Last week, Mr. Hecht wrote about public health policy for COVID regarding children. One of his points was that mask mandates for school children are just like any other public health measure, and that “there is no legitimate reason why dealing with COVID should be left to the parents while every other serious, communicable disease is regulated by the government.”
Yes there is, when it comes to mask mandates for children, and that is because they are ineffective, unnecessary, and harmful.
There are multiple studies showing that masks have little or no ability to “stop the spread.” Even if they do, children, like most people, aren’t wearing N95 or better masks and they certainly don’t wear them correctly.
Children are also at extremely low risk for severe COVID. The COVID mortality rate for the 0-17 demographic is close to that of the flu. We don’t mask them all during flu season, so why do so for COVID?
Finally, young children especially may suffer physical, psychological, emotional, and social harm from masking all day
Bad policies like this that aren’t supported by the data should absolutely be opposed. Don’t mask children.
I write to express my extreme displeasure with Moshe Hill’s most recent column, “Joe Biden’s Dictatorship.” It is riddled with historical and factual inaccuracies, both past and current.
Let’s go all the way back to January 1777. Inoculations were mandated (by none other than George Washington) for the soldiers under Washington’s command in the Continental Army. It was not a popular decision, but it saved countless lives.
Mr. Hill briefly mentions the 1905 US Supreme Court decision that ruled 7-2 against the petitioner that mandated vaccinations are constitutional. He oddly states that the case “isn’t entirely comparable,” but fails to explain why. In the 1905 case, the Constitution “does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint,” Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote, adding, in referencing the Constitution, “that all shall be governed by certain laws for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people, and not for the profit, honor or private interests of any one man, family or class of men.”
Continuing on to 1922, in a case regarding mandatory school vaccinations, Justice Louis Brandeis (the first Jewish US Supreme Court Justice) wrote in a unanimous decision that “it is within the police power of a state to provide for compulsory vaccination.”
The aforementioned legal and historical precedents alone would be sufficient for the President to institute a “vaccine mandate,” as Hill calls it. Yet, President Biden has done no such thing! In the 2021 plan for businesses, there is a provision that allows for weekly testing. The testing is not just for anyone with a medical or religious exemption. Every person affected by this plan can choose to be tested once a week if they do not want to get vaccinated. Hill’s usage of the words “vaccine mandate” are simply false. He disrespectfully calls Biden a “tyrannical dictator” for imposing this “’mandate,” when in fact there is none.
We’ve lost countless numbers amongst our own in the last 19 months. For Hill to be so against even the most non-invasive aspect of this plan, the weekly testing, is mind boggling. What is Mr. Hill so angry about? What exactly is being imposed on the population that is so difficult to accept? Vaccines coupled with testing will save numerous lives. The Torah says “v’nishmartem m’od l’nafshoseichem” - “be very careful about your lives.” Is not receiving the vaccine and/or the weekly test the epitome of fulfillment of this pasuk? How could any frum Jew be against these mechanisms to try to stop the spread of a killer disease?
Mr. Hill ends his column with four very chilling words: “no one should comply,” further going against yet another halachic principle “dina d’malchusa dina” - “the law of the land is the law.” In Melbourne, Australia, on Rosh HaShanah, a tremendous chilul Hashem transpired: Despite the strict lockdown in place, certain frum Jews felt it was acceptable to break the law by sneaking out of their homes to daven. Shocking video footage showed worshippers climbing on top of buildings, trying to evade police. This is not frum Judaism, and this is not who we are or should be. Mr. Hill should be ashamed of his ending words, which are extremely detrimental to one’s health and could be disastrous for those that choose to follow them.
I would thank Warren Hecht for his article “Change.” Warren correctly states that we should all resolve to make positive changes in our lives. It is time for those Jews who support the Democratic Party to change and become Republicans. Jery Nadler, a major leader of the Democratic Party, has stated that “we in Congress do not care about G-d or the bible.” The Democrat Congress has introduced a new initiative supporting the concept of non-binary people. This theory states that there is no such thing as gender. They want to eliminate pronouns such as “he” and “she.” The term mother will be eliminated and replaced with the term “birthing partner.” In addition, the Democrats have opened our southern border. This is a boon for the drug trade, child trafficking, and the spread of COVID. Biden wants to impose vaccine and mask mandates on people in the US legally, but people who are here illegally do not have any restrictions. In fact, illegal immigrants do not have to seclude themselves if they test positive for COVID. The Democratic party also strongly supports “the squad,” who have openly spewed antisemitic rhetoric. Biden and Pelosi both praised the squad profusely. The Democrats supported the abandonment of the Bagram irfield in Afghanistan, which has led to much death and destruction. China will be taking over the base. The Democrats support the climate accord which puts limits on US and none on China. The Democrats have also promoted Critical Race Theory, which states that we must go after “White Supremists.” The definition of “White Supremists” is anyone who is not support the Dems. The Dems have now labeled Larry Elder, a black Conservative, as a White Supremist. Jewish people must speak out against this. The Torah demands that we fight this moral decay with every fiber of our being.
Mr. Hecht, Republicans are calling for President Biden to resign for far different reasons than the terrorist murder of almost 3,000 on American soil. They’re calling on him to resign because the Taliban took over all of Afghanistan in less than two weeks. Soldiers were killed unnecessarily. Not to mention that inflation is out of control and the southern border is wide open. In addition to all that, he is looking for a federal takeover of our elections and to increase our taxes.
Your lack of respect for the military and those who died for nothing because of our feckless commander-in-chief is shameful and grotesque, quite frankly. Your flippant line, “because of the terrorist attack at the airbase where fewer than 20 people were killed” is disgusting. You are no better than Nancy Pelosi calling our federal officers in Portland “storm troopers.” We all heard Secretary of State Blinken say we inherited a withdrawal date but no plan. Well, why didn’t President Biden demand one before he withdrew our troops? This withdrawal was a complete disaster. And yes, a resignation is deserved.
Of course this Congress wasn’t going to agree on a January 6 commission. There is no comparison to 9/11. We all saw the pictures. The guy sitting at Speaker Pelosi’s desk with his legs up – does he look scary? The guy with Viking hat? The guy running with the lecturn? No one was armed and one person was killed - and not a single Democrat wants to investigate that. As for 9/11, it was a huge intelligence blunder that cost the lives of 2,977 people.
I wasn’t born at the time, but Prime Minister Gold Meir and Defense Minister David Elazar were pressured into resigning after the Yom Kippur War for the intelligence failures under their watch. As President Biden said: “The buck stops with me.” Well, then you take the blame for all of it.
A cat has nine lives and so does the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. November of this year will mark the twentieth anniversary for this quasi-independent government agency. They were formed in November 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Its original mission was to plan the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan and distribute nearly $10 billion in federal funds to support rebuilding downtown Manhattan. Anyone can clearly see that this mission has been completed. What are the political motivations for Governor Kathy Hochul, her predecessor Andrew Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for continuing to allow this agency to remain open? Has State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli or City Comptroller Scott Stringer conducted any recent audits of this agency? After twenty years, this agency should have completed its mission years ago. It is time for the LMDC to close its doors and move on.