By *Jomo Sanga Thomas
(“Plain Talk” Nov. 26, 2021)
“It is the settled jurisprudence in our Courts that fundamental rights and freedoms in our written Constitutions must be given as broad an interpretation as possible, and limitations given a narrow interpretation, so as to give efficacy to the protections afforded under those rights.” — Janice Pereira, chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
The government’s COVID vaccine mandates are vindictive, punitive, irresponsible, divisive and unscientific. The mandates disregard calls for national unity by religious and business leaders, workers organisations and opinion-makers. The majority of Vincentians rejects them for a simple reason. They assault a basic tenet of democracy which calls on elected governments to act in keeping with the consent of the governed.
If the mandates were imposed in March or April 2021, an argument that they were necessary might have gained acceptance. However, hoisting these mandates on the population now flies in the face of all available scientific evidence.”
When the vaccines became available, citizens were sold on the idea that they protected against COVID infections and prevented transmission. When that talking point fell away, the expressed view was that vaccinated people may get infected, but these breakthrough infections were “rare occurrences”. We now know those breakthrough infections are not rare but are more like a broken dam. The problem was so severe that the US Centers for Disease Control was forced to admit that it was not tracking all “breakthrough infections”, only those that resulted in hospitalisation and death.
Then information started to surface from highly vaccinated countries as Israel and the United Kingdom that as much as 40% of fully vaccinated people were falling ill with COVID, hospitalised and died.
Study after study confirmed that naturally acquired immunity, derived by recovering from COVID infection, offered far greater immunity, against all possible variants of COVID-19, than the vaccines.
These are not the ideas and opinions of conspiracy theorists. These are fact-checked scientific views that ought to cause any prudent leader to take stock and turn away from the vaccine mandates. The brutal insistence of the Ralph Gonsalves government to ram the highly ineffective vaccines, whose immediate and long-range safety is questionable, is callous, uncaring, autocratic and dangerous.
Those who support vaccines now stand on shaky ground and shifting sand. Their unreasonable claim that mandates are in place worldwide is refuted by Barbados PM Mia Motley government’s opposition to mandatory vaccines. It has been well established that unjust edicts and decrees must be opposed.
The scientific evidence begs the question: In the face of all this scientific information that demonstrates that the vaccines are not protective of people as claimed, that vaccinated persons can contract and transmit the virus, why is our government tormenting citizens by compelling them to take a vaccine or lose their jobs.
This demand by PM Gonsalves comes without a verifiable exemption plan. In the mighty United States, 18 states have sued the federal government calling for a ban on the mandates. The Florida legislature passed an act which says, “Among the measures, private businesses would be blocked from imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates unless they allow workers to opt-out for medical reasons, religious beliefs, immunity based on a previous infection, regular testing, or an agreement to wear protective gear.” The Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, vowed to sign a similar law.
In light of this movement away from mandates, what manner of men forces their people to take a procedure that they know offer little or no protection to their citizens? Which leader twists the law and constitution to meet a vaccine agenda? Which leader brazenly tell his people that the mandates are misnamed because he has offered them a choice, take the vaccines or starve?
The only explanation for this callous disregard for the health and safety of the population is evil. In the face of all of this scientific evidence, you cannot turn your back on the people, threaten their jobs, create unnecessary stress, and turn the country into a mental health warehouse and not be evil. These mandates cannot correctly be justified as a reflection of good public policy.
During July and August, COVID-19 was said to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated. The vaccinated were told they would no longer have to wear masks. They were sold the lie that they would be able to go about their business without bother or worry. Many vaccinated persons were tricked into viewing their unvaccinated brothers, sisters and colleagues as nuisances and enemies.
Those who sold the myth that two jabs will make you fully vaccinated are told to take a booster. The pandemic is now one on the undervaccinated. If six months have passed since you became fully vaccinated, you are now unvaccinated. You must continue to wear a mask.
What a world we live in. Early in the pandemic, the vaccination programme was voluntary and not directed at children. Four months later, the vaccines became mandatory, and come January, our children may be forced to take a vaccine to attend school. Only the evil spirit of leaders explains pushing a vaccine on children who have a 99% chance of not getting infected and an equally high chance of not passing the infection to others.
If the government knows that this is an acceptable health policy, why would it refuse to offer guarantees to those it forces to take the vaccine? Why not accept liability for anything that might go wrong with our sons and daughters?
The government got swept up in noise and fear over COVID. It tried to frighten people into taking the vaccines. Some volunteered like guinea pigs, and others took the jab to save their jobs. We hope our people don’t pay a high and painful price for this evil, wrongheaded vaccine policy.
One thing is certain; history will deliver a harsh, unforgiving verdict on those leaders who ushered in this dark, sick period on humanity.
*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and a former Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].