The Covid-Vaccine Mandates Are Unprecedented

Jose Espinoza, 27, receives a Covid vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Los Angeles, Calif., August 17, 2021. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
All debates should start by acknowledging that these requirements are not like anything we’ve seen before.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he starting point for any arguments about mandating Covid vaccination should be that the policies currently being proposed, implemented, and contemplated are unprecedented.

This has nothing to do with whether you believe that vaccines are beneficial and that more people should be taking them (I do) or whether you think that the benefits of requiring them outweigh civil-liberties concerns (I don’t). People can disagree about whether taking unprecedented steps to coerce people into getting vaccinated is justified. But everybody should agree up front that the Covid-vaccine mandates are not like anything we’ve seen before.

At the outset, it is worth reviewing what

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