The do-gooders among us continue to lecture the rest about how they should react to the COVID health crisis. The latest weapon they are using is a vaccine mandate to try and force the reluctant to take a jab. Why? Because they, the do-gooders, think it is best. It doesn't matter what you think.

New York City's insane Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered businesses, including restaurants, bars, health clubs, theaters, etc., to deny entrance to anyone who cannot prove they are vaccinated. This mandate includes employees. Keep in mind that many of these same businesses barely survived de Blasio's tolerance of "peaceful protests" and Dr. Feelgood Cuomo's crushing COVID-19 shutdown last year.

Walmart, Disney, and many other private employers have begun to demand workers be vaccinated or surrender their jobs. Politicians from the White House to city and town halls are doing the same.

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New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell has ordered that many public employees be vaccinated. The order includes police, fire, the department of public infrastructure, and city hall workers, but school department and port authority employees are exempt. The New Bedford School Committee and New Bedford Port Authority Commission set their own policies. Mitchell's order, which is still short on detail, appears to mirror one issued by Joe Biden for federal employees.

Labor unions question the legality of mandatory vaccination orders for employees. They wonder whether members can be made to take a vaccine that has yet to receive full federal approval. Some concede that opt-outs for medical or religious reasons might provide the cover that employers need.

This practice is controversial at best and may not be legal. Children are required to be vaccinated again polio and to have other vaccines to attend public schools, but that was through an act of Congress. In other words, it was debated and made law. The president of Walmart or the Mayor of New Bedford may not have that authority unilaterally. What if the as yet to be approved vaccine turns out to be problematic? Are governments and private employers who mandated it liable?

Mayor Mitchell and the others need to hold their damn horses and slow down just a bit. Closing churches, businesses, and schools were bad enough, but this enters a whole new dimension of government control.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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