Editor:

The Times Daily reported that Governor Ivey recently signed legislation countering federal mandates related to Covid vaccination. The Business Council of Alabama opposed the state legislation, as do most people concerned about public health. 

Back in July, the Governor had strong and sensible things to say about Covid -19 vaccines, notably, the unvaccinated are “letting us down”. Three months later Ivey directed state agencies not to cooperate with federal Covid vaccination mandates.

Nobel economics prize winner Paul Krugman commented that Ivey’s swift journey from common sense and respect for science to destructive partisan nonsense - that is killing tens of thousands of Americans — wasn’t unique. Rather, it recapitulated the journey the whole Republican Party has taken on issue after issue, from tax cuts to the Big Lie about the 2020 election. 

In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from Covid, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties. October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened.

Krugman commented that Republicans who clearly know better reliably swallow their misgivings for the sake of the party line. That includes anti-vaccination, under a smoke screen of freedom, as politically motivated sabotage of the economy.

Schools have long required vaccinations. Organizations should be allowed to protect their workforce through vaccine mandates. We all have a health and economic stake in containing Covid. That will contribute to freedom.  

Dan Waterman

Killen