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News editorial board demands Nat’l Guard troops block unvaccinated from going ‘anywhere’

National Guard soldiers wait to board an Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter at the Utah Test and Training Range in Sandy, Utah. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin Gruenwald)
January 17, 2022

The Salt Lake City Tribune editorial board called on Utah governor Spencer Cox to deploy the National Guard to stop people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 from going “anywhere” in an editorial published on Saturday.

“Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere,” the editorial stated.

The board accused Utah’s leaders of “waving the white flag of surrender in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” characterizing their decisions as “tragic” and “disgraceful.”

“Government officials, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, were apparently determined not to be caught governing in the face of this challenge,” the editorial board continued. “Any move or recommendation to mask up or, when safe and effective vaccines became available, to make vaccination a requirement of admission to public places and society in general was shouted down as an unwarranted imposition on individual freedoms.”

The board went on to reference several early-treatment recommendations as “foolishness and misinformation.”  

“So now we are free all right. Free to fend for ourselves. To watch our children lose weeks, months or more of their precious educational opportunities,” the board wrote. “To wonder whether it is safe to go to work or to the store or to sporting events. To see businesses close for want of employees or lack of customers.”

The Tribune also praised President Joe Biden for “ordering vaccine mandates for health care workers and vaccine-or-test rules for workplaces of more than 100 employees,” and slammed the United States Supreme Court for “foolishly” shutting down the latter measure.

“We might have headed off omicron with a herd immunity-level of vaccinations, but that would have required a vaccination mandate, which our leaders refused,” the editorial added. “Instead, we get, ‘No one could have seen this coming.’ That is patently untrue. They were told what to do, and they refused.”

The editorial was published two days after the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s OSHA mandate, which required private businesses with more than 100 employees to force their staff to take the COVID-19 vaccine, or wear masks and be tested weekly. The rule impacted more than 84 million private workers.

“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote in its 6-3 decision.

“Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”