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The Politics of Bad Faith

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Ted Cruz and Kevin Cramer introduced an amendment that would ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and it’s worthy of examination because its structure reveals the utter stupidity and cynicism of the entire enterprise:

The No Vaccine Mandates Act contains several important provisions to protect the health privacy and liberty of Americans, including:

No vaccine mandates: This bill protects the right of personal autonomy and advance informed consent by prohibiting vaccine mandates, making it unlawful to require someone to receive any COVID-19 vaccine originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) without first obtaining the patient’s informed consent. That includes all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in the United States. [my emphasis]

Given the language of “personal autonomy” and “health privacy and liberty,” you might expect the amendment to ban all vaccine mandates, which would be incredibly bad public policy but at least coherent. You could even make a coherent case for not permitting mandates of vaccines that haven’t been fully approved by the FDA, but Cruz/Cramer would keep the ban in place even after full FDA approval because like everyone else they know it’s coming.

In other words, Cruz and Cramer don’t oppose vaccine mandates, a banal part of American life since literally before the the current Constitution was ratified, because they don’t actually think that vaccine mandates are inconsistent with “”personal autonomy” or “health privacy and liberty.” They just don’t think that people should be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine specifically, not because they have any doubts about whether it’s safe or effective but because allowing the virus to flourish will (in their view) undermine the Biden administration. That’s it. These are truly repugnant people with no commitment to anything but owning the libs.

And as discussed below the bills in Cruz’s home state are coming due, not that he gives the slightest shit:

At least two hospitals in Houston have been so overwhelmed with coronavirus patients this week that officials erected overflow tents outside. In Austin, hospitals were nearly out of beds in their intensive care units. And in San Antonio, a spike in virus cases reached alarming levels not seen in months, with children as young as 2 months old tethered to supplemental oxygen.

Across Texas, health officials warned of overloaded, strained hospitals, a growing crisis not seen since early February, when a late winter wave deluged the state’s health care system. More than 10,000 Texans have been hospitalized this week and at least 53 hospitals were at maximum capacity in their intensive care units.

“If this continues, and I have no reason to believe that it will not, there is no way my hospital is going to be able to handle this. There is no way the region is going to be able to handle this,” Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, a top health official in Harris County, which includes Houston, told state legislators on Tuesday. “I am one of those people that always sees the glass half-full, I always see the silver lining. But I am frightened by what is coming.”

In recent days, Texas has averaged about 12,400 new cases a day, nearly double the number seen just two weeks ago, according to a New York Times database. The spike comes as about one in five U.S. hospitals with intensive care units, or 583 total hospitals, recently reported that at least 95 percent of their I.C.U. beds were full. One worry about the highly contagious Delta variant, which has fueled surges across the country, is whether it might test the capacity of health systems.

Mission accomplished!

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