Supreme Court: Reaffirms the Inalienable Right to Infect

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Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s requirement that employees at large businesses get a vaccine or test regularly, and wear a mask on the job.

In an unsigned opinion, six conservative judges–Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Cavanaugh, and Barrett — wrote, “the freedom to infect one’s fellow citizens is one of the most fundamental and cherished of all American freedoms.” The six found that “penumbra of the second amendment” established the inalienable right to infect. “If you have the freedom to, on a whim, shoot anybody you want, surely you also have the right to infect anyone you want,” the six reasoned. 

The majority recognized Covid has caused over a million deaths in the United States, but explained, “There is a price we pay for freedom. Remember that 400,000 Confederate soldiers died to defend our basic freedoms.”

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Steve Clifford, the former CEO of KING Broadcasting, has written humor for Crosscut.com and the Huffington Post. He is the author of "The CEO Pay Machine."

8 COMMENTS

  1. WRONG. The Supreme Court ruled that OSHA could not instigate the order.
    If you think OSHA should have this power contact your congressional delegates.

  2. I know this is intended as a humor piece. But really, it’s based on a now false premise that too many still think is true. What is that premise? It’s that “vaccination significantly reduces transmission.” That was a very reasonable assumption many months ago. It was a hope. It is now pretty flatly disproven by at least two highly credible, major, large-scale studies.

    The reason this is so important: when you think about it, the entire moral case for vaccine mandates and vaccine passports (and even this humor piece) are that vaccination dramatically reduces person A’s chance of infecting person B. But we now know that assumption to be highly suspect.

    I link to these studies here, in this tweet thread, if interested. There’s a very good article from Nature magazine from October discussing two of these studies, which escaped a lot of people’s notice. Then, just a week ago, another major study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine:

    https://twitter.com/stevemur/status/1481717830634508289?s=20

    We desperately need to update our prior assumptions. It was entirely reasonable to assume that vaccination significantly and durably reduces transmission. But multiple large-scale studies have now shown that vaccination does not, in fact, significantly or durably reduce one’s own chances of transmitting it to others. Vaccination DOES very strongly reduce the chance of hospitalization or mortality due to COVID.

    Sorry to be Mr. Serious on a humor piece, but really — this fundamental fact needs to penetrate everyone’s mind. Because we are operating on a reasonable but now false assumption, and it impacts everything from vaccine mandates to harms we are imposing on our K-12’s, who are not at great risk.

    • What you’re calling a “fundamental fact” appears to be contradicted by every source that comes up on the first page of a web search. Of course we all have our favorite facts. Maybe you should take your case to the CDC.

      • That depends on which search engine you use, and if you know what to look for. For example: as for the CDC, search something like “CDC admits vaccinated spread COVID” on DuckDuckGo, and you will easily find multiple results showing that that even they have admitted that vaxxed individuals can still transmit COVID.

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/cdc-report-shows-vaccinated-people-can-spread-covid-19/ar-AAML2bE

        So yes, it is indeed a fact. Maybe ask yourself why it isn’t getting as much media coverage, that you would already be aware of this fact?

        • That wasn’t the claim. If after getting vaccinated, we’re 1/10 as likely to spread infection, then Steve Murch’s claim is false, but yours is a fact – 1/10 is more than 0.

          As I think anyone would expect – rarely would a vaccine be absolute 100% defense against anything. But they do prevent/reduce infection, and as I think anyone also would expect, that means they reduce transmission. I suspect it’s going to come down to semantics over whether they “significantly or durably” reduce spread.

          • The claim I made and continue to make is simply what these studies show:

            Vaccination does not appear to DURABLY nor SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the chance of infecting others. It does appear to have -some- effect, but that effect is small, and wanes rapidly over time. That’s not a change from my original statement, simply an elaboration of it. Check the graphs, in particular, in the NEJM study. I stand by everything I wrote above.

      • Donn, seems like you didn’t bother to actually click through to the thread with the specific studies I’m talking about.

        Here they are:

        1) “COVID vaccines cut the risk of transmitting Delta — but not for long”

        https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02689-y

        “The study shows that people who become infected with the Delta variant are less likely to pass the virus to their close contacts if they have already had a COVID-19 vaccine than if they haven’t1. But that protective effect is relatively small, and dwindles alarmingly at three months after the receipt of the second shot.

        …The latest study examined the effect of vaccines on transmission more directly. It analysed testing data from 139,164 close contacts of 95,716 people infected with SARS-CoV-2 between January and August 2021 in the United Kingdom, when the Alpha and Delta variants were competing for dominance.

        The authors found that although the vaccines did offer some protection against infection and onward transmission, Delta dampened that effect. A person who was fully vaccinated and then had a ‘breakthrough’ Delta infection was almost twice as likely to pass on the virus as someone who was infected with Alpha. And that was on top of the higher risk of having a breakthrough infection caused by Delta than one caused by Alpha.

        Unfortunately, the vaccine’s beneficial effect on Delta transmission waned to almost negligible levels over time. ”

        2) “Effect of Covid-19 Vaccination on Transmission of Alpha and Delta Variants”, New England Journal of Medicine

        https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2116597

        “Among 146,243 tested contacts of 108,498 index patients, 54,667 (37%) had positive SARS-CoV-2 polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) tests. In index patients who became infected with the alpha variant, two vaccinations with either BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (also known as AZD1222), as compared with no vaccination, were independently associated with reduced PCR positivity in contacts (adjusted rate ratio with BNT162b2, 0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21 to 0.48; and with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.78). Vaccine-associated reductions in transmission of the delta variant were smaller than those with the alpha variant, and reductions in transmission of the delta variant after two BNT162b2 vaccinations were greater (adjusted rate ratio for the comparison with no vaccination, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.65) than after two ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccinations (adjusted rate ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.82). Variation in cycle-threshold (Ct) values (indicative of viral load) in index patients explained 7 to 23% of vaccine-associated reductions in transmission of the two variants. The reductions in transmission of the delta variant declined over time after the second vaccination, reaching levels that were similar to those in unvaccinated persons by 12 weeks in index patients who had received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and attenuating substantially in those who had received BNT162b2. Protection in contacts also declined in the 3-month period after the second vaccination.”

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