Not all vaccines are bad. In fact, some have saved millions of lives. But some have outright killed thousands of people and caused major health problems in others; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges this here. In fact, the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System was created by the U.S. Congress and established in 1990 after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that certain vaccines have in fact caused more harm than good.
In short, the “all vaccines are bad” or the “all vaccines are good” is too simple a paradigm. The issue isn’t binary.
Vaccines are theoretically based on “science.” But “science” is not infallible for two reasons (1) the Scientific Method relies on scientific failure to determine and improve hypotheses (that’s how science works) and (2) most scientific epidemiological research is funded by grants that incentivizes agreement with presumptively accepted hypotheses rather than challenging them (and this, in turn, leads to science done poorly). When the surest way to be de-funded is to hold a contrarian belief, doctors and researchers are slow to go against the flow, even if the flow is headed in the wrong direction.
This “chilling effect” of hyper-authoritarian health officials, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, makes honest discussions about the implications of vaccines next to impossible (as his recent round with Rand Paul demonstrates; ps the Babylon Bee title for this exchange was epic).
Nonetheless, Montanans believe that the individual should be responsible for what is or is not inserted into their body. That’s precisely why Governor Greg Gianforte signed HB702 and is now codified under the Montana Human Rights Act. Essentially, that bill – now a law – prevents discrimination based upon vaccine status, barring several exceptions.
However, state law is often pitted against federal law, and that’s when courts get involved, sometimes invoking “the Supremacy Clause” of the U.S. Constitution, which has been interpreted to presume that federal laws supercede that of the state’s. Given the presidency of Joe Biden and the ever-growing power of the federal government, both states and counties must act to “flex their muscle” to provide a check-and-balance against federal power. In political philosophy, this is called The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate. A good book on the subject can be found here.
The general premise is this; every elected official of every branch of government is independently responsible for their actions and oaths taken in the performance of their office. This provides assurances that government power is tilted toward local control, and those elected are held accountable to primarily those who elected them and not to other government officals.
The commissioners of Richland County in far-eastern Montana seem to understand this, and should be applauded for passing Resolution No. 2021-15: A Resolution Opposing Vaccination Discrimination, Supporting Vaccination Privacy, and Expressing Local Support of State Leaders For Protecting the Freedoms of Montana Citizens Regarding Vaccinations.
You can find a pdf of the resolution here.
The resolution, passed by two of the three commissioners (one was absent), makes eleven “whereas” clauses. They will be paraphrased below:
- Privacy is an essential Montana value
- The U.S. Constitution and the Montana constitution support that Montana value of privacy
- The Montana Supreme Court has decreed that medical records are a matter of privacy
- Privacy includes the decision to recieve or not recieve a medical treatment
- A physician cannot make a decision contrary to the patient’s expressed wishes
- The legislature and government have supported these notions of privacy in recent legislation
- Governor Gianforte signed an executive order banning so-called “vaccine passports”
- HB702 (mentioned above) was passed into law
- Legally, businesses, governmental entities, and places of public accommodation may not discriminate based upon vaccination status
- The Mainstream Media has reported the intentions of federal officials to go “door to door” to “help” people get vaccinated (much like census workers visit homes)
- A door-to-door “push for vaccination is fraught with the potential for an invasion of privacy.”
- Those who wish to be vaccinated should be assisted to do so.
The commissioners then gave their resolution in four parts, paraphrased below.
- The commissioners support voluntary vaccinations if it is the will of the individual
- The commissioners will not use any county funds to assist in a door-to-door effort to vaccinate
- The commissioners will devote no other resources that violate HB702
- The commissioenrs support our leaders, including Governor Greg Gianforte.
You can click the image below to see the pdf.
To summarize, the Richland County Commissioners asserted the rights of the individual to obtain a vaccine without the invasion of their privacy, which they strongly feel a federal “door to door” approach would violate.
Richland County Commissioners include Shane Gorder, Loren Young, and Duane Mitchell. Richland County is proud of them.