The Biden administration recently announced a vaccination mandate for many American companies. But their vaccination policy is inconsistent for different groups, and not “following the science.” Everyone loves the party game/icebreaker “two truths and a lie.” Can you identify which of the following is NOT true about U.S. COVID-19 vaccination requirements?
A. Over 80 million workers in the private sector will soon be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to weekly testing.
B. Those who legally travel or immigrate to the U.S. are already required or will soon be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to admittance.
C. Those who come to the U.S. illegally through the border are required to provide a negative test, proof of vaccination or proof of vaccination prior to entering the country.
Let’s take these statements one at a time:
President Biden recently issued an executive order mandating vaccines or weekly testing for businesses with over 100 workers. In total, more than 80 million private-sector workers will be impacted when the rule goes into effect. COVID vaccines are safe and effective, and public health officials should strongly encourage Americans to get the shot. Yet making vaccines mandatory poses a threat to our individual rights and liberties. Individuals have a right to not get vaccinated. And some individuals qualify for exemptions, whether medical or religious. We should encourage people to make their own personal decisions, and help them find the best information.
Vaccinations have long been a part of immigration requirements to the U.S. Under current laws, immigrants who legally immigrate to the U.S. are required to be vaccinated against the following diseases:
- Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
- Haemophilus influenzae type B
- Hepatitis B
Currently, all travelers flying into the U.S. over the age of two, including American citizens, are required to show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery before boarding the plane. Beginning November 8, 2021, all incoming foreign visitors — both by air and by land — will be required to present proof of vaccination as well as a negative test. Although unvaccinated American citizens will not be required to be vaccinated in order to fly back into the country, they still must provide proof of a negative test.
Millions of U.S. workers as well as those who come to the U.S. legally are required or will soon be required to get vaccinated against and/or test negative for COVID, those who cross our borders illegally are not subject to these same requirements.
These travel requirements stand in stark contrast to those for individuals entering the country illegally (and often being released soon after capture). The policies in place right now have the potential to cause a further spread of new and dangerous virus variations. This threat puts all of us, particularly migrants who find themselves in an overwhelmed and overcrowded system, at risk.
As the administration continues asking Americans to make sacrifices — even asking us to accept tremendous infringements on our personal liberties — those who enter our country illegally are held to a different standard. Not only is this unfair, it may very well lead to a worsening public health crisis for Americans citizens and migrants alike.