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(LifeSiteNews) — Democratic candidate for Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe mocked his Republican counterpart Glenn Youngkin in an October 4 tweet for telling a veteran in a viral video that he would repeal Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees on “day one.” Youngkin, far from alone among Republican politicians, frequently encourages people to take the vaccine, often citing his own decision to get vaccinated. However, he opposes statewide vaccine or mask mandates.

McAuliffe, in contrast, supports vaccine mandates for K–12 teachers, college students, and staff at nursing homes and hospitals, and backs President Joe Biden’s proposal to force businesses with 100 or more employees to require the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. He even would force the vaccine on schoolchildren once the CDC approves its use for children.

Youngkin’s position falls a bit short. If the COVID-19 vaccine is effective enough that you dedicate an entire ad to asking people to take it, why not mandate it? Most Republicans support a mandate that prohibits killing a child in the womb. Why not support this mandate that save lives too?

In order to defend someone’s freedom of choice, that choice must be defended as legitimate. Pro-lifers never hesitate to explain why support for legal abortion is not a reasonable position. A child has 52 chromosomes at the moment of fertilization. A heart beat starts at six weeks. A child’s brain begins to develop at five weeks.

The only way for Youngkin’s position to become tenable is if he explains why not taking the vaccine is a reasonable position. And there are many.

For one, the vaccine was created using cells derived from aborted babies — making inoculation a grave violation of conscience. For another, government’s unprecedented expansion in the form of crippling lockdowns and the accompanying gargantuan spending spree made resistance to this power grab a patriotic duty to stem descent into further authoritarianism.

Perhaps the most compelling argument to forego the vaccine is its negative health effects. By nature of the vaccine’s recent development, the existence of long-term studies of negative effects is an impossibility. Once upon a time, the medical industry accepted the fact that all drugs have benefits and drawbacks. Take something as simple as Advil. It will cure your headache, but it might give you a belly ache. Unless treatment is indispensable or creates a benefit much greater than the potential harm, common sense dictates it is preferable to err on the side of not taking a drug.

Another disturbing trend is the amount of deaths and complications that occur after taking the vaccine. As of October 13, 8,878 deaths in the U.S. were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a joint CDC and FDA database used to track health problems that arise after vaccination. That number is shockingly high, when one considers that VAERS only reports 8,966 total worldwide deaths have resulted from all other examined vaccines in its 31-year history.

According to Sen. Ron Johnson, as of August 20, “VAERS is also reporting 16,044 permanent disabilities, 51,242 hospitalizations, and 571,831 total adverse events related to the Covid-19 vaccines.” (A more recent number indicates 798,636 adverse events.) Worryingly, 36.2% of deaths occurred “within two days of vaccination.” The smallpox vaccine received heavy criticism for killing one person out of every million vaccinated, a pittance in comparison. For that reason, CBS dubbed it “the most dangerous vaccine” in 2002. Simple math puts the COVID vaccine death rate at 46 per million.

Also according to VAERS, 1,673 people have died after taking the flu vaccine over the last 25 years, or 67 people per year on average. According to the CDC, “preliminary estimates indicate” 170 million adults and children took the flu vaccine in the 2020–2021 flu season. That means that close to one person per 2.5 million people died after inoculation — indicating people die at over 100 times the rate after the COVID vaccine as compared to the flu vaccine. And the COVID vaccine has not yet been available for a full year.

A 2010 study from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a research arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, examined 1.4 million vaccine doses and found that fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events were reported to VAERS. A 2009 study on the HPV virus published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also bemoans VAERS underreporting and acknowledges a lack of “identifying information to allow medical review of the individual cases” found in the VAERS database.

Although VAERS claims that “healthcare professionals” and “vaccine manufacturers” are “required to report certain adverse events,” the studies clearly demonstrate enforcement of this provision is a joke. Where are the calls from elected leaders that there will be serious consequences for those in the medical community who do not report EVERY single instance of death or illness — along with patients’ exhaustive medical history — that occurs in conjunction with taking the vaccine? Where are the demands that government scientists drop everything they are doing to investigate whether a vaccine that 190 million Americans have already taken is harmful?

Another glaring lack of transparency by our federal government is the lack of interest in breakthrough cases, or instances where vaccinated people get infected. Reporting of breakthrough cases by states to the CDC has always been voluntary, and on May 1, the CDC inexplicably stopped compiling every breakthrough case, choosing to ignore cases that did not end in death or hospitalization. Preliminary data from CDC slides leaked to the Washington Post in July suggested 15% of those hospitalized in May were vaccinated.

How can a vaccine mandate be justified if no one is bothering to gather all the evidence to determine its effectiveness? The FDA should immediately release all data and information used in its decision to approve the Pfizer vaccine on August 23, instead of stalling.

The FDA had the gall to deny an expedited Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the nonprofit Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency asking for records on the Pfizer approval case, claiming the petitioners had not “demonstrated a compelling need that involves an imminent threat to the life or safety of an individual.” How about the lives of 8,878 individuals?

Warning signs of possible health risks at home and abroad abound. The CDC is currently “investigating” increased instances of myocarditis, most notably in young men, after taking the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The threat of myocarditis also caused the FDA this month to delay approval of the Moderna vaccine for 12–17-year-olds. For the same reason, Finland and Sweden this month temporarily halted use of the Moderna vaccine for those 30 and under.

Also earlier this year, the CDC and FDA recommended not taking the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for a number of days after six women developed severe blood clots.

And remember the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is the first of its kind to be used in humans. It may be wiser not to risk inoculation of something so new.

Moreover, denigrating effective therapeutics starting with hydroxychloroquine and continuing with ivermectin — and throw in refusing to acknowledge the benefits of natural immunity — is a smart strategy for supporters of the mandate. If therapeutics and natural immunity do not provide protection from the virus, the only option is vaccination. Also, it is interesting to note that the only criticism permitted is of the longstanding off-label drugs used in therapeutics, albeit for a new virus, while new vaccines are off the hook.

In the mainstream media, Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo nearly stand alone for their courage to uncover potential dangers of the vaccine. The number of politicians brave enough to act are also few; Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Chip Roy are two. Until candidates and elected officials do so, their position opposing vaccine mandates rings hollow.