In his letter to Governor Brown, Representative Smith asks for vaccine mandates to be reversed. To bolster this request, he uses several quotes from numerous studies. I appreciate efforts to research facts and to cite the sources of those facts. However, when a line is quoted out of context to support an opinion held by the writer, while the entire report which comes to a different conclusion is ignored, I find that effort disingenuous.
Representative Smith claims that the governor’s mandates do not consider any of the data presented in his letter. Fortunately for all Oregonians, Governor Brown and her health team read beyond the social media headlines and consider the information presented in entire reports. Each of the studies referenced by Representative Smith contain the same conclusion, conveniently ignored; vaccination remains the most effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent severe illness or death.
Representative Smith also includes statements supporting naturally acquired antibodies and immunity, in lieu of vaccines, to produce better results against severe infection. Is Representative Smith asking his constituents to risk the consequences of contracting COVID-19 to acquire natural immunity? “Natural immunity is a consequence of having survived COVID. But I don’t think our strategy should be for people to get natural immunity because people will die on the path to natural immunity, whereas vaccination is a safe way” (Dr. Stuart Ray, Johns Hopkins).
Representative Smith poses a question, “What is the end goal?” I am proud to live in a state where the governor and her health team research each new study in this evolving pandemic. Where public health policies, including vaccine mandates, reflect the most current scientific data and leaders are focused on one goal: protecting the lives and welfare of all Oregonians. That is the answer to Representative Smith’s question.