Point of View: Vaccine mandates are political theater

Last Thursday Joe Biden announced new vaccine mandates on 2.1 million federal employees, contractors, and 17 million employees of health care facilities receiving federal funding, as well as those working in companies with more than 100 employees. These mandates are unprecedented and will impact over 100 million unvaccinated Americans around the country, including here in Alaska.

It doesn’t matter what position you take on vaccinations; you may think they are wonderful and that everyone should be vaccinated, but you should still oppose the government forcing someone to get a mandatory vaccination to keep their job. This is a totalitarian act, and while it is important to address COVID-19’s health issues, there is no compelling reason to mandate vaccination for employment. The president has clearly overstepped his authority with these mandates.

Supporters say that Biden is doing his job trying to protect the country, but the White House never makes a move without first doing a political calculation. Their motivations go way beyond COVID-19. Biden’s popularity is in free fall which has cost him political clout. Americans are disillusioned with the direction the country is headed. The Afghanistan pullout was handled poorly, there are problems on the southern border, major spending bills are stranded in congress and looking increasingly unlikely to pass.

There is the matter of the Arizona audit coming soon, which could be politically devastating. Joe Biden’s administration is tanking, and people are questioning if he is senile. Politically, Biden really needs to change the narrative. What better way to do that than by taking a strong position on vaccinations? Polling shows that 80% of Democrats support vaccine mandates for workers. What better way to get back the support of his base than by mandating vaccinations? It is a calculated move that is not about an issue of public health but is directly related to politics.

His actions will have a large negative impact. Overworked health care workers in Alaska have been a frequent story in the news these past few weeks. While there are already personnel shortages in hospitals, people around the country are being removed from their jobs if unvaccinated. It is happening here in Alaska and hospitals are desperately trying to find replacements; they are even searching for health care workers from outside Alaska.

Ask yourself, if unvaccinated individuals were able to safely work thru the past 18 months of the pandemic, including the peak in February, why are we removing them from hospitals now? Who fires hospital staff when we are in the middle of a pandemic? It doesn’t make any sense. Also, if it is important for all federal workers to get vaccinated, why has Biden’s mandate hypocritically exempted all members of Congress and their staff from getting the vax? Is this large population of people somehow immune to COVID-19?

Do not be deceived by Biden’s actions. He is not acting to protect the health of the American people. He is acting to deflect criticism and protect his political future. The issue of mandating vaccination is a step on the road to tyranny. What is next? Perhaps mandated quarantine camps for COVID-19 as they have in Australia? Maybe putting yellow stars on the clothing of the unvaccinated like they did to Jews in Germany in 1939?

It is a slippery slope down to fascism, and it is time for Alaskans to unite against this presidential overreach. Governor Dunleavy has spoken out against the president’s mandates. So have 38 members of the Alaska Army National Guard. I urge the governor to do more. Our community should support the governor and ask him to join with other responsible governors around the country to take legal action in the courts against these actions. The governor must protect the members of our community from these mandates. Do not accept Joe Biden’s tyranny quietly. Alaskans must speak out and fight back!

Greg Sarber is a lifelong Alaskan, and retired professional engineer. He lives in Homer with his wife Vicki and daughter Pinky.

Greg Sarber. (Photo provided)