Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, announced on Aug. 3 that proof of vaccinations against COVID-19 will be required for entry into restaurants, indoor entertainment venues, and fitness centers. The man, who since the pandemic began has reveled in his role as virtual dictator with what appears to be almost unlimited power, said, “If you are unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things. If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated.” And so, over the next few weeks as the policy takes effect, the city of New York will become totally segregated between two classes of people: those who have taken an unapproved vaccine to protect themselves against a virus with an extremely low mortality rate and those who either have not been able to get vaccinated or refuse to do so.
According to data released by the city, approximately 55% of residents are fully vaccinated, which is a little ahead of the rate for the entire country, currently standing at around 50%.
The new rules, it appears, are likely to place the burden of responsibility on the private businesses affected. Then again, as a number of people throughout history have observed, people get the government they deserve. One can say, in all fairness, that the residents of America’s largest city have brought this societal segregation — what might even be described as a caste system – upon themselves.
There is something far more important, however, than any legal, cultural, or economic difficulties New York City will face as a consequence of de Blasio’s boldest flirtation with fascism: the implications for the rest of the United States. How quickly will other cities follow suit? It is quite likely that Democrat mayors across the country have been considering such measures, but maybe did not want to be the first to cross that particular Rubicon. Now that de Blasio has taken the plunge, it can be expected that similar rules will be imposed in several more blue-state cities within the coming weeks and months.
Even in red states, most of the largest cities are controlled by Democrats. Battle lines are going to be drawn between Republican governors and legislatures and Democrat mayors who, like de Blasio, have become intoxicated with the additional powers granted them since the start of the pandemic.
New York’s mayor has rolled the dice now, and he will be vindicated only if his city sees a rapid decline in new COVID cases once the proof-of-vaccination requirement is officially backed up by enforcement on Sept. 13. In fairness, one cannot simply stop the spread of a virus – by any means – within just a few weeks. But if, when the world ushers in 2022, New York has not decisively gained the upper hand in the battle against the COVID-19 spread, then de Blasio could find himself with some explaining to do.
As for those Americans who are lucky enough not to live in New York City, it may be time for a reckoning. For both business owners and their customers, there are only a few choices left: relocate to a part of the country where elected officials do not treat their constituents as serfs, go out onto the streets and make it known that the new trend of medical discrimination will not be tolerated, or simply refuse to comply. There is one other choice, of course, and that is simply to shrug one’s shoulders and obey. But anyone who truly believes that freedom is worth fighting for is going to choose one of the first three options, since the fourth is not even to be considered.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.
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