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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

“The problem with the vaccine mandate is not that it takes away a non-existent right, but that it was necessary in the first place”

Fed up with those who refuse vaccination

By Kenneth M. Robbins, Charlestown

Sgt. Gino Caputo of Barrington who died in September after
a 5-week struggle with COVID. He was unvaccinated.
This article was originally run as a letter to the editor in the Westerly Sun on October 28. It is reprinted here with permission of the author. It includes links to actual proof of each claim he makes. 

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On Sunday, The Sun published a front-page article entitled “Vax mandates create conflict with defiant workers.” This article, along with all the other reporting on COVID vaccine refusers, makes me more than sad; it makes me frustrated and angry.

It is time for the large majority of Americans who understand the issue of COVID and the vaccine to stand up and be heard. We are tired of having to alter so many aspects of our lives, such as travel and family get-togethers, because of the minority of Americans who refuse to do what it takes to stop this deadly pandemic.

Josh Chevalier is quoted as “fighting for [his] constitutional rights.” Actually, there is no such constitutional right or any other law that supports what he claims to be fighting for. What about my right not to be endangered by the Chevaliers of the world?

Even the Christian Scientists and the Jehovah's Witnesses allow members
to get vaccinated
Nick Rolovich claimed a “religious exemption.” Yet every major religious group, including Catholics, encourage vaccination (so much for the fetal cell argument).

Melissa Alfiera-Collins resigned as a nurse because “even vaccinated people can spread disease.” She claims to “love [her] patients” yet is willing to expose them to a significantly increased risk of a deadly disease, as well as her children, parents, friends, and others. No vaccine is 100% perfect but the alternative is incalculably worse and much more likely with her unvaccinated status. So much for love.

COVID vaccine is one of the safest and most effective vaccines ever developed. After many millions of doses given around the world, the medical/scientific evidence of this is irrefutable. And even if a vaccinated person gets a rare breakthrough infection, it is almost always milder and rarely fatal. Further, the chance of getting an infection approaches zero if everyone is vaccinated.

As to COVID, I am told that more than 700 unvaccinated policemen nationwide have died. I am not aware of any vaccinated policeman who has died but even if a few have, isn’t the 700 to 1 or 2 odds persuasive? So much for protecting the people they serve. 

Correction: the number of police officers killed by COVID is tallied at 476 by the Officer Down Memorial, but that count is incomplete. For example, they don't list Sgt. Gino Caputo of Barrington (photo above) as a COVID casualty. Nonetheless, all sources confirm that COVID has been the single greatest killer of police officers by far. five times more than those officers who were shot.

The problem with the vaccine mandate is not that it takes away a non-existent right, but that it was necessary in the first place. We all live in a community and society. As such, almost everything we do is governed by a law, rule, or code of conduct.

The policemen who argue they have some right not to get a shot still will ticket drivers who exercise their right to run a red traffic light or speed. Those who resent their employers’ mandates don’t demand their right to work only the hours they want and get paid whatever they want.

A dissenting voice on vaccine mandates is Charlestown's state
Rep. Blake "Flip" Filippi. He also refuses to disclose whether he
has been vaccinated.
It’s time for those of us who are vaccinated to push back. We should not patronize businesses that don’t require their employees and customers be vaccinated. We should not visit with unvaccinated neighbors and friends. 

The unvaccinated should remain isolated from all other people, especially those who do not know your unvaccinated status. And when they or their loved ones get COVID (and that will likely happen), do not take medical resources, including hospital care, that could be used by those who are vaccinated and need that care.