Former Planned Parenthood Director Dr. Leana Wen is a certified emergency physician, not an expert in infectious disease. However, that didn’t stop CNN from bringing her onto their channel as a “medical expert” to discuss COVID-19.
The lack of specialized qualifications also did not stop Dr. Wen from telling journalists that “freedoms” (such as being able to hug your grandparents, take a vacation, or have your kids attend in-person classes) should be directly tied to vaccines.
In other words, according to Dr. Wen, the CDC should limit the freedoms of the unvaccinated in an effort to achieve “herd immunity” before autumn. She offered no advice on how the government can or should force people to take a vaccine they don’t want; however, there has been no shortage of ideas in this field. In fact, the Biden administration is already working with industries to create COVID-19 passports even though Republican-controlled states such as Florida and Texas have banned the use of these in their states.
Dr. Wen began her comments by rightly criticizing the CDC for trying to force people who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to continue preventative measures such as wearing masks, restricting travel, and engaging in social distancing. However, she then began to suggest that the Biden administration needed to directly link “freedoms” with vaccines.
This statement makes no legal sense. The federal government does not have the authority to mandate health guidelines. That authority rests with state governments, and, as Dr. Wen notes, many of these have started fully reopening while allowing residents to choose if they want to get vaccinated or not.
Dr. Wen adamantly opposed the move because, as she notes, there is no “carrot” to dangle in front of the general population to force them to get the vaccine before the fall. She then expressed her fears that there will be yet another COVID-19 surge when the weather cools down, even though Dr. Anthony Fauci has recently said he believes that the vaccine is going to prevent another surge from taking place in the U.S.
It’s no surprise that Dr. Wen is adamant about the need to get vaccinated. Doctors throughout the nation are promoting the vaccine and urging people to get the jab. However, her premise that the United States government has the right to take people’s freedoms away if they don’t get the shot is dangerous. No government should have the right to tell people what sort of medical treatment they must have. No government can lock down a segment of the population indefinitely to achieve this end. Unfortunately, too many Americans have become comfortable with tyranny.