Will Law Schools Require Students to be Vaccinated?

I can see a world where in-person instruction is limited to vaccinated students, and those who refuse to be vaccinated will stay on Zoom.

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Last week, Rutgers University announced that returning students must be vaccinated against COVID-19. The policy states that "Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons." The scope of those exemptions, however, is unclear.

As we speak, law schools are no doubt holding discussions about whether they can impose vaccine mandates. State schools will have less latitude than private schools, in light of the Free Exercise clause, as well as state RFRAs. But I suspect schools, in general, will decide to impose some form of a vaccine mandate.

Imagine if every student in a 1L section is vaccinated. The school could eliminate the need for six (or three) feet of distancing. Students could once again sit in close proximity to their classmates. Masks would not be required. Professors could walk around the room without fear of infection. And instruction could return to what it was in 2019.

But what about students who refuse to be vaccinated? They may be stuck on Zoom. Perhaps those dynamics will provide a cudgel for students to get the jab over the next few months.

I recently received my first dose. I had a bit of fatigue, but no adverse symptoms. My arm was sore, but I quickly forgot about it. In class, I encouraged my students to get vaccinated, and explained (per school policy) any absence related to the shot would be excused. I hope other professors can likewise encourage their students. In Texas, all adults are eligible for the shot. And more and more states are moving in that direction.

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  1. If you’re vaccinated , i.e.; can’t get he disease, why do you care about the presence of un-vaccinated people.

    1. Like information, the relevant vaccines are not 100 percent effective.

      1. They’re effective enough to lower the risk of Covid into the range of normal risks people routinely ignore. What do you want, perfection?

        1. Millions of people got vaccinated in a state, 100 got COVID, far fewer than the 5% risk rate in trials, like 0.01%. Of those, 8 got hospitalized. None died.

        2. Brett,
          We don’t need perfection. We need data.
          They are not only less than 100% effective, but clusters of vaccinated persons have shown positive PCR tests for short periods. In the EU a recent cluster of 18 persons showed infection for 1 or 2 days. Of these 4 were sent to hospital but did not develop life-threatening problems, 12 had mild symptoms, and 2 were asymptomatic. Data about their viral load were not given But viral loads range from 100,000 per ml to 1 trillion per ml of saliva or mucosal secretion.
          Whether these case represents a common response to the original strain or the reaction to a new strain and whether the vaccine is just increasing the percentage of asymptomatic cases is unknown.
          In any case the efficacy beyond 12 months is completely unknown.

          1. “but clusters of vaccinated persons have shown positive PCR tests for short periods.”

            This is perfectly normal. Vaccines, or normal immune response, don’t make a virus bounce off you like there’s a glass wall around you. You get infected, just like anybody else, then your immune system responds so fast the infection never gets bad enough to really notice.

            If you’ve got a group of vaccinated people who are exposed to a REALLY high viral load, so many cells are initially infected that the virus has a bit of a head start on the immune system, and can produce a perceptible illness.

            You would see this with ANY illness people get vaccinated against. It’s just that you don’t normally hear about it because doctors don’t routinely use ultra-sensitive tests on people who aren’t seriously ill, to prove that they’re catching something they’d been vaccinated against.

            1. “This is perfectly normal.” That is another statement of yours based on lack of actual knowledge. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 is the first infection win which MRNA vaccines have been used.
              You seem to specialize in misleading generalities driven by your politics.

              1. It is perfectly normal for people who have “immunity” to a disease, whether derived from an actual infection, or vaccination, to get asymptomatic reinfections. That’s basic to how the immune system functions. You’d understand that if you knew how the immune system works. It’s not a magic force field, on reexposure you DO get infected.

                Innate and Adaptive Immunity

                Read the part about adaptive immunity. Even people who are ‘immune’ to a pathogen still get infected if exposed to it again. It just tends to get stomped before you notice.

                But PCR tests are VERY sensitive, they can detect even such trivial infections that are meaningless so far as your health is concerned.

                1. Brett,
                  I don’t need your condescending remarks as I work with physicians who are virologists and immunologists, who are concerned about the present post-vaccine reactions.

                  Go ahead and live in a fool’s paradise, based on your freshman knowledge of biology.

          2. “We need data.”

            “Data about their viral load were not given But viral loads range from 100,000 per ml to 1 trillion per ml of saliva or mucosal secretion.”

            Data is not the plural of anecdote. “a recent cluster of 18 persons” is not data.

            1. I don’t think you and Don Nico are disagreeing. He’s saying we need data and that there’s some anecdata that would suggest that “conventional wisdom” on the topic is not necessarily a good default without actually getting the data.

              1. They might be minor disagreements, but in the absence of data there has to be some heuristic that guides policy. If conventional wisdom anecdote says X and some tiny subset new anecdote says not-X, something has to give. (Or, alternatively, it’s too soon to tell, there is insufficient support for X or not-X, in which case the default should be much closer to do nothing than do something.)

            2. Data = Massive number of anecdotes run through a mathematical blender.

              1. Matt as you have now revealed your complete ignorance about observational science, you can be safely ignored.

            3. No, 18 in a filed medical report by trained personnel is data. It is just not much.
              You seem not to understand observational science.

          3. What seems to be lacking is a rational assessment of the risk.

            The risk of getting hit by lightning is probably greater than the risk of catching covid after vaccination or prior covid infection.

            People wearing a mask after vaccination isnt based on a rational assessment of the risk. Its based on “fear”- a fear that consumes the person.

            1. probably

              Consider why you have to put that word in there.

              1. you missed the important point about a rational assessment of the risk.

            2. “The risk of getting hit by lightning is probably greater than the risk of catching covid after vaccination or prior covid infection.”

              That assertion seems silly. What level of vaccine effectiveness would support that assertion? What levels of vaccine effectiveness have been reported?

      2. Moderna says 95% effective for a disease that is 99+% survivable.

        1. As well, if you do get it after the vaccine, it’s almost guaranteed to be a mild case, unless you’re severely immune compromised.

        2. Wreck,
          The disease is NOT “99+% survivable.”
          Case fatality rate vary from country to country and are in the range of 2% – 3% and rising in several industrialized nations.

          1. That’s not taking into account the large fraction of people who get asymptomatic cases. Only the people who get medical attention.

            1. Again Brett. You’re not telling the whole truth. Your comment does not explaing increases in the CFR in the past 5 months. It also does not account for the fact that almost all the reported instances of asymptomatic cases are only presymptomatic. Nor does it account that we now have considerable data about exposure and previous infection doe to both PCR and serological tests.

              1. Yea its the whole truth. The CDC used to publish such stats but no longer does because people may get the wrong idea.

                1. Wreck,
                  You need not rely on the CDC. Consult the available material from the numerous public health agencies in the industrialize world and you will find the the fraction of actually asymptomatic cases is quite low.
                  You can trump-bludgeon the CDC but that all amounts to lying.

            2. Your large fraction is certainly not a preponderance of cases.
              Most of what you thin are asymptomatic are actually presymptomatic

          2. You have to deduct the 25% mortality of moribund nursing home patients. Your 2% rate is fraudulent. It is like the flu, puffed up to promote tech billionaire enrichment. There were excess deaths in 2020. Half came from people locked down from early diagnosis and care of cancer and heart disease. The lawyer scumbag Dem Govs killed thousands of American, by the lockdown, not by the virus. Then these scumbags allowed infected, asymptomatic young people to travel to provide intimate care to eradicate thousands of nursing home patients, saving Medicaid $billions.

            The world economic downturn killed millions of poor people by starvation.

            No bigger mass murderers than the lawyer scumbag Dem Govs. Bigger and faster than all mass murdering 20th Century tyrants.

            1. David the rates I quoted are from the past 5 months, long after the care home tragedies.
              You’re talking about matters that you know nothing about.

              1. Real world: tightest lockdowns, highest death numbers, big tech billionaire enrichment. Stop defending the indefensible, mass murder by the lawyer scumbag to enrich tech billionaires.

                1. You can’t make a rational response so you revert to your usual “lawyers are the toilers in the fields of Satan” arguments.
                  Worthless blather.

              2. You’re talking about matters that you know nothing about.

                That’s kind of definitionally true with Behar.

        3. In addition to Nico’s point, Moderna’s single data point is not determinative.

      3. It is not hard.

        1) Buildings are stupid, travel is stupid. End them, discount tuition by closing physical infrastructure overhead. This idea promotes the interests of the tech billionaires, but no one cares;

        2) Vaccines are effective, but have no long term data about cancer or unpredictable effects. Of course the disease is far more risky than the vaccine for the elderly. It is not using any part of the virus;

        3) young people in 1L who get infected are likely to have no symptoms or very mild symptoms unless immunocompromised. Cannot argue if they think, long term effects should be better known. So choice, not coercion is medically appropriate.

        1. As to exams, any lawyer analyzing 50 issues in 2 hours, from memory, is committing malpractice. Exams should get real world, be open book, open Westlaw, open consulting of specialists. Time should be 24 hours.

          1. IRAC is from Scholasticism. Best briefs were by St. Thomas. IRAC is prohibited in our secular nation.

          2. More anti-lawyer blah, blah. Your brain is stuck in a rut.

            1. Try a rebuttal instead of a personal insult for a change of pace, as an intellectual exercise.

              1. I spole of all self stated goals of all law subjects being in utter failure. I recommend all law students attend a half day of Traffic Court, run in accordance to the Rules of Criminal Procedure. They will see nothing covered in law school. And, nothing they see will have been covered in law school. Law school is in failure. It sucks like every aspect of the lawyer profession, the most toxic occupation in our nation, 10 times more toxic than organized crime.

                Blackman and Volokh teach 1L. They need to repent.

              2. Try examining the insults to see if there are any accurate complaints. Hint: yes.

      4. Like the entire covid event, terms are used and never defined

        “100 percent effective”

        What is effective?
        All of the vaccines for the rona, are 100% effective at keeping people out of hospitals and alive. But that is not the goal. If that were the goal. 100% of the vulnerable would be vaccinated by now. But. govt in its wisdom have not prioritized the vulnerable.

    2. Because there are people who can’t get vaccinations and are thereby left vulnerable.

    3. If you think you’re already smarter than all the so-called authorities anyway, why do you care about going to classes at all, much less in person?

    4. “If you’re vaccinated , i.e.; can’t get he disease, why do you care about the presence of un-vaccinated people.”

      YOU can’t get the disease, but THEY still can. Why would any Conservative give a damn what happens to any other person?

      1. but THEY still can

        THEY should take appropriate steps. If THEY are vulnerable THEY have already been Vaccinated.

  2. There are three things being overlooked here.

    First, the latest I’ve heard is that the distance/mask mandates will remain even when everyone is vaccinated. I don’t know how much of this is science and how much is fascism, but I’m hearing it.

    Second, and more importantly, law school is a buyer’s market and has been so for over a decade now. Enrollment plummeted and numbers haven’t returned — and law schools are now also looking at declining demographics as the Millennials age out.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t most entering law students have an acceptance at more than one law school? Well, those not wanting to be vaccinated may well make a decision between two law schools on this basis — and with all the effort in “enrollment management” (i.e. finding warm bodies to fill seats), I can’t see paying students being turned away for lack of a vaccination.

    And third, there are a lot of people with natural immunity — and there are some medical questions about the safety of vaccinating them.

    1. “First, the latest I’ve heard is that the distance/mask mandates will remain even when everyone is vaccinated. I don’t know how much of this is science and how much is fascism, but I’m hearing it.”

      That’s almost entirely fascism. They’re using this pandemic to switch to an “absolute safety” standard, unlike any other disease has ever been subject to. Expect that, even if it goes away, they’ll try to impose mask mandates every flu season.

      They simply want to stop making cost/benefit judgements on medical precautions anymore.

      1. “That’s almost entirely fascism. ”
        Brett you don’t KNOW that. It is your political opinion.

        I’ll grant a large fraction of political motivation to such statements. But given what the society does not know through experimental verification about the efficacy as a function of time. A mask mandate may be a prudent measure.

        1. “A mask mandate may be a prudent measure.”

          Not according to the CDC statement on masks and the ‘real’ flu:
          Background; Masks are not usually recommended in non-healthcare settings; however, this guidance provides other strategies for limiting the spread of influenza viruses in the community.
          Unvaccinated Asymptomatic Persons, Including Those at High Risk for Influenza Complications
          No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complications, to prevent exposure to influenza viruses.

          1. First, we are not talking about flu. Corona virus is not flu.
            Second, CDC is still recommending masks for corona viruses.
            Granted, the way many people use masks they are pretty ineffective.

            1. They’re recommending them because the standards have changed. We got caught up in a kind of medical moral panic, and nobody can back down now without being accused of not treating Covid seriously.

              1. Again, just political speculation on your part.
                When the US has a rate of contagion 10x greater than anywhere else on the planet more than Pollyanna wishful thinking is called for.

                If your complaint is that Ole White Joe does not tell people to stop touching and raining and lowering their masks, touching mucosal surfaces, etc. then I’ll agree with that. A mask poorly used is not helpful. But the enforcement of distancing requirement is the signle strongest measure against contagion.

                1. “When the US has a rate of contagion 10x greater than anywhere else on the planet more than Pollyanna wishful thinking is called for.”

                  Fine, then. Wake us when that actually happens.

                  1. Finally, you have told us the while truth.
                    You can type while you are asleep.

                    1. You are undoubtedly referring to cases not normalized by population. We look bad on that because we’re the third most populous country in the world. The most populous, China, issues fraudulent numbers, and the second, India, isn’t doing enough testing to produce plausible case numbers.

                      If you look at per capita numbers, instead, you will see we are well down the list.

                    2. India has one of the world’s lowest Covid-19 mortality rates. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story

                      “Antibody tests suggest that India may be undercounting infections by a factor 50 to 100, Laxminarayan said — meaning that although the country’s official total is 4.4 million cases, the “true” number could be upwards of 100 million.”

                    3. Brett,
                      Two of the physicians in our goup are virologists from (and in India).
                      Your speculation about under-reporting is a gross speculation and may be a simple lie.

                    4. Don, you sure do appeal to your Really Smart Friends a lot.

                      Let’s turn to actual numbers. India has conducted about 243MM total tests in a population of about 1390MM. Even under the unrealistic assumption the 243MM includes no dupes, that’s only 17% of the population.

                      There’s simply no basis for anyone, Really Smart or otherwise, to say that all infections — or even close to all infections — are being detected.

                    5. Brian,
                      They are not just really smart friends. In this case, they are people that I am working with on the topics of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

                    6. If you look at per capita numbers, instead, you will see we are well down the list.

                      I mean, if you look at per capita numbers, you will see that we are not well down the list. We’re one of the worst countries.

                    7. Brett,
                      “If you look at per capita numbers, instead, you will see we are well down the list.”
                      You lie.
                      If look on a per capita basis the US is 14th out of more than 200 nations.
                      Hardly well down the list and discounting San Marino and Gibraltar the US is 12th in deaths per capita.

                      I guess you learned about honesty from the Orange Clown

                    8. Note how Mr. “10x greater contagion rate” scurried away when faced with hard numbers and is now trying to distract by screeching that subjective language is somehow a “lie.” Shameless.

                2. “When the US has a rate of contagion 10x greater than anywhere else on the planet more than Pollyanna wishful thinking is called for.”

                  A lie. Its high but on par with Israel and less than several European countries. In the end, all of Europe except the UK will be worse.

                  Its lying countries [China], islands, and poor countries with no testing that we are 10X worse than.

                  https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-maps-and-cases/

                3. Brett, I know the rates per person almost by heart. The US is doing as badly as Germany, Italy and France. Okay. We have nothing to be proud of.
                  Again, you adore anything that reflect badly on your politics of “Trump did nothing bed concerning covid.” Actually he squandered the golden opportunity to win by a landslide by letting real doctors do their job and just showing compassion and good sense.

                  1. He also can’t levitate. Asking him to do something he had no ability to do is just an expectation waiting to be disappointed.

                    1. If you are saying that Trump disappointed Brett, that is obvious.

    2. ” I don’t know how much of this is science and how much is fascism, but I’m hearing it.”

      Spend less time listening to fascists, and that problem will go away by itself.

  3. Would they be on Zoom for their own benefit or others? If their own, why couldn’t they wear N95 masks? Others who were vaccinated shouldn’t care.

    1. It’s bare, naked, fascism.
      They want to control people, nothing less.

      1. Horse hockey. Your opinion based on knowing nothing

      2. When your main arguments against a policy are speculation about the future and speculative telepathy, you don’t really have a good argument at all.

  4. The old folks who teach have their shots. By next semester enough young people will have their shots that we won’t have epidemic outbreaks any more. But people like making rules for other people.

    1. How do some of these ‘you not boss of me’ malcontents handle stop signs, red lights, lane markers, and ‘do not park in intersection’ mandates?

      Those under the age of 10 or so should get some slack in this regard.

      1. You’re actually equating traffic laws to getting a vaccination?

        Not a lawyer.

        1. I was referring to reflexively anti-social misfits.

      2. Hi, Artie. A town in Germany removed all those and eliminated accidents. Traffic rules are irrational, rent seeking, revenue generating lawyer fraud.

  5. Vaccine only is effective for 3-6 months. What are they going to do, mandate an ongoing regime of shots?

    1. OK, that’s a fantasy. They’re saying it’s only been proven to work for 3-6 months, but they’re only saying that because that’s all the clinical experience they have with it. There’s no evidence it actually stops working remotely that fast.

      1. Considering the virus has mutated to various strains already, and the flu vaccine only is partially effective with whatever strains they think will be prevalent and has to be changed every year, and essentially COVID is a coronavirus (what we used to call the common cold), what say you?

        1. So far, none of the variants that have turned up are entirely able to bypass the vaccine; Effectiveness is reduced, but still high. This is rather different from influenza, where if they pick the wrong strains, the vaccine is largely worthless. Influenza is a lot more variable than Covid.

          That said, it would not hugely surprise me if they had to update the vaccine at least once, fortunately quite easy to do with mRNA vaccines. Hopefully they won’t drag their heels approving the new version.

          Covid IS a coronavirus. There are several hundred different viruses that cause “the common cold”, it’s sort of an evolutionary sweet spot viruses evolve towards, just virulent enough to propagate, without incapacitating the host enough to cause them to isolate. I’d expect Covid 19 to also eventually evolve into another cold virus, given enough time. Being extremely virulent is a bad ‘lifestyle’ for a virus, it’s maladaptive. That’s why you usually see extreme virulence only in viruses that have just jumped species, and aren’t yet adapted to live in a host without killing it.

          Only four of those “common cold” viruses are coronaviruses. Most are not. Notably, though, exposure to any of those coronavirus common colds apparently gives you significant immunity to Covid, enough to get you a mild case.

          Exposure to Covid in one variant also apparently gives you substantial immunity to other variants, of the same sort. So, once everyone has been vaccinated or exposed, Covid is likely to cease to be a serious illness, even as it does mutate. It will become the sort of thing you catch as a child, suffer very little more than a runny nose, and never worry about again.

          1. Brett,
            You are whistling in the dark, saying many things about this family of virus that are merely your optimistic suppositions.

            1. I spent four years in college studying human biology, and read medical research for fun.

              See this, for instance. If you catch a cold while coming down with Covid, it’s protective.

              1. I spent four years in college studying human biology, and read medical research for fun.

                Maybe you are some kind of savant in biology. But the thing is, your conceptual foundation is screwed up. don’t seem to know the first thing about scientific proof, and assert certainty where there is none.

                Maybe you’re right. But we won’t and can’t know for at least 3 or 4 years.

              2. Wow! Brett. Bully for you.
                I have been doing research on SARS-CoV-2 for the past year and meet monthly with an international panel of experts about the topic.

                1. Wow, and you still didn’t know that ‘immunity’ doesn’t mean you don’t get trivial infections detectable by PCR if re-exposed? That’s amazing.

                  1. You are truly ignorant Brett.
                    No one said that you cannot be reinfected by SARS-CoV-2 and carry that infection for a long time. The only claim is that the vaccine is for an indefinite time effective in preventing that infection from turning into covid-19 and its associated pneumonia.

                  2. And no one said that the infections are trivial. Some will get reinfected and will die. But to you that is probably trivial unless the reinvected one is Trump.

            2. Or, how about this? Previous infections with milder strains of coronavirus reduces severity of subsequent Covid 19 infections.

              1. Single papers are not scientific proof, *especially* in the medical disciplines.

                The longitudinal studies won’t come out for some time yet. And even then, they’ll need to be repeated – did you see the ridiculous data they used for the London HQC longitudinal study?

              2. How about it Brett?
                That is a speculation to explain low contagion in south east Asia.

                1. There may be some speculation, but that article is about actual research findings.

              3. BTW,
                Your citation is to a popularized article about medical speculations, not about any extensive study, either physiological or epidemiological.

          2. If you can’t make a lasting vaccine for colds, or the flu, then in a short period of time, the COVID19 vaccine will be useless. Or, as you say, they updated the thing and suddenly they tell everyone they have to get a new round of shots.

            Oh, and had to change the definition of “vaccine” post hoc to make those mRNA treatments a “vaccine”.

            1. You CAN make long lasting vaccines for colds. It’s just kind of futile, because there are several hundred different “colds”; “The common cold” is just how we refer to a whole group of viruses that cause roughly similar symptoms.

              The number of different vaccines it would require is impractical, especially given that “the common cold” isn’t that serious.

              1. “You CAN make long lasting vaccines for colds. ”
                Please present medical evidence for that fact.

            2. “Oh, and had to change the definition of “vaccine” post hoc to make those mRNA treatments a “vaccine”.”

              Nobody is changing anything. mRNA vaccines have been around for decades.

          3. You say effectiveness is reduced but is still high.
            Probably true but quantitatively poorly evaluated.

            Then you continue with your personal peculation.

      2. Exactly, there is no clinical data. So how do you attribute all caution to fascism.
        Do you KNOW that the people for whom it is less effective are not exactly the super-spreaders? NOPE.
        There is still a lot to learn.
        The only thing that we know is that the vaccinated are willing to take more of a chance to go about their business as before.

        1. “So how do you attribute all caution to fascism.”

          The fascism stuff is annoying, but if “there is no clinical data” there’s no basis for caution, either. There is clinical data (to say nothing of centuries of experience in epidemiology), and the caution/policy should follow the data, not the worst imagination of people. Cost-benefit doesn’t run one direction just because you can imagine horrible things might happen.

          1. NT,
            The problem that there is considerable data about the levels of contagion and the rising level of case fatality ratio. The centuries of epidemiology is irrelevant with respect to SARS-CoV-2 or the extremely large range of titers (that I cited above) of the disease or about the efficacy of mRNA vaccines.
            31 million cases of covid-19 in the US is hardly in the imagination of people nor are nearly 560,000 dead in the US alone.
            The cost of wearing a mask is minimal as one opens the economy. I think that you are dismissing the negative which has shown its face for the past 17 months, to the benefit of a hoped for future.

            1. “The problem that there is considerable data about the levels of contagion and the rising level of case fatality ratio.”

              This is inconsistent with the data I’ve seen. And the case fatality ratio ignores non-reported cases. The infection fatality ratio is the measure of a disease’s lethality. But I’m happy to look at whatever data you have.

              Here’s the data I’m looking at. It does not show a rising CFR. It shows a flat or decreasing CFR. Pick any two spots on the chart (“Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths and cases, World”) and see for yourself. If increased testing decreases the CFR, that should tell you that the IFR is probably lower than the CFR from pre-testing days. (There are other things that will bring a CFR down, regardless of the initial IFR. And the IFR changes over time as well, for all diseases.) Even easier: scroll down to “Case fatality rate of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic” by country. The trend line is way down.

              1. If you are looking, look again; evaluate correlations on a per person basis and correlated with testing on a per person basis.

                1. Could you explain? I don’t know what you mean. How would I go about evaluating correlations on a per person basis correlated with testing on a per person basis?

                  1. “on a per person basis”
                    you might like the Latin better “per capita”

                    1. This is getting tiresome. Can you just tell me what you fucking mean? This started because you said “case fatality ratio”. That has a set meaning. It is the ratio between cases of COVID on the one hand and fatalities from COVID on the other. Then you said this jumbled mess:

                      “evaluate correlations on a [per capita] basis and correlated with testing on a [per capita] basis”.

                      I don’t know what this fucking means, I don’t speak you. Evaluate which correlations?

                      If you mean cases of COVID are rising per capita, that’s true any time cases increase and the population remains stable. If you mean fatalities of COVID are rising per capita, that’s true any time fatalities increase and the population remains stable. Are you just trying to say that COVID cases continue to increase?

                      Stop hiding the ball and just tell me what you meant by “rising level of case fatality ratio”. Why is it when I say shit with a link, your response is for me to look again, but when I ask you to explain what you mean, you respond in code? Are you fucking with me or are you serious about having a conversation? If the former, just say so and we can both move on. JFC.

              2. “other things that will bring a CFR down”

                That does explain reductions in the first six months, but not the most recent six months. Moreover, there are no data reported on the time variation of the level of truly asymptomatic cases on a country by country basis. Hence, you comment about discounting the asymptomatic numbers is not relevant to the secular trends in the data.

                Epidemiology is more complex than looking at one website.

                1. We agree that epidemiology is more complex than looking at one website. Where do you suggest I look to evaluate your claim that the CFR is going up? And do you have a website that shows the IFR going up? The general trend in epidemiology is for both to go down, as treatments improve, estimates of asymptomatic cases improve, etc. It would be remarkable if COVID was somehow different. And if you think it is different, what’s your theory on causation?

                  But before we get there, let’s start with what you are looking at that convinces you that CFR or IFR is going up.

          2. The thing is, NToJ, there is data – it’s just not determinative. It’s all extremely uncertain, as can be seen by results being all over the map. Add in attempts to generalize based on previous experience with other diseases, and there’s enough there to pick results to suggest just about anything you want.
            Useful to policymakers when they’re deciding on the risk mix they’ll allow, but also such that people on the Internet saying ‘this is how it is and shall be’ are fixing studies to their narrative, not vice versa.

            The mainstream papers printing all the bad news stories are also being dumb about the science.

            1. “Useful to policymakers when they’re deciding on the risk mix they’ll allow, but also such that people on the Internet saying ‘this is how it is and shall be’ are fixing studies to their narrative, not vice versa.”

              All true. The problem is that “policymakers” are the same species of animals as “people on the Internet”. When people become policymakers, they don’t suddenly become immune to the same cognitive biases. That also helps explain some of the variability in data; data is collected by flawed humans, too. All the more reason for people to focus exclusively on data and science rather than demagogues.

              I have a major problem with solutions when data is uncertain. First is the assumption that if the data is uncertain we have to do something. This is a conceit mainly of people in power, who remain there by proving they are doing something. It’s contributed to by people who sell ACTION or FEAR, like every source of news you consume (which speaks directly to your point about news stories). There may be a rational basis for action over inaction, like a black swan event, but you can’t even discuss black swan events intelligently without having priors, and you only get those with data and experience. So if data and experience is truly a wash, there’s no rational reason to prefer ACTION over INACTION. And since ACTION involves acts by idiot people, if anything we should feed the omission bias.

              My main point is that if it is true that the data is not reliable, then our reaction should not be to tell stories with data. We should just do something else. Or find better data. “Wait and see” strikes me as a sensible approach under those circumstances.

              1. Focusing exclusively on the science is not right either though. Policy is science + values.

                And people around here who insist that their value of freedom means free rider-based costs are of no moment are arguing more from self-validation than dealing in reality.
                I will note that it is a lot rarer to find people on the other side of that mix, and advocating for permanently social distancing with masks, media doomsaying aside.

                I don’t know that I like your default of wait and see idea. Lots of countries did a waiting thing. Sweden, UK, Brazil…They still suffered economically. I don’t think it’s that simple, even in retrospect.

                Though speaking of retrospect, I would not be surprised if by 2025 we get better science and it turns out we were all way too spun up. But that’s 2020 hindsight. And maybe part of that is the bias towards action, but I don’t think that’s at all clear. Trump had a bias towards maintaining the status quo in spades, and it did not seem to be really well aligned with public thinking, the rarified air in this blog aside.

                I’m glad navigating the mix of divided values plus sketchy data is not my job.

                1. “Policy is science + values.”

                  Right but at the end of the day the vast majority of humans have the same values, ordinarily some theme on utilitarianism. Even nihilists like bob from ohio ostensibly believes that his side winning at all costs means the world will be better. (Or, more likely, he thinks pretending to be a nihilist on the internet is harmless.)

                  Also I can test values. If someone purports to care about the human condition, and wants to mitigate human misery, but then spends their time precious, finite time ranting about snow blindness in cats, that person is either lying about their values or is irrational. In either event, policy should not factor in their stated values (except to the extent this person needs to be managed so that some other good can be had).

                  “And people around here who insist that their value of freedom means free rider-based costs are of no moment…”

                  Can be tested just like our hypothetical snow blindness in cats person. Or they are just bob from ohio looking for a human connection by pretending to be something they really aren’t.

                  “I don’t know that I like your default of wait and see idea. [Provides anecdotes of why this approach failed in the past.]”

                  That’s you saying you have evidence that supports not waiting and seeing. That’s perfectly consistent with what my approach is, which is only act on evidence (not fear-based intuition). I think we probably disagree about the total universe of evidence, but I’m not suggesting anything more radical that people have evidence before they move towards policy.

                  “Trump had a bias towards maintaining the status quo in spades…”

                  That is certainly not my recollection of the last administration.

                  1. Right but at the end of the day the vast majority of humans have the same values, ordinarily some theme on utilitarianism.

                    This is absolutely off topic, but I don’t think that’s right. Certainly utility is always in the mix, but I’d argue that America at least is really Kantian. Our fictional supervillains are the ones with the pure utilitarian arguments; our heroes are the ones that won’t sacrifice individuals to gain utility. That’s the mythology we tell ourselves, and I’d say it both reflects and creates our values.

                    Your point about values doesn’t speak directly to what the right policy is, but I do think your point about Bob, etc. being more performative on the Internet than for real is almost certainly true.

                    Backwards-looking anecdotes don’t seem like useful evidence to me.

                    Your point about intuition is really interesting. In my biz – funding of basic research – intuition is secretly the backbone. Once you start trying to make it rational or based on metrics, you’re suddenly doing applied research with an outcome in mind. I’d argue policy is similarly an endeavor not devoid of that intuitive/nonrational aspect, though many do try and deny it.
                    We like to pretend data is sufficient to determine policy, because we want responsibility to somehow be rationally allocated based on some predicable system. But our systems are anything but predictable, and neither are our individual values. We strive for consistency, but I’d say most of us fail a lot. Hypocrisy is the tribute virtue pays vice and all that. But as I said, that’s also part of what we want. For better or worse, we don’t want a President-bot maximizing utility.

                    1. “Certainly utility is always in the mix, but I’d argue that America at least is really Kantian. Our fictional supervillains are the ones with the pure utilitarian arguments; our heroes are the ones that won’t sacrifice individuals to gain utility.”

                      First, I don’t think it’s sensible to evaluate how humans actually are by how their imaginary heroes or villains are. Heroes, by definition, are supposed to inspire us to be better than our true natures. Utilitarian villains make a lot of sense to avoid mustache-twirling tropes. It’s because we identify with the utilitarian motivations of villains that makes them believable (and effective in art).

                      Second, it’s not always been the case. Where did the mustache twirling tropes come from? (And where do Greek and Norse gods fall on the hero/villain continuum?)

                      Third, the mythology is broad and varied enough that I’d have a hard time accepting any definition of American Mythology.

                      Fourth, it’s possible that humans are Kantian but unlikely. The feedback loop that makes humans does not reward Kantianism. Utilitarianism speaks to pleasure/pain, things we’ve evolved visceral understandings of. Humans have to be taught Kant.

                      I will spot you that there is robust empirical evidence that humans do not behave like utilitarians in many control scenarios, but in my view that doesn’t prove that humans are not utilitarian. It just proves that humans are evil.

                      And I do want a President-bot maximizing utility.

                    2. Americans are Kantian. Humans do not ascribe to any universal philosophy.

                      I think the myths we tell ourselves are as close a way to assess our values as anything else.
                      And I don’t know of the idea of heroes as being purely aspirational. Utilitarian but aspiring to be Kantian is an odd set of values, no?

                      I concur that this has not always been the case; values change. But what we once were was deontological over utilitarian. All that talk of honor and what not amongst the Founders.

                      Humans are really good at creating weird incentive systems that make them act in ways other than to maximize utility. Kant codified that system, he did not invent it.

                      I Robot had us ending up with utility-maximizing robots running everything. It didn’t seem bad to me either, but I think it’s telling that the Hollywood reboot had that as a sinister scenario, wherein the utilitarian robots pushed for a police state. I think you and I are the outliers amongst the populous.

                    3. @Sarcastro,

                      This discussion, while interesting, is hopelessly imprecise. There’s a lot of overlap between what deontology permits or prohibits and what utilitarianism permits or prohibits. And there are 70 different sub-flavors within each. And it’s difficult to define American values in a country with such a diverse set of humans in it.

                      “I think the myths we tell ourselves are as close a way to assess our values as anything else.”

                      I was thinking how humans actually behave is at least as good an assessment of human values than our imaginations. I often wake up from a dream believing I just played an amazing game of professional basketball, only to slowly realize that I’m not good at basketball in the world I occupy. A young NTOJ would casually idolize Wolverine, but I no more shared his values than I did shared Michael Jordan’s.

                      “All that talk of honor and what not amongst the Founders.”

                      We are not going to resolve this debate with cherry-picking, but I can do it too. All that talk of honor turned to general Welfare when it came to the real business of organizing our actual affairs. And there’s plenty of room for honor and virtue in Rule Utilitarianism.

                      For I, Robot, it matters whether you’re a positive or negative utilitarian. But anyway, what made the movie version of I, Robot’s villain so sinister is not that it was a creature with values foreign to humans. The police state was scary because humans experienced it and don’t like being told what to do. The road to hell being paved with good intentions describes a lot of human experiences.

                  2. “Or they are just bob from ohio looking for a human connection by pretending to be something they really aren’t.”

                    Bob from Ohio. Don’t mis-capitalize me.

                    Sorry to disappoint you but its not pretending.

                    1. “Don’t mis-capitalize me.”

                      I knew it, you do believe in something.

                2. Whose values, Sarcastr0? I think that is what gives many, myself included, much pause.

                  I agree with your ‘retrospect’ comment. I think the same way…I’d go further and say we basically freaked out in the face of the unknown. Why? Personally, I believe there is a bias toward acting because policymakers (i.e. politicians) have to be seen as ‘doing something’ to address the crisis. That is just human nature.

                  One leadership lesson I learned from our Covid pandemic. Sometimes, the best answer is to ‘do’ very little (or nothing); the challenge is to know when that is the case.

                  1. I mean, that’s the point of a republic – the give legitimacy to some kind of collective values, even if individually we are vastly more disparate.

                    That’s why I don’t like the politics of illegitimacy of policies you disagree with, because that really corrodes the base of how our Republic works to unum our pluribus.

                    There are irrational impulses both for blind movement and for blind attempts to hew to the status quo. In hindsight, we’ve already seen examples of both. But both look rational, and rationality may at times look like either. It’s pretty hard to judge.

          3. I mostly agree with this, but it also argues in favor of things like mask mandates that are very low costs and provide medium levels of protection, as well as vaccine mandates that are higher cost but provide very high levels of protection.

            There’s less of a good case for ongoing enforcement of distancing since it’s quite expensive.

            1. On a personal level I agree that mask mandates are very low cost (for me personally). I have no problem wearing them and am not some looney toon who picks fights with strangers over that sort of thing.

              But I think you’re evaluating “very low costs” narrowly. A policy for how to deal with a public health issue cannot address it without factoring in what is politically feasible and what potential blowback will be, when a significant portion of the population you’re directing policy at are fucking looney toons. Any policy that treats humans like rational actors is itself an irrational policy. Because you don’t herd cats by appealing to their sense of rationality. That does not mean we should abandon mask mandates, but let’s be clear-eyed about the cost in political capital.

              1. You’re right that a mask mandate is pretty high-cost from a political perspective and as a result may not make sense as a government rule/law.

                But in the context of an institution like a law school requiring masks (or vaccines, as in the original post), it seems more straightforward.

      3. Brett there is actually evidence of the degree to which immunity induced by COVID-19 infection decreases with time. The absence of clinical evidence is whether the vaciine induced immunity holds up longer than the body’s natural immune response due to previous infection

    2. It will probably confer immunity for longer than 3-6 months. It might have to be administered annually, like flu vaccines. Although hopefully we get lucky and the COVID vaccine lasts 2-3 years, as some epidemiologists are currently predicting.

      1. The key words in your comment are “probably” and “might have to be” and “predicting.”

        Ask yourself if you want to build a regulatory structure around them.

        1. If the vaccines are only effective for 3-6 months, there will be a “regulatory structure” around COVID, one way or the other. If I had to choose between a regulatory structure that mimics pre-vaccination COVID, and a regulatory structure involving regular administration of a vaccine, it’s not a close question in my view.

          1. It’s not a close question in your view that what? That we should build a regulatory structure around insuring people regularly get a COVID vaccine?

            1. I think it is a good idea to build a regulatory structure around vaccinating people against COVID. If the vaccine is only effective for 3-6 months, I think it’s a good idea to build a regulatory structure around insuring that people regularly receive a COVID vaccine. I think you’re being doom and gloom about the efficacy length, but even if you’re right, there’s a good chance that even with 3-6 months, regular vaccinations will bring COVID back down to a level where we will not need regular vaccines, and can use (instead) targeted vaccinations for flare ups. Even a short runway vaccine can be useful in effectively eradicating a disease.

              1. Just a thought, then, because there are a lot of diseases that (by comparison) would need a regulatory and surveillance supervisory structure around them way more than COVID19. Tuberculosis for starters, especially with the strains that are out there that are resistant to anti-biotics. Or, also, HIV.

                Do you see where any of this might be headed?

                1. Do you see where any of this might be headed?

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmc819RMVUE

                  1. Let me guess, a link to Gattaca? More appropriate would be an video about the Chinese social credit system.

                2. Apparently not. Go ahead and paint the picture.

                  1. Let me ask a question instead. Do you oppose voter ID?

                    Now, ask yourself, if you do, why it’s to much to ask for a voter ID but we should have a regulatory state for COVID vaccinations.

                    1. This is not as armor-piercing a question as you think.

                      Pretty much everyone except the right likes a universal ID, if its freely provided.

                    2. I suppose I oppose some voter ID laws and others I do not oppose. And like so many choices with competing interests, whether I support voter ID laws depends on facts. As voter fraud increases, my support for voter ID laws increases. As voter fraud decreases, my support for voter ID laws decreases. I don’t view government intervention as a simple answer of whether I do or do not support X. But if X is government intrusion, my default is that I do not support it until someone proves to me why it is necessary.

                    3. I’d support a national id and at the same time stop using the SSN as an identifier for government benefits.

                3. I’ll tell you where it is headed Your Madness, near panic that we are one antibiotic away from a catastrophe of infection.
                  As the number of treatment resistant TB strains multiplies, it is quite possible that some strong prophylactic policies may be needed.

      2. “some epidemiologists are currently predicting.”
        I’d feel better if that were the prediction of virologists, who in contrast to you statement are expressing considerable caution.

    3. Regimen, not regime.

  6. How about, since this is a law blog, someone post some relevant posts about mandating vaccines as per the law and court decisions?

    RFK, Jr. to Rutgers President: COVID Vaccine Mandate Violates Federal Law

    The announcement last week by Rutgers University that it would require all students to get the COVID vaccine prompted CHD Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., to remind university officials that federal law prohibits mandating Emergency Use Authorization vaccines.

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/rfk-jr-rutgers-covid-vaccine-mandates-violate-federal-law/

    1. The letter is strange. It asserts:

      “In fact, a federal court has held that EUA vaccines cannot be mandated to soldiers in the U.S. military, who enjoy far fewer rights than civilians, Doe #1 v. Rumselfd, 297 F.Supp.2d 119 (2003). That court remarkably held ‘…the United States cannot demand that members of the armed forces also serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs.'”

      The cite misleadingly omits the court (a district court), nor did the letter reference the specific statute (10 USC 1107) that prohibits use of experimental drugs on soldiers without their permission. Which obviously has nothing to do with Rutgers.

      1. This is my understanding, the vaccine is emergency use authorized. Current federal law means that military members can’t be forced to get a vaccine, and in fact many have refused, something Courts have upheld. I guess they are thinking that’s a precedent.

        There is a whole lot more of the law and decisions related to police powers of the state, HIPAA, and so on. Rutgers has to meet HIPAA compliance standards if they want to track who does and who doesn’t have a vaccine. Moreover, there are a shit ton of other diseases I bet Rutgers students have had over the years that they have no business knowing about.

        I would like a thoughtful post on it.

        1. “I would like a thoughtful post on it.”

          Then why are you here at “reason”?

          1. This tiny corner of the Reason is the best it has to offer, sadly.

        2. “Rutgers has to meet HIPAA compliance standards if they want to track who does and who doesn’t have a vaccine.”

          I don’t know enough about Rutgers to know if they have a medical school or center that is providing healthcare services to students. That entity would need to comply with HIPAA like any other HIPAA covered entity.

          What’s the factual basis for your belief that Rutgers University “has to meet HIPAA compliance standards”? Are you thinking of FERPA?

          1. HIPAA laws are there to provide individuals with privacy protections in regards to their healthcare information. It also includes penalties for those who violate that privacy. Since these are federal laws, they supersede any state law or mandate.

            So with that in mind, let’s say an airline decides to require proof of vaccination before you could book a flight, this would be a HIPAA violation. A vaccination is a medical procedure, and you are not required to disclose that information simply upon being asked. If a private company wants to access to that information, they have to get a signed consent from you authorizing them to access your healthcare information.

            So the only way private companies (like Rutgers) could start requiring proof of vaccination would be if they also had a signed release for them to access your medical records.

            The question then would be if people are willing to allow all these separate private companies to each acquire a signed waiver giving them access to your medical history.

            Note, that the schools have access to the students medical records is a wrinkle I didn’t think of.

            1. Those are not examples of HIPAA violations. It should be obvious that you are free to give out and authorize the disclosure of your own health information. HIPAA is about whether organizations associated with you can give out your health information.

            2. “So with that in mind, let’s say an airline decides to require proof of vaccination before you could book a flight, this would be a HIPAA violation.”

              HIPAA does not apply to airlines because airlines are not, to my knowledge, a covered entity under Title II of HIPAA.

              “A vaccination is a medical procedure, and you are not required to disclose that information simply upon being asked.”

              An airline requiring you to prove you’ve been vaccinated before a flight is not requiring you to disclose information upon being asked. You don’t have to fly.

              “If a private company wants to access to that information, they have to get a signed consent from you authorizing them to access your healthcare information.”

              Sure, because if a private company wants something from you, it’s illegal for them to beat it out of you. What’s that got to do with HIPAA?

              “So the only way private companies (like Rutgers) could start requiring proof of vaccination would be if they also had a signed release for them to access your medical records.”

              First, Rutgers isn’t a private company. Second, a private company can condition whatever you want from them on you signing a release for them to access your medical records. That isn’t because of HIPAA. It’s because they probably aren’t going to take your word for it that you’re vaccinated, and so would need to request that information from someone who is governed by HIPAA. (Your doctor.) Which of course they’re entitled to do.

              “The question then would be if people are willing to allow all these separate private companies to each acquire a signed waiver giving them access to your medical history.”

              The question has been answered. I’ve signed those forms dozens of times in my life. Do you think my kid’s day care is going to let her in if she hasn’t been vaccinated? Who do you think signs for her? Have you ever purchased life insurance? Have you ever employed anybody?

              1. Thanks. Most of those all fair points, some of which not competent in this specialized subject matter enough to continue further with this thread. I hope somebody picks it up.

                The sore point, here is “you don’t have to fly”. Sure, but that’s a legal sticky wicket, now isn’t it?

                1. If you’re asking if it’s a sticky wicket because some people depend on flying and so it’s a hard thing to tell people they can’t do, yes, super sticky wicket. But that doesn’t resolve the problem. If flying is necessary, people want to do it safely, and if they can’t do it safely, they won’t fly. In my lifetime I’ve been kept off flights for being or looking contagious or drunk. Was that a huge problem for me? Shit yea. Would me getting somebody sick, or bothering other passengers because of my intoxication, be a problem for them? Shit yea.

                  Although the airline industry is heavily regulated, my belief is that within the permitted bounds of government intervention, competing airlines will generally strike the balance of interfering with the freedom of passenger X to the extent it preserves the freedom of Y, at least as well as governments making the decision on where to draw the line.

        3. HIPPA does not apply to student health records — FREPA does — HIPPA says so.

          1. The law is HIPAA. You remain aggressively ignorant.

          2. There is no such thing as “HIPPA,” you ignoramus.

            1. Next you’re going to tell me that Free Range Egg & Poultry Australia doesn’t have anything to do with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

        4. “Rutgers has to meet HIPAA compliance standards if they want to track who does and who doesn’t have a vaccine.”

          Just as it was when people tried to use HIPAA as some sort of club to justify not wearing masks, this is a dumb argument. Schools of all sorts have had various vaccine requirements for decades both pre- and post-HIPAA and somehow have managed to work it out without running afoul of HIPAA. The Covid vaccine is not special in any way here.

    2. Turning to RFK, Jr. for legal analysis about vaccines is…outcome determinative, and not really probative of much except the story you want to hear.

      1. Well, reading anything you write is hardly probative either. Note, I don’t take what he wrote as gospel, but as a voice saying that, you know, on a legal blog, what Rutgers is doing may not be legal.

        1. Except you know he is as biased as they come about vaccines.

          So when his legal analysis aligns with his zealotry, you might want to check other opinions.

          I wouldn’t put forth AOC’s legal analysis of union rights as something that must be addressed either.

          1. Muh. Of course I was checking other opinions, why the f*ck do you think I poised the questions I did? I don’t get enough snark in my life or something, so I’m begging for more?

            1. No – you want a push poll. ‘Here is an opinion. Offered alone, with no provisos or other info. I’d like you to address it as a valid and reasonable point of view, please.’

              Again, if I came in with a link to the Nation and said “Prof Volokh, you really need to blog about the Nation’s take on Citizens’ United” you’d not think I was posting in good faith skepticism of that take.

              1. The Nation is obviously ideologically biased, but they’re generally speaking not loons. Unlike RFK Jr.

  7. You can eliminate distancing and masks and everything else without every single person being vaccinated. Jeez.

  8. It has nothing to do with science; it has everything to do with control.

    1. If you have a persuasive argument, let’s hear it. If you can persuade society (government officials, private employers, businesses, schools) that you are correct, your preferences will be vindicated.

      If you lack persuasive arguments, however, and especially if you are just another anti-government, anti-social, right-wing crank . . . you will comply with the preferences of others.

      That is the American way.

      1. You are so full of shit. That’s a pretty persuasive argument. Or a statement of fact.

        What part of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happyness” do you not understand? Remember, the government exists to protect individual rights. Anything that interferes with those rights is a problem.

        Your fear does not dictate my life.

        1. It’s “happiness”, but I think the idea is that if other individuals interfere with your life, liberty, or the pursuit of your happiness, governments are going to intervene to protect you from those other people. That has been happening since the Declaration of Independence was signed, and will continue. You might consider that the Declaration’s promises re: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were not incorporated into the Constitution, which is more of a document governing the relationship between the feds and the states. For obvious reasons, the states retained the ability to interfere with your specific life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

        2. Your angry libertarianism does not dictate much in society except your own righteous grumpiness.

        3. “Your fear does not dictate my life.”

          You will comply, clinger.

          You get to whimper about it as much as you like, though.

      2. Persuasive factual arguments cannot overcome rent seeking interests. The tech billionaires scored $1.7 trillion in fraudulently gained enrichment. The lockdown induced by their media and by the lawyer Dem Govs, their agents, was fraudulent and a catastrophe for everyone else.

        1. Wait, so you think lawyers are bad?

          1. Of course he does. In fact they are evil, not merely bad.

  9. Students are at very low risk. We shouldn’t be limiting them at all, regardless of vaccination.

    Anyone in the US at significant risk from Covid should get vaccinated if they want to avoid getting Covid. You can do it now or within a month. Don’t expect other people to do it for you. People will refuse and just live their lives they’ll be right to do so.

    1. If you think you’re going to be allowed to live your life after refusing the new COVID vaccine (of which only the Johnson and Johnson is an actual vaccine), then you, sir, are an East Coast surfer (which is to say, almost an irrational optimist).

      1. I understand why people post stuff like this.

        Universities can probably continue getting away with bullying and mistreating students because students are used to it and are a captive customer base.

        But the rest of us aren’t.

        1. Do you flout ‘no shoes, no service, no service’ signs? Do you ignore ‘mask required to enter this store’ signs? Do you believe those signs are intolerable restrictions on liberty?

          1. I hate to agree with RAK, but his comment is directly on point.

      2. Here is the definition of vaccine:

        a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.

        All of the currently approved COVID vaccines are actual vaccines.

        1. I’m looking in my Webster’s 7th collegiate dictionary, published 1969, prior to all this malakey.

          Vaccine: a preparation of killed microorganisms, living attenuated organisms, or living fully virulent organisms that is administered to produce or artificially increase immunity to a certain disease.

          That’s what the Johnson and Johnson vaccine does, but not the mRNA treatments, which may be all well and good, but they are not vaccines, without changing the defintion.

          1. The definition of aëroplane in the 1913 Webster’s dictionary notes “Being heavier than air they depend for their levitation on motion imparted by one or more propellers actuated by a gasoline engine.” Later the word expanded to include vehicles without propellers that were otherwise very similar. So the word “vaccine” evolved beyond traditional vaccines made of weakened viruses.

            1. You’re conceding the point. And they didn’t change the definition of airplane to try to convince more people to fly on them, now did they?

              They changed the definition of vaccine, in this specific case, for those specific treatments, to market them as vaccines. They are not, traditionally, what we would call vaccines. They may very well work and be good, but if they called them what they would be called even in 2019, they wouldn’t get the buy-in they have, now would they?

              The point is, when you’ve got to change the dictionary definition as part of your propaganda campaign, it might just raise some red flags with you.

              1. As science let us do the thing vaccines did in previously unanticipated ways, the definition changed to address how reality progressed.

                You, it seems, have not changed, and want to play semantic games about it.

              2. “They changed the definition of vaccine, in this specific case, for those specific treatments, to market them as vaccines.”

                A google ngram for ‘mRNA vaccine’ shows that term going back to 2000.

                The wikipedia article titled ‘RNA_vaccine’ has a history section that says ‘The use of RNA vaccines goes back to the 1990s. The in vitro demonstration of mRNA in animals was first reported in 1990,[16] and the use of mRNA for immunization was proposed shortly thereafter.’.

                And to be clear, that article uses RNA and mRNA vaccines synchronously.

                1. s/synchronously/synonymously/

          2. Your Madness,
            Get a NEW dictionary. Read physics books published in the last 30 years.

            1. Read bio and medical books written in the past 10 years.

          3. By the way, as an adult, you should move up from the collegiate dictionary

        2. True, they are all vaccines.

          Of course by 19th century definition of ‘vaccine’ no one has been ‘vaccinated’ since 1980 or so, when smallpox vaccination using attenuated vaccinia virus in the process of variolization was phased out do to the eradication of smallpox (excepting that stored in laboratories in the US, Russia, and likely a few other unnamed places. And now that DNA and RNA can be printed with desktop machinery, presumably smallpox could be replicated in any of hundreds of labs around the world).

      3. When I told you that you were being ridiculous speculating that COVID restrictions will be forever earlier, you said you were just being risk averse.

        This sounds a lot less like risk aversion and a lot more baseless paranoia fueled by your cartoonish view of the opposition. Liberals don’t love the restrictions either!

        1. I don’t recall a that specific exchange. Moreover, I’m not being paranoid, but cynical. I could see why you’d stupidly mix up the two.

          And if liberals don’t like restrictions, they should follow TX and FL and lift them, rather than President* Biden telling everyone it’s their patriotic duty to wear a mask.

          1. Not liking != thinking the cost benefit requires it be ended.

            My point is that your scenario wherein the left is into COVID restrictions because they love them some government control doesn’t really track with real life people.

            Cynicism is fine. Certainty in your cynicism is not really cynicism, it’s an excuse.

            1. My cynicism is not real cynicism. lol. That’s a good one. Your the judge then of what’s going on in my head. I think you had an insipid phrase you overused for that.

              Liberals were initially against the restrictions because they could portray Trump as xenophobic, then went for them with the greatest abandon, and are today for their continued imposition. The “15 days to flatten the curve” is now over 365. Do you deny this?

              I suppose you were there saying “everything is fine” when after 9/11 things went overboard then, as well?

              1. Trump’s travel restrictions were xenophobic – so full of holes and exception all they were was a performance of anti-Chinese nationalism.

                I was pretty young in 2001, so I can’t speak to the point.

                Doomsaying about fascism being just around the corner is not cynicism, it’s just doomsaying.

        2. “Liberals don’t love the restrictions either!”

          Lots of “liberals” love the restrictions. Teachers’ union loves working half days.

          Other government types love the opportunity to point fingers and boss everyone around using their ridiculous spreadsheet models that focus on test results and not actual danger.

          1. Yeah, you haven’t talked to a teacher. Or a government worker.

            1. They would just tell a story. Observation is objective.

              1. Some stories are testimony. Many stories become a preponderance of evidence.

            2. “Another data roadblock is a letter from the CTU asking that “members wait to respond to (CPS’) vaccination survey.”

              Sharkey said another disclosure deterrent may be teachers fearful of losing their third quarter accommodations allowing them to teach from home, even though they are supposed to remain in tact.

              “Now CPS appears to be saying, ‘No, we are going to review them for this quarter.’ And the problem is that people have their life set up around these accommodations,” Sharkey said.

              https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2021/03/11/chicago-teachers-union-chicago-pubic-schools-covid-19-vaccine/

              1. Transition costs are not the same as loving a thing.

                1. If they don’t love it they should go back to work.

                  1. Yes, everything people do, it’s because the love it.

                    Don’t be dumb.

              1. That is, of course, not proof even those teachers love lockdowns. Support != love.

                1. Dozens of states have in person school attendance. No mass outbreaks. Few cases at all.

                  Either teachers like them are completely irrational or they like it. Your choice.

                  1. ignore what your eyes see and trust Sarcastr0’s unsupported characterizations.

                  2. Changing the subject because your point fell apart, eh?

                    I tend to agree with your assessment of the risk.

                    That doesn’t mean those who disagree are lying about it, and love the lockdown.

    2. “Students are at very low risk”
      That statement seems increasingly untrue of the B1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2

  10. IANAL.
    Can anyone say whether or how the ’emergency’ status of the vaccines might affect any such requirement?

  11. Sure, great idea. Maybe a merit badge sash, with your Covid Vaccination badge, next to your Smallpox Vax badge, Measles badge and your HIV Negative badge?

    Or go high tech, with a chip implanted so they just scan you before you’re allowed to board a plane, get a job or enter a restaurant. So much more “civilized than” than those old fashioned arm tattoos.

    1. Hell, why not just brand it into your forehead?

      1. Need some sort of mark on the hand, as well as for forehead. You know, so you can participate on commerce.

    2. DonP,
      The future is coming into focus. That chip is closer than you think.

  12. Josh has to specify “fatigue”, like bedridden? Specify your sleep time the night before.

    The sore arm is from a metal needle going into it.

    1. My wife got the second dose of the vaccine at 2:30 PM on a Thursday. She went to be at 10:00 PM. She finally got out of bed at 10:00 AM on Saturday. Other than that “fatigue” she had no other reaction.

      1. “She went to be at 10:00 PM. She finally got out of bed at 10:00 AM on Saturday.”

        Sounds like every weekend for me. And, I’m looking forward to an extra 2 days of that for this holiday weekend. Yay.

    2. “The sore arm is from a metal needle going into it.”
      Not only are you ignorant about the la and lawyers, the comment about the sore arm is also gravely mistaken.
      If the needle is sterile and injects nothing, the amount of physiological soreness is negligible.

  13. “Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons.”

    This will be as respected as the following CDC guideline:
    CDC statement on masks and the ‘real’ flu;
    Background; Masks are not usually recommended in non-healthcare settings; however, this guidance provides other strategies for limiting the spread of influenza viruses in the community.
    Unvaccinated Asymptomatic Persons, Including Those at High Risk for Influenza Complications
    No recommendation can be made at this time for mask use in the community by asymptomatic persons, including those at high risk for complications, to prevent exposure to influenza viruses.

    1. Unlike Los Vegas, what happens on the web really does stay on the web. But you really, really have to dig to find this anymore.

    2. Anyone ever see someone with a full beard wearing that tiny face diaper? That belies the lie that masks are effective. Because the frigging germs can go through the beard (path of least resistance).

      Unless you want to force people to be clean shaven.

  14. It occurs to me that even if all of the students in a classroom are vaccinated if some are attending via zoom then that will still require the teacher to teach as if the whole class is remote. A teacher probably could not walk around the classroom for example even if equipped with a wireless microphone.

    1. Why would someone who is not vaccinated use Zoom instead of attending with a working mask?

      1. Because the school won’t let them attend without being vaccinated.

  15. In the People’s Republic of NJ, this is not a surprise: that an organization would seek to impose more mandates and more control. It must be the polluted water.

  16. Why is this question limited to law schools? Why not any university or college, or any graduate school?

  17. Curiously, the discussion seems to place CoViD-19 high among the health risks to students and professors. But is it? Among those less than thirty years old, has the rate of CoViD-19 infection during the past year of the terribly devastating pandemic exceeded the rate of infection from (for example) hepatitis, HPV, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis, HIV, measles, polio, or typhoid?

    In addition to such questions, questions remain regarding the wisdom of wide-spread deployment of vaccines which target rapidly mutating viruses: until very recently (that is, until federal funding priorities changed), many experts [particularly those writing in 2014] advised against wide-spread deployment of “flu shots” based on evidence that such vaccines hasten mutation. In the specific case of CoViD-19, the well-tested MMR II vaccine is as effective against mutations as is the best of the scantly-tested targeted vaccines [see recent report from Yale].

    If you truly believe CoViD-19 is your largest concern, you should be neither a student or a professor in any academic institution. Perhaps a greater worry is that there may still exist pockets of America where groups aren’t openly gathering in defiance of orders. Certainly, we all want to see compliance on television… but in real life didn’t the CoViD thingy sort of dissipate on its own, beginning back in early December, 2020 [as some commenters on this blog noted it would do]? Other than being fodder for jokes (much like the Vaccine of 1975, lampooned at https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/debate-76/3004161 ), do CoViD-19 vaccinations have a _real_ effect on the course of the terrible awful devastating pandemic?

    1. “Among those less than thirty years old, has the rate of CoViD-19 infection during the past year of the terribly devastating pandemic exceeded the rate of infection from (for example) hepatitis, HPV, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis, HIV, measles, polio, or typhoid?”

      Yea.

    2. “If you truly believe CoViD-19 is your largest concern, you should be neither a student or a professor in any academic institution.”

      After all, YOU’D know better than THEY would what risks they are likely to encounter, and how concerned they should be about them.

  18. I think everyone will be allowed to make their own decision. Of course, after they have been beat over the head with a stick for a few days, it will be easier for them to make that decision.

    I truly can’t believe this is a discussion in a country that is supposed to be based on freedom. If you want the vaccination, by all means arrange to get it. Get all three versions. But, don’t try to force me to take it. That should be simple!

    1. You need to stop making sense CindyF. 🙂

    2. No one is forcing you to take it. But if you want to come into my space, then I have the right to insist you either get the vaccine or stay away. Same thing applies to public spaces, like schools and hospitals.

      Seriously, do you think “freedom” mean “I can do what I want and everyone else has to accomodate me?” Are you four-years-old?

      1. The thing is, we never did this for the flu, which kills countless people every year, nor for other equally dangerous diseases like TB. Oh, and never mind the dangerous things that we allow others to do around us all the time already, and to sell and consume as well.

        It’s a wholesale attempt at an imposition of new cultural standards for one specific thing that has a 99.97% survival rate. What do you think would happen?

        1. No, we know how many die from the flu every year, and it’s rather outstripped by the rate of COVID deaths.

          99.97% is just made up.

        2. ” that has a 99.97% survival rate.”

          Even if that is accurate, you completely ignore the debilitating effect the disease has on many people. My wife’s college roomate, now a married woman in her mid-40s, had it. She was in the hospital for about a month. That was seven months ago. Since then, she has not been able to return to work or do much else. She is suddenly struck by the need to go to sleep — right away. She ends up sleeping a good part of the day.

          I know others who, while less severe, tell me that now ten to twelve months later, they are still fatigued.

          Thank God, I and my family managed to avoid getting it (and now I and my wife have the vaccine). But it is something you want to avoid, very strongly, even if you survive.

          1. Now we are setting public heath policy by anecdote. This keeps getting better and better.

        3. “It’s a wholesale attempt at an imposition of new cultural standards for one specific thing that has a 99.97% survival rate.”

          Just using deaths (setting aside infections), there have been ~ 550K deaths in the US. There are 320 million people. That death rate is .17%, so the survival rate, regardless of infection, is around 99.83%. Even if you assumed everyone in the US has already had COVID, your survival rate is too high.

          One counter is that the death rate is juiced up. But to get to 99.7% survival, the total deaths would have to be ~56K. (And again, you’d still be assuming that 100% of the population had COVID.) My math may be off a bit, but I’m having a hard time seeing how you get to 99.97% without making some assumptions that are hard to support.

          1. People who are stupid are not good at math, as a general rule.

        4. “which kills countless people every year,”
          Never obviously does not include the years 1917 and 1918

      2. No one is forcing you to take it. But if you want to come into my space, then I have the right to insist you either get the vaccine or stay away. Same thing applies to public spaces, like schools and hospitals.

        Why don’t you take care of yourself? “your space” is your home. Don’t allow people for any reason you like.
        Public space is for all. You need to practice whatever measures you deem necessary.
        All the vulnerable have been vaccinated. The rest? Isolate if YOU don’t want a cold.

        1. How do you feel about the common ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’ signs at convenience stores?

    3. I doubt anyone will compel you to accept vaccination, CindyF.

      Some people — particularly modern, educated people; successful people who operate businesses; and people who operate public transportation and the like — will decline to associate with you, or accept your business on their premises, if you are not vaccinated.

      That seems a predictable, sensible judgment and an element of freedom of association.

    4. Cindy,
      You can refuse the vaccines and I can refuse to let you into my restaurant, my university, my public school system.
      See how that works.
      No one is taking your freedom away.
      And besides, you OWN the consequences of your choices.

      1. So as a business owner I can deny people because they lack “papers”? How about a voter ID card with declared party? Proof of malaria vaccination?

    5. “don’t try to force me to take it. That should be simple!”

      Ain’t nobody trying to force you to take it, if you’re not smart enough to. But stop trying to endanger other people.

  19. Imagine if we had taken the same approach to small pox, polio and the measles. I believe small pox had a 30% mortality rare.

    This is just stupid. Get the “alleged 95%” vaccine but if you’re claiming its 95% then back the F off with the mandates restrictions BS.

    If the vaccine is not 95% ( I suspect its not) since Covid is after all the flu (Flu vaccines are about 30% effective) then cut the vaccine passport crap.

    F Fauci

    1. You seem disaffected, cranky, and unpersuasive, wreckinball.

      Are those chronic conditions?

      1. Yes you are a pull string toy who calls people clingers and fantasizes about getting blow mobs from guys

        1. Which of us, in your judgment, is part of the American mainstream that will continue to shape our national progress against the preferences of the other (and has been shaping that progress for more than a half-century)?

    2. “If the vaccine is not 95% ( I suspect its not) since Covid is after all the flu”

      Whatever your source is for misinformation, it’s not very good.

      1. Yea so we absolutely know the effectiveness based on what dipshit?

        And why would someone who has been vaccinated with a 95% effective vaccine now 100% according to Pfizer need to wear a mask or social distance

        Unless the 95-100 claim is BS

        Are you really that F-ing stupid ?

  20. Marjorie Taylor Greene has announced that vaccine passports are the “mark of the beast . . . really disturbing and not good . . . fascism . . . communism . . . corporate communism.”

    Carry on, clingers. Thanks for the laughs.

    1. RAK do you understand that as soon as you type “Carry on, clingers” everything else you write becomes irrelevant?

  21. Funny seeing all these lawyers arguing medicine.

    Meanwhile, to see how the federal government considers thi sover:

    “Nicole Sganga@NicoleSganga
    THREAD — Reporters toured the temporary border facility in Donna, TX today.
    The Biden admin allowed pooled coverage for the first time.
    We saw a “pod” designed for 32 migrant children under CDC guidelines now holding 615.
    The facility is at 1700% pandemic capacity.”

    1. Bob,
      Some people can walk and chew gum at the same time.

      1. Incidentally Bob, the President Council of Scientific Advisors functions in just that manner and has for sixty years.

  22. It’s remarkable that so many commenters on a libertarian blog would enlist government power to deprive a private business of the right to refuse to do face to face business with customers who have chosen to refuse a vaccination.

    Even more remarkably, Florida’s governor DeSantis has already proposed that the legislature enact a law that would forbid businesses from limiting access to people who have been vaccinated and has threatened to write an emergency order to that effect until the legislature acts. Small government for me, but not for thee.

    1. These kinds of issues always smoke out the culture warriors from their temporary libertarian nests. You see the same thing in threads on regulating social media.

    2. Schools that are mostly funded by the government, through instruments only somewhat resembling “loans,” are only nominally private.

      1. And that’s just the most private ones. As Bob notes below, the university in question is public.

    3. “deprive a private business”

      ??

      “Rutgers University (/ˈrʌtɡərz/) (formally, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and commonly called RU) is a public land-grant research university ” wikipedia

    4. Conservatives tend to throw private property under the bus when wedge cultural issues come into play. Florida, for instance, already has a law that forbids private businesses from banning their employees or customers from possessing firearms on the business’s property.

      But, I mean, the same people complaining about the gay-wedding-cake laws all seem to want to force social media companies to host their content.

  23. COVID is one big scam. It’s like a double bad flu season that came along and was suddenly used to ramp up government control exponentially. It only worked because there are so many mentally ill and irrational people whipped up through social media. The pandemic during which the original Woodstock musical festival occurred killed about the same percentage of the population.

    1. ” It only worked because there are so many mentally ill and irrational people whipped up through social media.”

      So get OFF social media.

      1. Yes, sure. So do you agree with the rest of my comment then?

    2. “The pandemic during which the original Woodstock musical festival occurred killed about the same percentage of the population.”

      The US population in 1969 was about 60% of what it is today.

      There have been about 565K covid deaths. 565K*0.6=339K

      The wiki Hong Kong flu[1] article says “The United States health authorities estimated that about 34,000 to 100,000 people died in the U.S”, so covid has caused – so far – somewhere between 3 and 10 times as many deaths per capita as the Hong Kong flu pandemic.

      [1]to people who get the vapors about calling virii by their place of origin, take it up with wikipedia

      1. My understanding is the 100k number is the number (keeping in mind it’s really impossible to actually count such things with certainty – same with COVID) and that was one year (or maybe season) – so you need to annualize the numbers. It is very close, within 25% I think. COVID deaths are likely inflated, too.

        1. Here we have one .gov site saying “The estimated number of deaths was … about 100,000 in the United States.”

          while here…

        2. …we have another .gov site saying “The number of deaths between September 1968 and March 1969 (ed: one season) for this pandemic was 33,800”.

          But wait, there’s more! That link is from an archived page … and if you try to follow the original link you get now get redirected to the previous source, so the ‘official’ numbers may have changed. The archived source mentions that waves of the same strain returned in the early ’70’s, so the bigger number may span several years. It’s hard to say, My only comment is that 100k is a suspiciously round number.

    3. “only worked because there are so many mentally ill and irrational people whipped up through social media”
      You must mean tweets by the Orange Clown

    4. A usual flu season kills about 60,000 in the US. Now I realize that you are not an expert in mathematics but nearly 10x is not double

    5. The 1968 flu pandemic killed a large number of people, but it did so without the NPI measures used to mitigate covid-19.

  24. “COVID is one big scam”
    560,000 American have testified that you are full of s**t.

    1. I see you chose to ignore the rest of my comment explaining what I mean by that.

      1. Oh, I’ll be happy to answer. The Hong Kong flu killed 100,000 Americans,
        I hate to break it tow you, but 560,000 is much larger than 100,000.
        The US population at time was 200,000,000.
        Your claim is dead wrong.
        More fake news at your hero might have said.

  25. If they do require vaccination to attend in person, I imagine the people unwilling to be vaccinated will start demanding a discount for participating only via Zoom.

  26. Marjorie Taylor Greene has announced that vaccine passports are the “mark of the beast

    AOC says the word “surge” is White Supremacist. Democrat Representative Hank Johnson says Gaum is going to tip over.
    I can do this all day.

  27. Dying of covid and dying with covid are two different things.
    Everyone paying attention knows at least one person that got put in the covid deaths , that weren’t, Hospice patients, car accidents, terminal cancer….Health care facilities were incentivised to ‘see’ covid deaths. CDC rules for determining COD included instructions that a positive test was not required, presenting with evidence that could be interpreted to be covid based is enough to use covid as COD.
    We will need some extended 1,2,and 3 year data sets of death statistics to get an accurate number of deaths. People in skilled care facilities have a very defined life span, statistically speaking. How many of those dead would have died anyway? How many of those same deaths, had a positive covid test? But stopping breathing is a very common COD in skilled care, Both my mother and mother in law died that way, but that was 2 years and 10 years ago, so their COD was age, not covid.

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