(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) California and Wisconsin were two of the only states to try and pass new COVID mandates in 2023, and they failed to pass because of push-back from citizens weary of vaccines and vaccine mandates echoing COVID tyranny.
Before COVID, California passed some of the strictest vaccine mandates in the country, according to Politico.
Calif. Assemblyman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, had been peddling a HPV vaccine mandate for 8th graders and a booster for high school students since the COVID years. The Democrat leadership of the California legislature urged her to shelf the mandate until after COVID.
This year, before she had formally introduced her mandate, parental choice and medical freedom groups had already been meeting with legislators to ensure that the COVID mandates were not returning.
When Aguiar-Curry introduced her bill, it immediately became apparent that it was going to face fierce resistance. Medical freedom advocates called legislators, posted on twitter and Facebook and contacted the members of the specific committee.
Failing to produce any momentum or enthusiasm for her bill, Aguiar-Curry initially eliminated the requirement for middle-school and high-school students, but kept it for college students.
“I thought I did them a big favor. I got the schools off the bill because they were upset about it,” she said, explaining that she missed the point that any vaccine mandate for education infringes upon freedom.
She later amended her bill, removing requirements and substituting them with a recommendation.
The medical freedom groups were not acting alone, but rather, had help from a powerful new ally, according to Joshua Coleman, the founder of the group “V for Vaccine.”
“[The] most powerful thing to get the author to withdraw the mandate was school districts opposing the bill,” he said.
Though small and rural districts were the only ones to openly oppose the bill, larger and more prestigious schools and education groups began quietly pushing Aguiar-Curry to lighten or drop her proposal.
Troy Flint, a spokesperson for the California School Boards Association, addressed the failure of the mandate.
“It’s fair to say we’re experiencing a new paradigm in the vaccine debates,” he said. “I think there is weariness about addressing the issue because of the impact that the closure of in-person instruction had on students, as well as just the vitriol that surrounds the issue and has the potential to distract.”
Apart from California, “Wisconsin is one of the only other states that tried any kind of vaccine mandate this year,” per Politico.
Wisconsin tried to establish the mandate with its health department. The departments attempt to require seventh-graders to be vaccinated against meningitis and 12th-graders be boosted for it — became a supercharged political issue, and Republican lawmakers blocked it, according to Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer for Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
“The pushback was unexpected, and the tenor was much more intense and personal than we anticipated,” he said. “There’s a real reluctance to introduce any proactive policy to improve vaccines because once it gets discussed in the public sphere there’s a real danger that we will lose ground.”
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