This is going to be a tough conversation. There’s a lot of fighting going on right now over vaccines and masks. I’ve already been asked about my opinions, both while meeting people in person and through e-mail. This is where I am. This is my own principled stance:
Please, don’t ask me for medical advice. Don’t ask any politician for medical advice, or moral advice, for that matter. Politicians, as a whole, have earned a reputation as the least trusted profession in America.
I get the irony. I’m a guy running for political office telling you not to trust anyone running for political office. But seriously, I mean it.
Ask your doctor. Ask your friends and acquaintances who happen to be medical professionals. But please don’t ask a politician.
There is a ton of information circulating around. Some of that information is good, and some of it is not so good. I can’t tell you anything about the virus or the vaccine or masks that you haven’t already heard from a dozen other sources. You have probably already made up your mind about what you believe. I don’t want to taint good information by associating it with a reputation you don’t trust, or to share information that might turn out later to not be true.
I don’t agree with politically-driven vaccine or mask mandates, from either a moral or a practical standpoint. “Do unto others” means respecting that others may make personal decisions that I don’t agree with or understand, whether that decision is to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. Sometimes those decisions may even seem dangerous. I have a right to take protective measures for myself and my family. I don’t have a right to interfere with another person’s body. And from a practical standpoint, human nature being what it is, if I try to force my decision on other people, it’s going to get ugly. I don’t want that. We’ve got enough of a mess without the fighting.
If you see me in public, you may see me wearing a mask, or else the mask may be in my pocket. I’m going to make the decision that makes me feel comfortable in the circumstances I am in. I’m going to trust others to do the same.
For better or for worse, that’s where I stand.