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Says charging unvaccinated more is mean-spirited, wrong

Vox Pop

I am writing in response to Dr. Osmond Ewueme’s vox pop of December 30th. I recognize Dr. Ekwueme’s right to have his own opinion, even if he doesn’t recognize the right of others to the same. I believe that we should be able to “agree to disagree” without wishing harm to those whose opinions differ from our own.

I found the suggestion that the unvaxxed go to the end of the line for health care and/or be charged exorbitant prices for health care to be totally mean-spirited, as well as un-Christian and un-American. We have never had a public health system that makes patients prove that they are “worthy” before receiving health care. Would Dr. Ekwueme propose this only for those who disagree with him regarding vaccines, or would he apply this criteria to all illnesses? Should smokers who develop lung cancer or other respiratory problems be treated (or not treated) the same? Should gay men who develop HIV/AIDS also go to the end of the line? We live in a country where over 36% of people are obese and another 32% are overweight. So should the over 2/3 of the people in the country with weight issues not be treated for high blood pressure, heart disease and other weight-related illnesses? When car accident victims are brought to the ER, should we ask who was at fault before triaging for treatment? For that matter, why spend millions of dollars provisioning EMTs and other public service officers with Narcan to counteract drug overdoses? Since addicts take drugs voluntarily, why not just let those who overdose die? I used hyperbole here to make a point, but does anyone actually want a health care system that rations health care based on someone else’s judgment about the value of your health or lifestyle choices?

Dr. Ekwueme seems fixated on “more and better sticks,” when maybe he should be looking at some carrots. For instance, why not rescind the 1986 sweetheart deal that the government made with vaccine makers that relieves them of any and all liability for the adverse effects of their products? We keep hearing that the vaccines are safe and effective, and to a large extent they are. But what about when they are not? According to the government’s own Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), as of August 13th, there were over 595,000 reports of adverse events following receipt of COVID-19 vaccines, including over 4,800 reports of myocarditis/pericarditis, over 5,800 reports of heart attacks, and over 13,000 deaths. These numbers may seem small compared to the total number of COVID deaths, but the government’s own estimate is that the VAERS system captures somewhere between 1% and 10% of actual events. And all of these statistics are actual people who have been harmed. And no one, not the government and certainly not the vaccine makers, is ever going to be held responsible. Maybe if the government allowed people who suffered injuries from the vaccines to hold the makers accountable, people would be more willing to get vaccinated. I think that Dr. Ekwueme’s anger is misplaced.

— Lee Ann Ricca, Lublin