The Green Party of Connecticut Supports Mandatory Covid-19 Public Health Measures
HARTFORD, CT – The Green Party of Connecticut has a long history advocating for a safe and healthy environment. After a year and a half of disastrous policies by both Republican and Democratic politicians, we say that the protection of the public health demands emergency action and mandatory measures to contain the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Green Party of Connecticut
September 26, 2021
Like many people in the US, we are concerned about the ways that coercive government action can infringe on individual freedoms. We also recognize that in the Black and Indigenous communities, vaccine hesitancy is the product of intergenerational trauma inflicted by a racist medical establishment. Moreover, the major contributors to the current crisis are the long term failure of the Republican and Democratic parties to create a national health care system like those of every other industrialized nation, the corporate pillaging of the nation’s public health infrastructure, and the US government’s hostility toward the World Health Organization and other nations attempting to address the lack of healthcare in developing countries.
This is a crisis that, if not entirely avoidable, could have been managed in a way that would have made coercive measures unnecessary. If in 2020 public health policy had been driven by concern for the most vulnerable, including low wage frontline workers, seniors, and people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, the advent of vaccines in 2021 might have isolated and effectively extinguished the virus. Instead, politicians gave away 3 trillion dollars to big business under the guise of “pandemic relief,” pushed to “re-open” the economy prematurely to protect corporate profits, and promoted the introduction of patent-protected proprietary vaccines as a voluntary “cure all.” Government mis-leadership has failed to slow the spread of Covid-19 and may have even helped the spread of new variants of the virus.
Because of the dramatic failure of government policies over the last eighteen months, we now face a grave threat to the health and well-being of millions of people in the US and hundreds of millions in the world. Swift and decisive action is needed for the preservation of human life and the protection of the public health. In the long run, the people of the United States need and deserve universal, free health care. In the long run, the best way to prevent a health crisis is to ensure that an informed public has ongoing, trusting relationships with their medical professionals. In the long run, public trust in our institutions of public health must be strengthened with demonstrated transparency, expertise, and de-politicization. Today, however, immediate action is necessary.
We believe mandatory measures are needed to protect the public health. These measures must address the needs of ordinary people who are understandably confused and frustrated with government action and inaction. Measures that we believe should be taken immediately by federal, state, and local governments include:
- Masking requirements for all indoor public spaces immediately. The focus for enforcement, however, should be on high profile politicians, celebrities, and other elites who we see in the media at gala social events without masks or social distancing.
- The number of students already being quarantined this school year alone demonstrates the continued need for remote learning options. Such options must be accompanied by financial support for families in which parents lose work time because of remote learning.
- Hazard pay to frontline workers, including store clerks, waitstaff, bus drivers, and other public-facing employees.
- Free public access to frequent Covid-19 testing.
- Robust pro-vaccine public education campaigns with leadership inclusive of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people and that acknowledges the medical establishment’s history of racism.
- Mandatory vaccination timetables for these populations:
- Faculty, staff, and students over age 12 in all schools;
- Staff and residents in all medical and mental health facilities;
- Staff and inmates in all prisons;
- Police officers;
- Public employees, prioritizing those with public-facing jobs.
- Free, individual medical consultations with a doctor to determine if a medical exemption is appropriate. Medical exemptions for Covid-19 survivors who are documented to have comparable antibodies to vaccine recipients. Persons medically exempted from vaccination should be provided free weekly testing.
- An end to religious exemptions for Covid-19 vaccination; religion has no business interfering in a public health crisis.
- The US government must take responsibility for its role in the global pandemic not only by waiving patent protections for vaccines that received billions in funding from the US for their development, but also by ensuring the mass production and free distribution of one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.