Glenn Beck’s mini-me Lou Dobbs has jumped on board with the right wing paranoia over swine flu vaccinations. Dobbs called it “detestable” that healthcare workers in New York City have been required to take the swine flu vaccine shot, because there is nothing more American than a flu epidemic being spread through our healthcare system.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Dobbs said, “We are also going to be dealing with the issue of should healthcare workers be forced to take a swine flu shot? My God, in New York that is exactly what is happening…I am wondering, ladies and gentlemen why we would sit there and allow our bureaucrats to demand that healthcare workers take a swine flu shot, rather than respect them for the great public service they provide, how about a little respect instead of taking away their rights?”
Dobbs later called vaccinations un-American, “This is so un-American that it’s just detestable, and I have to tell you I am absolutely with the healthcare workers throughout New York and the healthcare workers throughout the country. Instead of respect, they are being forced to choose between their job and an inoculation…This is still American folks and we damn well better hang on to it.”
For a quarter century the CDC has strongly recommended that healthcare workers get a flu shot. The problem has been that only 40% actually do. Many employers in the healthcare field are making the shots mandatory this year, because this flu season is expected to be especially difficult.
Just to correct Dobbs and his ilk, government bureaucrats aren’t the people advising making flu shots mandatory for healthcare workers. This advice is coming from infectious disease experts who are trying to prevent a possible flu epidemic. This movement to make flu shots mandatory for healthcare workers is nothing new. It has been going on for years.
The issue isn’t one of individual rights, but personal responsibility. Healthcare workers deal with people who are already weak and susceptible to the flu. Healthcare workers who don’t get vaccinated could spread the flu. One sick healthcare worker could infect dozens of patients in day. It is unbelievable the right wing is trying to earn political points by defying something as common sense as vaccinations.
To right wingers, flu epidemics are the American way. After all, what could possibly be more American than selfishness? The healthcare workers who oppose the vaccinations are being selfish. They are putting themselves ahead of the patients that they are supposed to be helping. If they don’t want to get the swine flu vaccination, then they need to find another line of work. Ditch digging might not pay as well, but it doesn’t require a flu shot.