“Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges.”—George Carlin
You think you’ve got rights? Think again.
All of those freedoms we cherish—the ones enshrined in the Constitution, the ones that affirm our right to free speech and assembly, due process, privacy, bodily integrity, the right to not have police seize our property without a warrant, or search and detain us without probable cause—amount to nothing when the government and its agents are allowed to disregard those prohibitions on government overreach at will.
This is the grim reality of life in the American police state.
In fact, in the face of the government’s ongoing power grabs, our so-called rights have been reduced to mere technicalities, privileges that can be granted and taken away, all with the general blessing of the courts.
This is what one would call a slow death by a thousand cuts, only it’s the Constitution being inexorably bled to death by the very institution (the judicial branch of government) that is supposed to be protecting it (and us) from government abuse.
Court pundits, fixated on a handful of politically charged cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term dealing with abortion, gun rights and COVID-19 mandates, have failed to recognize that the Supreme Court—and the courts in general—sold us out long ago.
With each passing day, it becomes increasingly clear that Americans can no longer rely on the courts to “take the government off the backs of the people,” in the words of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. When presented with an opportunity to loosen the government’s noose that keeps getting cinched tighter and tighter around the necks of the American people, what does our current Supreme Court usually do?
It ducks. Prevaricates. Remains silent. Speaks to the narrowest possible concern.
The same people who spent the last decade telling you health care is a human right now want to be able to deny it to you.
As if it wasn’t enough to hound people without the COVID-19 shot out of their jobs, schools, and even effectively whole cities, pundits and even some doctors are now floating the idea of denying medical care to people based on COVID-19 vaccination status.
“Is it time to put those who are endangering public health by refusing vaccines on notice that if they need care they will go to the end of the line, behind the patients who acted responsibly?” asks the Washington Post in a totally-not-loaded-at-all question.
While the Post article doesn’t endorse refusing treatment to the unvaccinated as punishment per se, it leaves the door wide open for denial of health care in certain instances. “Patients should expect to be told that being tested and wearing a mask are conditions of receiving care,” it notes. “For non-urgent care in which sufficient advance notice is given, requiring vaccination as a condition of continued service might also be defensible.”
The author makes no secret of his bias either, proudly admitting, “It’s easy to feel anger — as I do — toward those who perversely promote unwarranted skepticism about the seriousness of coronavirus infection, as well as the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.”
“Taking vaccination status into account when deciding whether to treat a patient can be acceptable — sometimes,” waxes an NBC thinkpiece.
Alabama doctor Jason Valentine posted a photo of himself next to a sign bragging he would “no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19.” To patients questioning the motive for his decision, Valentine says “I told them COVID is a miserable way to die and I can’t watch them die like that.”
Dr. Linda Marraccini of Miami took similar steps, informing her thousands of patients their patronage would be terminated if they failed to vaccinate against COVID-19 and blaming them for a “lack of selflessness.” Becker’s Hospital Review published her story under the conspicuous headline “One physician’s case for refusing to treat unvaccinated patients in person.”
An internal memo circulated to a group of Texas doctors acknowledged, “Many are understandably angry and frustrated with the unvaccinated” and instructed “Vaccine status … may be considered when making triage decisions as part of the physician’s assessment of each individual’s likelihood of survival.” After the news leaked, one of the doctors involved backtracked his story and insisted the memo was a “homework assignment.”
These commentators and physicians know they can’t (yet) make blanket assertions that those who haven’t received the COVID-19 shot should be flatly turned away from critical care, but they are nonetheless stealthily planting the conversation in the public mind.
Meanwhile, people like Jimmy Kimmel are getting away with it, as the late-night host mocked the unvaccinated and suggested they should be denied lifesaving treatment. “Vaccinated person having a heart attack? Yes, come right in, we’ll take care of you. Unvaccinated guy who gobbled horse goo? Rest in peace, wheezy,” Kimmel needled, taking a dig at Ivermectin, a Nobel Prize-winning drug which has been misleadingly mocked as a horse dewormer, despite the fact that it has been used as an antiparasitic for human patients for decades.
Others are “merely” suggesting the unvaccinated should pay more for their healthcare. “Americans have just about had it up to here with people who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations,” begins a Los Angeles Times column from Michael Hiltzik entitled “Should the unvaccinated pay more for healthcare? That’s an easy call.”
“Unvaccinated people could be held civilly or even criminally liable if it can be shown that their behavior brought harm to others” — i.e., infected them — reads one of Hiltzik’s suggestions. As an example, he cites the possibility of nursing home employees who aren’t vaccinated (but curiously doesn’t mention the policies of Democrat governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo, who condemned thousands of residents to their deaths by forcing nursing homes to take infected COVID-19 patients).
In another suggestion, he cites economist Jonathan Meer’s take in MarketWatch: “Insurers, led by government programs, should declare that medically-able, eligible people who choose not to be vaccinated are responsible for the full financial cost of COVID-related hospitalizations.”