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Letter: Americans must stand together if we’re to beat COVID

Nobody has the right to spread or prolong a disease. We are blessed with many rights in this country, but a person’s personal rights end when their actions are adversely affecting others.

Letter to the editor FSA

The Sunday, Dec. 26, column ( “Big government COVID-19 lie” ) by syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro – where he derided masks, testing, vaccines and pretty much any type of disease mitigation – was full of misleading and occasionally false statements.

Shapiro asserted that Joe Biden’s statement that “he wouldn’t shut down the country, he’d shut down the virus” was a lie. First of all, Biden’s statement is not a lie, it’s a very worthy goal. Shapiro goes on to say that nobody can shut down the virus and that government does not have the power to end a disease. That is where the lie is.

Yes, we can, and have, ended disease. But it takes a group effort.

We’ve beaten many diseases with vaccines, including but not exclusive to smallpox, polio, measles, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B and A, mumps and chickenpox.

Also, the argument that mandates are unconstitutional is false. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say mandates cannot be used; in fact mandates are as old as this country and have been used many times. In late 1776, George Washington mandated that all his troops be inoculated for smallpox. When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, we had to show proof of vaccines to go to school. Nobody cried and complained about some nonexistent “rights.” People had a sense of responsibility and it worked.

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Nobody has the right to spread or prolong a disease. We are blessed with many rights in this country, but a person’s personal rights end when their actions are adversely affecting others.

Almost all the people dying of Covid today in this country are unvaccinated. Hospitals are at a breaking point in many cities and have been greatly stressed for almost two years. But what’s worse is people with other emergencies – heart attacks, car accidents, etc. – are dying because they can’t get into a hospital in time due to a lack of available ICU beds.

This has gone on far too long, and we need to get tough. We need to get this virus behind us, but we won’t do that if we listen to the Ben Shapiros of the world or to the other science-deniers on the internet. However, we can beat COVID if we all take some responsibility, do our part, and stand together against it, united as Americans.

Joe Chyle, Pisek, N.D.

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