Independent of Reason

The Independent carried an astonishingly vitriolic diatribe by Sean O'Grady yesterday, which read less like a considered commentary by a UK national newspaper's associate editor than the kind of overheated Twitter thread which prompts you to fear for the author's mental health. O'Grady suggests those who have declined the opportunity to take part in this planet's largest drugs trial should be denied employment, health care, social venues and education for their children. There's no mention of supermarkets, but without a job, the majority of this new underclass would presumably be forced to line up at food banks or scavenge in the dumpsters behind restaurants. My favourite part of O'Grady's poisonous polemic opens: "Fortunately, no one’s fundamental human rights need to be violated. No one should ever make vaccination compulsory, for that very reason. It would be a violation of their human rights." Then, switching to full 'cognitive dissonance' mode, he flips his so-called ethical stance like a pancake: "But those who decline to accept their societal obligations, as is their right, cannot expect life to be just the same as it ever was and they can just go around spreading the virus to other people, vulnerable or not. The rest of us have rights too, including the right to life." Who are these "other people, vulnerable or not"? If the vaccine is as safe and efficient as O'Grady paints it ("millions of successful jabs should prove that point"), in apparent ignorance of the growing number of adverse reactions, the only individuals at risk would be those unable or unwilling to engage with vaccination. The very people, in fact, he is suggesting should become the victims of medical apartheid. O'Grady closes with his rant with a lie, a straw man and a gob of vicious hyperbole: "It is discriminatory, certainly, but it is fair discrimination, just as we only allow qualified drivers to be employed as train drivers. [...] With rare exceptions of genuine medical justification, everyone who refuses a vaccine could be a killer on the loose, and should be judged accordingly." As should you, Mr O'Grady. Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/antivaxxers-vaccine-coronavirus-nhs-b1849437.html

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