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Sauce for the Goose Is Sauce for the Gander

Summary:
Here’s a letter to a woman who is aggressively hostile to me: Ms. H___: You write that I “damage [my] already low credibility” by linking at Café Hayek (as I do today) to Prof. Robert Kaplan’s Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he counsels against the demonization of persons who are reluctant to get a Covid-19 vaccine. I don’t see how. Prof. Kaplan is a respected member of the medical faculties of Stanford University and UCLA. More importantly, the counsel that he offers in the WSJ is wise. Contrary to what you suppose, it’s meant to encourage more people to get vaccinated. You also write that “now’s not the time to give aid & comfort to people with irrational fears which keep them from behaving to keep themselves and others safe.” I’m sorry, but this accusation is too much. If it is

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Here’s a letter to a woman who is aggressively hostile to me:

Ms. H___:

You write that I “damage [my] already low credibility” by linking at Café Hayek (as I do today) to Prof. Robert Kaplan’s Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he counsels against the demonization of persons who are reluctant to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

I don’t see how. Prof. Kaplan is a respected member of the medical faculties of Stanford University and UCLA. More importantly, the counsel that he offers in the WSJ is wise. Contrary to what you suppose, it’s meant to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

You also write that “now’s not the time to give aid & comfort to people with irrational fears which keep them from behaving to keep themselves and others safe.”

I’m sorry, but this accusation is too much. If it is acceptable, as it now is, to act to avoid even the most minuscule of risks posed by SARS-CoV-2, why is it unacceptable to act to avoid even the most minuscule of risks posed by vaccines? If it is praiseworthy, as it now is, to treat even very small prospects of suffering from Covid as if these prospects loom large, why is it blameworthy to treat even very small prospects of suffering from vaccination as if these prospects loom large?

I, personally, don’t oppose vaccines. But no vaccine – no anything in this vale – is risk-free. As such, extraordinary hypocrisy is committed by those, such as yourself, whose fear of Covid leads them to believe that even vanishingly small risks of harm from Covid justify avoiding Covid at all costs, but who then scold others whose fear of vaccines leads them to believe that even vanishingly small risks of harm from vaccines justify avoiding vaccines at all costs.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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