President Biden’s “most egregious and tyrannical” action

A convergence of three unsettling headlines appeared for my morning reading the day before the nation observed the 20-year commemoration of the tragic deaths of almost 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. The very day of the remembrance ceremonies, the 7-day average for loss of American lives to the on-going Covid-19 catastrophe was 1,666, as we rapidly approached a death toll of 660,000 Americans. Ninety-eight percent of the Covid deaths since the first of the year could have been prevented by a free and effective vaccine.

The converging headlines read: “Covid-19 hospitalizations in Idaho reach a record level;” “Idaho Gov. Brad Little ‘exploring’ lawsuit against President Biden’s vaccine mandate;” and “Unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die of Covid-19, CDC report says.” Putting the stories together, Idaho’s Covid hospitalizations have skyrocketed for lack of adequate state preventive measures, our Governor is thinking of joining a number of other GOP governors in suing the President for trying to increase our vaccination rate, and unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of Covid than those who have their shots.

Idaho’s Covid crisis came about because too many Idahoans simply won’t perform their civic duty of protecting themselves and others by getting a life-saving vaccination. That undemanding act would let everyone get back to work, school and regular life. Federal and state leaders have urged, begged and cajoled people to do their part in bringing the pandemic under control but too many of us refuse to do it, endangering us all. The State of Idaho and many other Republican-led states refuse to require either vaccinations or, the second-best preventive measure, mandatory masking.

Should the federal government throw up its hands and just let the unvaccinated Covid patients pile up in the hospitals and mortuaries? That would be just as irresponsible as the state GOP governors who refuse to implement effective measures to get people masked and vaccinated. The hospitals need to be freed up for patients with other life-threatening conditions, and unvaccinated people need to be prevented from continuing to be virus spawning grounds.

The President’s idea of using the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) to make workplaces of 100 or more employees safe for workers is reasonable and lawful. That will also protect the customers of those businesses and give the public confidence that something effective is finally being done in many Republican-controlled states to bring the pandemic under control. The economic and health benefits will be significant. We won’t have to spend every waking minute fretting that our kids and grandkids will be exposed and infected at schools or businesses.

Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna called Biden’s vaccination plan “one of the most egregious and tyrannical violations” of the U.S. Constitution. The legal basis for Biden’s action was laid on December 29, 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the OSHA bill into law. Every Republican Senator, except the former segregationist Democrat and Dixiecrat, Strom Thurmond, voted for the law. I was working for Republican Senator Len Jordan at the time and he looked at it as a way to keep workers safe on the job.

OSHA is designed to protect workers from serious health and safety threats at work and is tailor-made for the Covid-19 virus. The mandate for employees to be vaccinated for the protection of everyone in the workplace is much like the mandate for school kids to get vaccinated against a whole raft of dread diseases as a condition of going to school.

Some of those GOP governors who are running around like Chicken Little, claiming that the sky is falling because of Biden’s vaccination mandate, may actually find some secret benefit in it. Biden’s actions promise to bring the pandemic under control, whereas the inaction of the governors has only exacerbated it. The governors can now score political points for railing against the mandate, while their voters are blessed by the lives saved as a result of the President’s action.

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10 thoughts on “President Biden’s “most egregious and tyrannical” action”

  1. The irony is not lost on me that the State of Washington’s hospitals are taking multiple Idaho unvaccinated Covid 19 patients from the northern part of our state. Vaccination rates in North Idaho are abysmal. And people in Spokane who need critical care for other medical conditions can’t even get into their own local hospitals because unvaccinated Idahoans are hogging up all the space. Such a fine way for our misguided Governor and most of the Legislature to reward Washington State. Sadly, it’s no surprise, either. Blue States have been bankrolling Idaho for decades because of our low wages, low education spending, and surprisingly low taxes (having the 10th lowest burden overall nationally). Now they’re taking care of our uneducated conspiracy theorists who can’t get past the Trump wing of the Republican Party, and have managed to contract Covid 19. These unvaccinated people aren’t even pro life, because if they were, they’d be wearing masks and getting vaccinated. I’m grateful for you, Jim Jones, for laying the cards on the table. I’ve lost a number of Republican friends because I simply told them I wasn’t going to have anything to do with anyone not vaccinated. All but two of my unvaccinated friends are Trump supporters. Sadly. And they can’t see the end of their nose since they became anti-science in the name of Party loyalty. What a sad commentary on Idaho in particular and America, too.

    1. I appreciate your comments, Marti. It is hard to fathom the mindset of the Trumpsters, who reject science, community responsibility, common courtesy, equal rights for everyone and so many other facets of a decent, egalitarian society. We are going through one of those periods in American history where a vocal minority rejects critical thinking in favor of an authoritarian leader who promises to solve their every problem if they just follow him mindlessly. That was the thing that so impressed Trump about Kim Jong-un. Trump has endeavored establish the same bond between himself and his followers. If our democracy holds, as I think it will, he will continue to lose his luster and recede into the dustbin of history. Five years from now many Trump followers will be shaking their heads and wondering what they ever saw in him. Keep the faith. Jim

  2. Your comments sooth me, but idiothoans, like most of the “republican” in Idaho and their base have us looking elsewhere to reside.
    The number of non compliant citizens in Idaho is increasing with them moving here. The recently elected Kootenai County Sheriff stated he would not enforce “any sensible protections”, just another Southern California Ku Klux Clan supporter O suspect!

    1. The situation in Kootenai County is deeply frustrating, Larry. Trump has breathed life into the latent bigotry that so many good folks up there worked so hard to suppress in the 1980s. I think we can eventually force it back under the rocks from whence it came but it will take much hard work. I think we are up to it. Jim

  3. Thank you CommonTater for being a voice of reason in the polluted sea of disinformation flooding the oceans of social media. Joseph Newcomer

    1. Thanks, Joseph. There is way too much garbage on social media and so many have not figured out how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  4. Agree 100%. I visited Coeur d’Alene last week from out of state and was appalled by the situation with the hospitals and the comments in the paper from politicians and readers in denial and who elevated personal freedoms over the greater good. Good thing these folks weren’t around during WWII, when people had to step up and sacrifice against a common enemy. Some 400,000 Americans lost their lives during the war. As you pointed out, the numbers are even worse in the fight against COVID. Yet we have the weapons we need to win this war. The vaccines are a credit to American scientific know-how. Masks have been proven effective as a secondary tool against the virus. If people aren’t going to do their patriotic duty in this crisis, Biden must turn the screws in an effort to create more immunity. This is effective crisis-time leadership.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Tim. The pandemic could be behind us if everyone had pitched in and gotten vaccinated. Too many Idahoans have either bought into conspiracy theories or they just won’t by damn do their part because they are not going to be told what to do. So, lots of good people have to die to satisfy their obstinance. The strange thing is that most of the casualties are in their own ranks—98% of the deaths are unvaccinated. They still don’t care and apparently think they have the right to put everyone else at risk.

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