As mentioned in an earlier post, I was asked by an anti-mandate lobby group to prepare some remarks for the Alabama legislature regarding vaccine legislation during the special session in October 2021. I never got to give the speech, but I thought it was pretty good, so I’m including my notes here. Note that it went through several iterations as colleagues of mine helped me moderate the naturally acidic tone my Borderer blood lends to my off-the-cuff speech. So keep in mind this is the non-confrontational version of the speech.
I’m Dr. Jeffrey Morris, a resident of Senate District 17 and a constituent of Mr. Shelnut. I am also a tenured Professor of Biology and NSF-funded microbiologist working at the University of Alabama Birmingham.
10 days ago my employers sent out a mass email informing us that all faculty and staff who have not been “fully vaccinated” by December 8 will be terminated. I will not participate in this vaccine mandate program, so my 15-year scientific career and my entire research program will end on December 8 unless the state of Alabama finds a way to block the President’s vaccine mandate.
I could give you my personal reasons for not complying with this mandate, but they’re no different than the motivations of any of the other people facing termination at UAB. Instead, I want to give you my scientific reasons for opposing this mandate. It is my professional opinion, as someone who has studied the adaptation of microbes and viruses for most of my adult life, that even if we were able to get 100% of the people on Earth vaccinated, it would not meaningfully impact the progression of this pandemic. This respiratory virus, like all epidemic respiratory viruses before it, will spread through the population until most everyone has caught it at least once. Thus, I believe that there is no valid medical or public heath justification for forcing anyone to take the COVID shot.
Because I have based my opinion on published studies and publicly-available datasets, I am sure that the medical and political authorities who have ordered these mandates are also aware of them and know that my judgment is likely to be correct. Therefore, in the absence of a medical reason for mandating vaccination, I must assume that this order comes due to a political reason, specifically as a political weapon directed against what the current administration perceives as its political enemies.
Ladies and gentlemen that is why it is so important to oppose this mandate. The idea that a government agency could weaponize a population’s health status as a way to gain political advantage over them is nightmarish, and is exactly what many of us have warned about over the past decades as government has taken more and more control over our health care choices. If they are allowed to mandate this vaccine, it will set a precedent for future impositions that I don’t think any of us, left or right, are comfortable speculating on.
If you are like me, you’ve probably thought to yourself that all the craziness happening in the country over the last few years is at least a long way away from us here in Alabama, but it’s not. We are on the front lines of the struggle against this unprecedented power grab, and that is why it is imperative that you pass SB13 as written, which gives us not only protection against the current mandate, but also against future impositions on our health care freedom.