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Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers are deadly, not principled

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By Timothy L. O'Brien

Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican, is a controversial former police officer and car dealer. The "Cajun John Wayne" is neither a virologist nor an epidemiologist, and he has disclosed that he contracted COVID-19 (or what he calls "the CCP biological attack weaponized virus") for the second time. He hasn't said if he has been vaccinated but suggested on Facebook that he plans to treat his malady with "western, eastern, and holistic variables."

Providing informed public health guidance ― and requiring compliance ― isn't his thing, anyway.

"If you want to get vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you don't, then don't. That's your right as a free American," he noted on Facebook in May. "I do not support mandatory vaccines, mask mandates, or any form of required vaccine passport. In fact, I am introducing legislation making mandated or forced compliance with medical procedures a federal crime."

Attempting to criminalize public health measures, which can intimidate health experts even if legislation never passes, dovetails with the philosophy and tactics of Higgins' fellow travelers. As The Washington Post reported July 25, Republican........

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