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‘Give me liberty or death’ fits today’s Covid-19 vaccination crisis

By: Keith Kappes
Columnist
Carter County Times

Patrick Henry likely never dreamed that his dramatic challenge to Virginia colonists in 1775 to revolt against Great Britain — “give me liberty or give me death” — could happen to America in 2021 under very different circumstances.

ABC News reported Monday night that some folks in Florida were going out of state to get vaccinated against the coronavirus because they were afraid their friends and neighbors would find out they had received the vaccine. 

NBC News said nearly 800,000 vaccinations occurred Monday across the country as the Delta variant fueled a surge of new infections that has targeted unvaccinated Americans.

A Facebook fan posted seven separate photos on Monday as he continued making fun of those who either get vaccinated or go back to wearing a mask. 

The governor of Alabama complained Monday that unvaccinated persons were overwhelmingly responsible for new infections, hospitalizations and deaths caused by this new version of an already deadly virus.

Dr. Jerome Adams, U. S. surgeon general in the Trump Administration, said Sunday on CBS’ Face The Nation that the pandemic is spiraling out of control because not enough people have been vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday that 97 percent of those hospitalized with the virus had not received a single dose of any of the three approved vaccines.

Many of those publicly opposed to Covid-19 vaccinations either claim they have the constitutional right to reject the free shots or they are waiting for the medicines to be finally approved by the government.

Like most citizens of this nation, I am rightly proud of the individual liberties we are guaranteed under our federal constitution, the oldest of any free nation. 

But the rights of personal liberty have been politicized, misquoted, and misunderstood. Intentional misinformation about the vaccines has added to the confusion while the pandemic makes a comeback in every state. 

The most obvious right of those unvaccinated citizens is not the freedom to make a different choice. Sadly, it is the right to die. 

Keith Kappes can be reached at keithkappes@gmail.com

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