Sheriff Zanni’s contorted justification for not enforcing mask mandates included a reference to the Nuremberg Code. Aside from the term “Nuremberg” stirs images of fascism, Nazis and Hitler, terms shouted at our county commissioners recently, why bring it up? To pretzel the Nuremberg Code into the debate regarding mask mandates and by Zanni’s own extension vaccine mandates, requires the sheriff to wrongly believe a common yet persistent misconception that the vaccine is experimental. COVID vaccines went through all clinical trials and tests and are not experimental. These vaccines are no more experimental than an annual flu or pneumonia shot.

A real leader has a duty and care to be properly informed and not perpetuate myths and rumors that literally put lives at risk.

People may have many reasons for not taking the vaccine including religious beliefs but don’t allow urban myths sustained by the studiously misinformed to be a part of your decision-making process. Empirical data clearly shows that even with breakthrough infections after vaccination the likelihood of hospitalization and death is significantly reduced.

Precisely because of poor leadership, trained personnel in law enforcement and other skilled professions are threatening to quit their jobs rather than be vaccinated. Again, many otherwise voluntary jobs require masks and vaccines as a condition of employment and in the U.S. we are all free to accept those conditions or work elsewhere.

This controversy may temporarily thin the ranks of law enforcement and deplete already strained medical staff who are free to seek other employment. One of the platitudes unleashed by pro-war supporters is “freedom isn’t free” and I would say this applies in this instance. Freedom to not wear a mask or receive a vaccine comes at a cost.

The media has the same duty and care to inform the public. Given the record numbers of hospitalizations and infections in Coos County, shame on The World for failing to take the opportunity to correct Zanni’s mind numbingly stupid Nuremberg Code reference and thereby better inform its readers.

Mary Geddry

Coquille

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