Earlier in the year, the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) released a statement in support of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. This was divisive among Leftists in general, the Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States specifically, and some Green Party of Allegheny County (GPoAC) members also had very strong opinions, both in favor of the statement and against it.
Democracy is one of the Four Pillars of the Green Party, and Decentralization is furthermore one of our Ten Key Values: "Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. We seek a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system controlled by and mostly benefiting the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all."
Therefore, the Independent Thinking working group of the GPoAC wanted to encourage discussion of this issue among its members, with the possibility of making a recommendation to the GPoAC Executive Committee, the Green Party of Pennsylvania delegates (GPPA), or the Green Party of the United States Steering Committee.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate discussion forum will be conducted the following way:
- The discussion will be recorded to be archived with the GPoAC and provide historical context for the final resolution; however, it will NOT be made public.
- To begin, each person will have one minute to share a statement. This time may be adjusted at the discretion of the moderator, depending on the number of participants.
- Following each person's statement, the moderator will then follow a modified "progressive stack," as follows:
- A person who wishes to speak will type "Stack" in the chat. If they are on the phone, they will say the word "Stack."
- With the support of the technology assistant, the moderator will allow people to speak in the order in which they have acknowledged their desire to speak.
- Anyone who wishes to make a direct response may type "DR" in the chat or say "Direct Response." That person may be given priority to speak, at the discretion of the moderator.
- The moderator reserves the right to give priority to speakers who may have contributed less to the discussion
- ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL ATTACKS--WHETHER VERBAL OR VISUAL--WILL BE TOLERATED!
In the last ten minutes of the forum, the moderator will attempt to summarize the consensus of the discussion if possible. If so moved and seconded, the moderator will then ask for blocking concerns:
- If blocking concerns are voiced, consensus is not reached, and those assembled persons will attempt to modify the statement to reach consensus.
- If no blocking concerns are voiced, consensus is then reached, and a course of action will be determined.
- The moderator will work with those assembled to determine a course of action, if necessary. This may take the form of:
- Scheduling further discussion on this topic.
- Providing a statement or recommendation to the GPoAC Executive Committee and/or GPPA delegates to communicate to the GPUS Steering Committee.
As this is a contentious issue, we implore that everyone who attends the discussion is WILLING TO LISTEN AND LEARN! The purpose is to grow together. Anyone attending with an intent to convince others of their point of view without hearing and considering opposing viewpoints should re-evaluate their intentions. In that spirit please also find some literature below to review in preparation for the meeting:
Overview of vaccine refusal (neutral to supportive of vaccination)
A Grzybowski, et al. 2017. "Vaccination Refusal. Autonomy and Permitted Coercion." Pathogens and Global Health. - Outline of various U.S. and European vaccine mandates and enforcement, as well as common arguments for vaccine refusal.
Legality and assessment of vaccine mandates (neutral to supportive of vaccine mandates)
C Shachar and DR Reiss. 2020. "When are Vaccine Mandates Appropriate?" AMA Journal of Ethics. - In the context of experimental vaccines during the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Resources generally supporting vaccine mandates
- "Civil Liberties and Vaccine Mandates: Here's Our Take" by the ACLU, at aclu.org - Argues that vaccine mandates increase personal liberty by protecting the most vulnerable, and that the highly infectious and debilitating nature of COVID-19 justifies vaccine mandates.
- "Five Reasons Why 'My Body, My Choice' Doesn't Work for Vaccines" by The Conversation, at gavi.org - Argues that statements asserting bodily autonomy in the context of reproductive rights are not relevant to vaccines mandates.
Resources generally opposing vaccine mandates
- "In America, is Bodily Autonomy a Human Right?" by Alexis Drutchas, MD, from cnn.com - Bodily autonomy in the context of reproductive health, gender-affirming care, and right to death with dignity, as existing between a patient and medical provider, not to be interferred with by politicians
- "Bioethicists are Supposed to Stand Up for Bodily Autonomy in the Pandemic. Why Aren't They?" by Robert Dingwall, Ph.D., at socialsciencespace.org - Argues that bioethicists are abandoning principles when the situation does not compel them to do so, given that COVID-19 does not meet criteria for eradication, and vaccination is not 100% effective
- "Compulsory Vaccinations Threaten Right to Bodily Autonomy, Fail to Achieve Desired Results" by Eric Yager, at valpotorch.com - Argues that a vaccine mandate for COVID-19 violates bodily autonomy while not satisfying what would be the primary justification: vaccination does not prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
- The personal website for Robert W. Malone, MD, an American physisican and biochemist whose experiments were among the earliest demonstrations that mRNA could be transfected into cultured cells and used to induce protein production
- "We must figure out how many people were hurt and take care of them" DarkHouse Podcast Clips YouTube video - Argues that ignoring purported vaccine injuries is gaslighting
Scientific technical review of available COVID-19 vaccines, their safety and efficacy
M Li, et al. 2022. "COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Milestones, Lessons and Prospects." Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy.
Scientific review of "Long COVID-19"
AD Desai, et al. 2022. "Long-Term Complications of COVID-19." American Journal of Physiology Cell Physiology.
Please RSVP to get the Zoom log-in information emailed to you. As this is a contentious issue in society in general and is intended only to influence Green Party policy, this discussion forum is open only to Green Party of Allegheny County members, i.e., registered members of the Green Party.