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did US vaccine mandates increase uptake?
or is this just another exercise in taking credit for the sunrise?
politicians are justly famous for their longstanding tendency to take credit for that which was happening anyway. they take credit for GDP, for jobs growth, heck, they’d probably take credit for the trees turning green in the spring if they could figure out how to tax you for it.
but when they tend to produce beneficial outcomes, it’s almost always by “getting out of the way.” when they seek instead to get in the way and manipulate markets, you get things like tariffs that hike prices on US consumers so much that they wind up paying $800-900k for each job “saved” in some protected industry.
but what about when they intervene in health and health choices? does that work? do vaccines mandates actually result in more people being vaccinated?
joe biden seems to think so.
but as is so often the case with politicians, the data seems to show something altogether different. it looks like these mandates had no discernable effect at all on vaccine uptake.
here’s the chart with dates of federal policy highlighted.
it’s easier to see if we plot it as a rate of change so i plotted each day vs the day before and then added a 7 day moving average.
as can be readily seen, these july policies did not create an infection point. rate was already rising when they went into place and that slope stayed awfully constant.
the 7 day MA was .113 the day before mandate and peaked 13 days later on 8/10 at .15. 13 days earlier it had been .081.
so it rose .032 in the 13 days before the mandate and then .037 in the 13 days following before peaking, going into decline, bottoming at 0.07 on 9/28, and currently sits at 0.081, well below where it was pre mandate.
the slope of the line shows no effect from the mandate.
overall % with at least one vaxx stands at 64.3% today. it was 56.5% when this mandate went into place 71 days ago. with no “control group” this can be described as success. but, if we look at that rate of change in the 71 days before the mandate, it looks less impressive. it was 47.09% then.
so we saw 7.8 percentage points of rise in the 71 days post mandate vs 9.4 points in the 71 days prior.
nor did biden’s strange and defeated sounding speech on 9/9 arrest a decline already underway. apparently, whispering “get vaccinated” to the american people does not garner much compliance.
i mean, we can, and politicians doubtless will, create some sort of hypothetical counterfactual and say “well it would have been lower had we not done X, diminishing returns, yadda yadda” but this seems a dubious exercise given the lack of any apparent effect on the rates of change as shown above.
it looks like these mandates bought nothing.
and they came as significant cost. they came at the cost of freedom and of setting dangerous precedents for federal intrusion into bodily integrity and such powers, once grasped, are never used only once any or by only one group of leaders.
“your body my choice” is a dangerous prerogative for the state. (thought experiment HERE.)
inevitably every power ceded to government is eventually wielded by the politicians you hate most.
and while sure, bernie has always been a bit of a, well, bernie, keep in mind that politics are moving towards, not away from him and his authoritarian instincts right now.
and these are the kinds of folks aiming to grab such powers.
heck, he does not even think that sitting US senators should have a right to vote their conscience and constituency. they should get in line and do what the party says.
imagine mistaking that for leadership of free people.
and meanwhile, police and doctors and nurses and nursing home caregivers are being fired and quitting all over the US due to these mandates as career politicians who would not know which end of a tongue depressor to put in the autoclave (pro tip: neither) substitute their blanket views on medicine for those of actual physicians and seek to impose one size fits few policy from afar rather than trusting the individual case knowledge and risk/benefit assessment of trained professionals.
new york is already seeing such staffing issues that the new governor is looking to call up the national guard to fill the holes her policies have made while claiming that the “vaccines are from god” and, in the name of all the world’s religious leaders, calling for what sounds an awful lot like a crusade cum inquisition. that one sounds like she’s about 15 seconds from claiming to have invented the question mark…
the price in liberty and institutional function for these policies looks rife. self determination is abrogated, bodily integrity violated, and lives and livelihoods are held hostage by diktat.
and it doesn’t even work.
all these threats do not alter behavior.
why, it’s almost as if “a product so good we have to force it on you” is not much of a sales pitch and engenders more skepticism than assurance.
whodda thunk it?