Ashland Democrat discusses reservations about ‘broad-based government vaccine mandates’

ASHLAND, Ore. – Oregon State Senator Jeff Golden is getting heat from last week’s virtual town hall.

The Ashland Democrat who represents Oregon’s District 3 said he’s against vaccine mandates but also said, since then, it’s been taken out of context.

On October 11, Golden provided KOBI-TV NBC5 with the following statement:

I understand why my deep reservations about broad-based government vaccination mandates have upset some people. This pandemic has devastated too many families and upended almost all of our lives, and we want to believe that near-universal vaccination will bring it to an end. New information in both directions on that possibility keeps emerging; in that changing environment, it doesn’t help to lump all challenging questions in with the wackiest conspiracy theories. Automatic discounting of all dissent doesn’t foster the kind of trust we badly need.

Coerced injections go way beyond all other COVID requirements in the depth of people’s sense of personal violation. We need to think hard about the lifelong alienation, even hatred, for civil society and public health programs this well might foster in people who feel subjugated. This is the measure that could break already-frayed social bonds, at the exact time that various crises, likely including future pandemics, need us to pull together. I’m not seeing much consideration of this potentially crushing cost of these mandates…a cost that calls on us to minimize the number of coerced people every sensible way we can. Examples: in health-care facilities, mandates are more justified for direct caregivers than for administrative staff who don’t see patients. It might also be smart to exempt people who’ve already had COVID and produce robust antibody test results. We definitely need a scalpel more than a hammer here.

I also believe the vaccine is an important tool for reducing severe cases and deaths, and urge anyone without specific vulnerabilities who’s opted out of vaccination to revisit their decision.

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