September 4, 2022

Specific lies and certain public policy stances remain diabolically harmful in a world that increasingly suffers from universal deceit. Often such lies retain their potency in the face of contrary evidence. It has been more than nine months since the Brownstone Institute published a report on 53 studies from the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere showing that the then exploding COVID infection rate correlated with vaccination rates. These studies raise the question of whether the vaccinated are putting the unvaccinated at risk.

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Since the Brownstone study was published, first, the United State Supreme Court invalidated the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses. Second, the Danish government issued a policy declaring that it is no longer possible for young people to get vaccinated, citing the low risk posed by the virus. Third, results of a national test released on August 31, 2022, show that U.S. elementary school students’ math and reading scores plummeted to the lowest level in decades amid the school shutdowns implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Shutdowns erased two decades of educational progress. For instance, in math, the gap between ethnic groups widened as “Black students lost 13 points, compared with five points among white students, widening the gap between the two groups.”  More likely than not, the data would confirm the similarly devastating effects of school shutdowns on adolescent students.

Taken as a whole, the evidence shows that vaccines have doubtful efficacy, children face a very low risk of COVID infection, and educational shutdowns hamper learning and childhood development for elementary students. Notwithstanding the data, Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington D.C., has issued an edict that would bar nearly two-thirds of Black adolescents from attending school despite the educational and social consequences — ensuring that few people are capable of outhustling her on COVID fearmongering. Equally plain, she appears oblivious to the fact that her policy would unduly burden a racial demographic already facing severe education challenges. Indeed, Mayor Bowser refused to provide alternatives for students denied an in-school education.

These moves by Mayor Bowser are hugely ironic for two reasons. First, irony arises because of her acclaimed pursuit of racial and social justice, exemplified by her participation in constructing a permanent Black Lives Matter Plaza. Demonstrating her presumptive commitment to justice, in a statement announcing this construction project, she said, “When we created Black Lives Matter Plaza in June 2020, we sent a strong message that Black Lives Matter and that power has always been and always will be with well-meaning people.” During the same period, of course, after the meteoric rise of Social Justice Warriors and the New York Times’ 1619 project claiming that only race or other forms of identity matter, African Americans who refused to accept this ahistorical narrative were denounced by Critical Race Theory proponents claiming they are the Black face of white supremacy.

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Irony also surfaces because education is hugely important since it potentially contributes to economic, social, and political development for individuals and groups. Even though more schooling does not necessarily translate into marketable skills, education, in economic terms, has immense value, particularly when it expands human capital available to individuals and groups. Undeniably, the “facts show that Asian Americans, as well as West Indian blacks, often do better than white Americans in schooling, per capita income, and crime rates. Indeed, Syrian Americans, Korean Americans, Indonesian Americans, Taiwanese Americans, and Filipino Americans experience significantly higher median household incomes than whites and higher test scores, lower incarceration rates, and longer life expectancies.” 

Less than 24 hours after the District of Columbia announced its plan to bar unvaccinated students from attending in-person school and responding to a withering backlash to its policy disallowing any alternatives, the school district announced that enforcement of the vaccine mandate would be delayed until January 3, 2023. Whether common sense will reign in January 2023 or not, Mayor Bowser’s approach confirms two things, however well-meaning it may be. First, she seems prepared to exclude African Americans and others from education based on faulty evidence that attending school without a vaccine is harmful and poses a clear and present danger to children. Instead, she seems prepared to follow the fabrications of faux-science authoritarians who wish to control the bodies of others. Second, in relying on provably false evidence, her exclusionary policy preference suggests that only vaccinated Black Lives Matter. The evidence shows that Mayor Bowser and the District of Columbia public school system have become the public face of vaccine supremacy. Disregarding contrary evidence, the conduct of the mayor and the school district underscore a necessity for Americans and others. We must reclaim our freedoms from a world of often ungracious authoritarians who have sought to cage our minds, censor our speech, and limit the practice of our faith after enclosing us in our homes in the face of what may be the least deadly pandemic on a per-capita basis in 2,000 years.

Harry G. Hutchison is a Distinguished Law Professor at Regent University. His latest book is Requiem for Reality: Critical Race Theocrats and Social Justice Dystopia.

Image: Pexels – Thirdman