Dying in the Name of Vaccine Freedom | NYT Opinion



In the video above, Alexander Stockton, a producer on the Opinion Video team, explores two of the main reasons the number of Covid cases is soaring once again in the United States: vaccine hesitancy and refusal.

“It’s hard to watch the pandemic drag on as Americans refuse the vaccine in the name of freedom,” he says.

Seeking understanding, Mr. Stockton travels to Mountain Home, Ark., in the Ozarks, a region with galloping contagion and — not unrelated — abysmal vaccination rates.

He finds that a range of feelings and beliefs underpins the low rates — including fear, skepticism and a libertarian strain of defiance.

This doubt even extends to the staff at a regional hospital, where about half of the medical personnel are not vaccinated — even while the intensive care unit is crowded with unvaccinated Covid patients fighting for their lives.

Mountain Home — like the United States as a whole — is caught in a tug of war between private liberty and public health. But Mr. Stockton suggests that unless government upholds its duty to protect Americans, keeping the common good in mind, this may be a battle with no end.

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33 Responses

  1. Charles says:

    If we weren't dealing with infections, I would probably support vaccine freedom for the same reason I support voluntary euthenasia/assisted suicide. But since there's every possibility of passing on a deadly disease to someone else or, worse, the possibility of assisting the virus's evolution, vaccination is a no brainer when all other risks are equal or statistically insignificant.

  2. LETS GO BRANDON!!!!!! says:

    Sic semper tyrannis

  3. W. B. T. says:

    I understand the right of a person to choose. But they should not take up hospital space from other's that really need it. STAY HOME and treat yourself.

  4. Adriana Gomez says:

    This is conspiracy designed to scare people to comply. Vaccines don’t do anything It’s all a lie

  5. Freedom Works says:

    Lets go Brandon

  6. Freedom Works says:

    Its not about health its about control

  7. Patrick Kearns says:

    The vaccine is safe. Period. The Republicans are the source of misinformation resulting in death, bankruptcy and poverty. Just too stupid.

  8. TuliTheUnruly says:

    You do not have the freedom to endanger your neighbors and friends. Get vaccinated. Public safety is a just reason to enforce mandates.

  9. Rocco Aversa says:

    Pulling heart strings and random interviews doesnt change facts.

    Over 99% survival rate for most age groups
    Vaccinated still can catch and spread
    Natural immunity is effective
    Therapeutics exist
    The vaccine can have adverse effects

    Those are FACTS. Another fact is that if the government cared about your health, smoking would be banned.

  10. L13 says:

    When you want all the freedom but no responsibility

  11. Lynne Lynne says:

    Three hundred thousand cases going into the hospital in Israel 50% hospitalized: half vaccinated half unvaccinated. 65% of the less than 1% that died were fully vaccinated.

  12. Lao Rein says:

    It’s sad to see that when you got a chance on a plenty of good vaccines but you choose not to take it. For me I’m not vaccinated yet but not because of I’m opposed it, it just you have to struggling to reach out a good vaccine out there. The Gov. also trying to forced to take the vaccine that quite obvious on the researches that is not that effective. I have to pre-ordered it and pay my own for those good vaccine and Gov. also not willingly to support on importing them.

    Until now I got Covid-19 positive last month even though I’m quite protective to myself. Now I’m recovered without serious symptoms and still not get the vaccines I’m ordered for half a year. Too many political concerns on the vaccines distribute to people around here. They always have the priority groups that should get vaccinated first and it goes that way forever whenever a new vaccine came. For those work forces like us who paid most of the tax to the country still get not much choice.

    So if you have a chance to get a good vaccine for free anywhere, please know that you’re very lucky now. If I have a chance to be there, I would take it without hesitation.
    Compare to the possibility of side effect from vaccine and the possibility you get Covid-19 and it’s almost uncertain that you will struggle to survive or if you’re lucky enough, you may get recovered but you also have some possibility to other sickness that is the consequence of the Covid-19 too, get the vaccinated is much more wiser choice.

    Just to share with you. Let’s hope us all be strong and get pass this hard time soon.

  13. Codetutor says:

    India, probably most religious and God believing country just completed 1 billion mark of vaccinations. Our health care system is no where near US can boast of. We learnt our lesson in second wave. One of the main reason why scientists are predicting that third wave can not be as bad as second wave is – mass vaccinations. People of all cast, class, creed, religion, ethnicity have whole heartedly supported vaccination drives. Only people who are.not yet vaccinated are – children, people with medical conditions. Being libertarian and supporter of freedom of choice doesn't have to anti-scientific and against common sense. If your freedom of choice puts larger civil population as risk, then it's as good as exhibition of criminal behaviour.

  14. Codetutor says:

    India, probably most religious amd God believing country just completed 1 billion mark of vaccinations. Our health care system is no where near US can boast of. We learnt our lesson in second wave. One of the main reason why scientists are predicting that third wave can not be as bad as second wave is – mass vaccinations. People of all cast, class, creed, religion, ethnicity have whole heartedly supported vaccination drives. Only people who are.not yet vaccinated are – children, people with medical conditions. Being libertarian and supporter of freedom of choice doesn't have to anti-scientific and against common sense. If your freedom of choice puts larger civil population as risk, then it's as good as exhibition of criminal behaviour.

  15. gabitz77 says:

    !! His parents in the 70’s are still alive because they were vaccinated!

  16. Bran Done says:

    Other countries have banned the Vaccine. There are Monoclonal Antibodies Treatments to that I do not hear People talking about. The weird thing to is, Kamala Harris said she would not take any Vaccines when Trump was in office.

  17. CowTaurog says:

    I hope that these vaccines can go to people that actually want them. Everyone here in the US has made their choice by now.

  18. LESANE says:

    isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

  19. Lunchbox says:

    HOLY NECK BEARD! 3:56

  20. Ly Le says:

    Those anti-vaxxers look like they could drop dead from diabetes or high blood pressure any minute. They've never given a second thought when they stuffed themselves with junk food and alcohol

  21. Denis Morovic says:

    F these anti vaxers

  22. larry cole says:

    Just as I thought, my post was deleted, so we know who is pushing misinformation.

  23. Gods Messenger says:

    I’m hoping not a single republican takes the shot.
    Will be nice when fox goes off the air next all the don’t take the shot worked to well and they have no audience.

  24. Pit Pride says:

    The wages of propaganda is death.

  25. im1who84u says:

    Where are all those "feminazis" yelling, "my body, my choice"?

  26. RNGesus says:

    You guys want to make a video on how Healthy people are devolving blood diseases from taking these awful untested vaccines from greedy corporate pharmacies which cannot be sued.

  27. Tim Gibson says:

    Just truly unbelievable. People are being lied to

  28. Fr Eamonn Bourke says:

    Over 90% of people in ireland are vaccinated and the majority ill in hospital are unvaccinated. I am so happy to bee vaccinated.

  29. Cheyennetapia Smith says:

    So, stay home when you get sick

  30. Lisa C says:

    What happened to the hospitalized woman in this video? Did she recover?

  31. Richard Pierpoint says:

    I know I'm a wee bit late with this comment but everybody IS aware that the British "Doctor" who first suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and Autism WANTED TO SELL SEPARATE VACCINES FOR THE THREE DISEASES and has since been STRUCK-OFF THE BRITISH MEDICAL REGISTER FOR "HIS" LIES, right?

    Having said that, if most Republicans really want to win a collective Darwin Award, who are we to try to stop them?

  32. Stephanie Romayne Hebert says:

    The vaccine is made up of super condensed bio derivative chemistry that the body releases I'm extreme trauma and stress. They're making future stock out of the public. It's a fact.

  33. Lucy King says:

    Hi, I'm Lucy, one of the producers with Opinion Video who made this film. I'd love to know your thoughts on the video, and what public officials and communities could do to convince more people to get vaccinated. Leave your comments below and I'll do my best to respond!

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