’t put anything in your body nature doesn’t put there, however, when you have 3 friends whom have DIED from the disease a person tends to wise-up and listens a little closer to the medical experts who say we should get vaccinated if we want to help knock this disease down. REAL AMERICANS, REAL CHRISTIANS help thy neighbor instead of selfishly ignore and punish them…

lee gamera

What a trash piece of journalism

Michael Shohoney

Lee, what an illuminated comment, NOT! What's trash? Vaccines have saved humanity from immeasurable tragedy. How was polio for you? Oh, didn't get it? Thanks to a vaccine. How about measles? Nope. Thanks to a vaccine. Need I go on? STOP listening to the right wing echo chamber and follow science!

Sallie Helmer

Thank You, President Trump for getting us a vaccination that does work. If it was up to the Biden Administration they would still just be talking about it.

May 15, 2020--Trump announces 'Operation Warp Speed,' says U.S. could have coronavirus vaccine by January 2021. I received my first Moderna Covid vaccination on January 29th, 2021. Trump does what he says he will do in record time. The government is providing support and resources to safely expedite trials on those vaccine candidates, "moving on at record, record, record speed," the President said.

"Trump confirmed the United States will invest in manufacturing all of the top vaccine candidates before they're approved. Known as “at risk” production, the government will take on the financial costs, legal liability and clinical trial costs, with no guarantee of getting a usable vaccine.

"That means they better come up with a good vaccine," Trump said."

Bill Bumby

It was one year ago yesterday that trump suggested the nation inject bleach

Bill Bumby

It was one year ago yesterday that trump suggested the nation inject bleach

Sallie Helmer

No, Trump didn’t tell Americans infected with the coronavirus to drink bleach.

Joe Biden, then Democrat candidate for president, spoke at McGregor Industries in Dunmore, PA, July 9, 2020, said President Donald Trump told Americans that drinking bleach could help combat the coronavirus, but that’s not correct.

President Donald Trump’s April 23 Coronavirus Task Force press conference. The Task Force revealed data about how UV rays and certain disinfectants may kill the coronavirus, to which Trump asked about “injection” and bringing light inside the body.

Bill Bryan who is the science and technology directorate at the US Department of Homeland Security spoke, “our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air. We’re also testing disinfectants readily available. We’ve tested bleach, we’ve tested isopropyl alcohol on the virus specifically in saliva or in respiratory fluids and I can tell you that bleach will kill the virus in five minutes. Isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds and that’s with no manipulation.”

Bill Bumby

I don’t believe anyone on this thread suggested drinking bleach, Sallie. And, thank you for validating my post about injections of a disinfecant

Eric P Godfrey

I agree that Operation Warp Speed was probably Trump's #1 significant accomplishment. But it did not actually produce the vaccine; what it did to was to remove normal financial barriers that pharmaceutical companies face in vaccine production (since it is hardly ever profitable). The actual design of the mRNA vaccines was finished in Germany and the US long before Operation Warp Speed started; it took Moderna and Pfizer just roughly 48 hours to design their vaccines after receiving the DNA analysis of the coronavirus from scientists in China. Also note that the largest producer for the US, Pfizer, did not take any development funds from Operation Warp Speed (their CEO specifically rejected them), but Warp Speed did provide the incentive through a guaranteed market for Pfizer to develop a vaccine. Of course, that's development. There is no question that the Trump administration badly botched rollout and delivery; luckily we live in a state in which it was reasonably well managed, though public information was not adequate. By the way, you might want to explain to Kriss Standke that you do have confidence in the vaccines (like you, I got my first shot in late January).

Bill Bumby

I have a feeling that anything not screamed at you by Alex Jones is “trash journalism”

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