Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ripped the dean of Johns Hopkins School of Nursing on university vaccine mandates at a Senate hearing on Thursday. Sen. Paul pointed out that many other nations have more medical freedoms than Americans when it comes to making their own health decisions.
Dr. Sarah Szanton testified at the Senate’s “Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages” hearing, which addressed the doctor and nursing shortages nationwide.
Rand Paul began by asking Dr. Szanton if she was “pro-choice” for medical purposes.
“Dr. Szanton, are you pro-choice in regards to patients making individualized medical choices?”
“Broadly, thank you, yes,” Szanton said.
“Are you aware that your university doesn’t allow choice with regard to vaccination, that you require all of your students to have three vaccines in order to be students?” Paul asked.
“So it’s sort of choice, but not so much when regarding vaccination,” Paul continued. He then asked Szanton if she was “aware of the increased risk of myocarditis with the COVID vaccine, particularly with successive COVID vaccinations in males between the ages of 16 and 24?”
“I’m prepared to talk about the nursing crisis, and that we have vaccine requirements across the board for…” Szanton said before Paul cut her off.
“Here’s the problem, if you exclude everybody from being a nurse who believes in basic immunology, you’re gonna include [sic] a lot of smart people, people who believe that you can get immunity from both vaccination as well as infection, and if you say, ‘Well, we’re just not gonna take the people who believe in that old-fashioned infection thing providing immunity, we’re only gonna take the people who do as they’re told’ — I mean, do you think individuals should be treated the same when they come to the emergency room?” he continued.
Paul correctly noted that different patients require different treatments, particularly in regards to age demographics.
Paul said individuals should be able to express their concerns and turn down the vaccine, like they are afforded in freer European nations.
“In Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, they don’t have university mandates on this,” Paul said. “Some countries don’t recommend it for children at all. There really is a debate and a discussion, you can have an opposite debate that if you believe in choice, when something has a debate and there’s arguments on both side, you’d give people a choice.”
Sen. Paul, who is a medical doctor, correctly pointed out that the vaccine does not stop transmission, saying, “when you mandate this you can’t make any arguments about protecting other people, it’s only about you at this point.”
“This isn’t an argument against vaccinations, it’s an argument for thinking, and understanding that people of different ages could respond differently,” Paul added.
Nordic countries have been at the forefront of taking a sensible approach to Covid-19 vaccination when it comes to assessing at-risk groups. Sweden and Denmark announced in the fall that vaccination is no longer recommended for healthy individuals under age 50. Iceland abandoned the policy goal to get healthy young persons under 16 years old vaccinated for Covid-19.
In the United States, on the other hand, the FDA and the CDC have made it their goal to get every American citizen “vaccinated” down to the age of six months old. As of January 6th, only about 18% of American adults have received the bivalent booster.
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