08.07.2021 – 16:54
By Julian Zelizer, CNN
The time has come for coronavirus vaccines to become mandatory. Vaccines have been shown to be effective but the rate of infection is deteriorating in unvaccinated populations. The Delta variant has shown us that despite the fact that the pandemic has faded in most parts of the country, it is still among us.
President Joe Biden has called on Americans to get vaccinated. Governors are begging residents of their states not to hesitate and get all vaccinated. For many people, vaccination is a solution and not mandatory.
Incentives, from multimillion-dollar lotteries to baseball tickets to get a dose, are all part of the package. Meanwhile, the government has promised residents that everyone will have the opportunity to be vaccinated.
Biden and other political leaders need to start thinking about the good of the collective and not just the rights of the individual. Because this is not a move towards socialism. The United States has always asked citizens to participate in programs that are positive for them.
Under the social security law created in 1935, all industrial workers had to pay taxes to finance pensions for the elderly. During World War II, a mass income tax system and a Selective Service program were essential to defeating the global threat of fascism.
America used taxes to pay for a system of interstate highways in 1956 that allowed communities to relocate across the country. At the state and local levels, the government has asked students to get mumps, measles, etc. vaccines if they want to study in American schools.
Individuals must pass tests and obtain a license if they want to drive, so that everyone on the road is as safe as possible. Collective obligations have always been part of what actually makes America a great country.
If we want to restore normalcy on a long-term basis, revitalize our economy, create opportunities for everyone, and live in a society where we and our loved ones are safe, healthy, and happy, everyone needs to be vaccinated.
Civil liability is an important partner for individual rights. With the pandemic, the links between these two elements of political culture have become even clearer.
If we do not insist on the steps needed to really keep Covid-19 under control, and avoid hospitals being overcrowded again, individuals in America will not be able to claim their rights.
Over the fourth weekend of July, most of the country enjoyed the sweet taste of what post-pandemic life could be. We should not take steps back and the Delta variant is telling us that this can happen.
Vaccination should be at the heart of the public health agenda.