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Opinion >  Letters

Illogical arguments

In her recent column, Sue Lani Madsen (“For many, vaccination mandate is a step too far,” Aug. 19) starts off by suggesting that the people who refuse vaccinations are the equivalent of the people in colonial America who dumped tea in Boston Harbor. So, ironically, the modern-day patriots who assert their individual freedom by putting the lives of their fellow citizens at risk are equal to the patriots in 1773 who put their own lives at risk to assert universal freedoms for their fellow colonialists.

In her support for the unvaccinated, Madsen says that people shouldn’t allow “that most personal of boundaries, their skin, to be penetrated by government edict.” While no one wants to be penetrated by a government edict, the United States Supreme Court, in cases stretching back to a 1905 case during a smallpox epidemic, has consistently upheld mandatory vaccinations for the common good.

If Madsen’s illogical arguments were universally accepted, the world would be ravaged with diseases like smallpox, measles, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, and many others whose vaccination requires a violation of one’s personal skin boundary.

Madsen asks us to consider whether we would consider mandating a ban on donut eating because obesity is a health issue, similar to the virus. Most people wouldn’t consider that; however it is unlikely one would get fat by having a person eating a donut cough on them, while an unvaccinated person with the virus could cause a different outcome. Madsen’s arguments are red herrings and non-sequiturs — pick your favorite fallacy.

Jim Pearson


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