Joy Pullmann of the Federalist sees a partisan political angle in the latest bouts of mask and vaccine mandates.

Myriad Republican lawmakers are standing idly by, letting their voters be threatened with not being able to support their families or access education due to their medical and political beliefs about the just response to COVID.

After a lull in the push to implement vaccine mandates and vaccine passports this spring — conveniently when the majority of state legislatures are in session and therefore could be more responsive to voter concerns — the issue is back with a vengeance.

Both private and public institutions are reinstituting counterproductive and ineffective COVID responses like masks due to another round of media-ginned fear about variants that are less dangerous than the original. Vaccine passports, mandates, and pressure are therefore surging again, with “learning” institutions that are really social conformity systems pushing experimental genetically based therapies, social restrictions, and face coverings, even on children who are at less risk from COVID and Delta than they are from the seasonal flu.

As with the initial COVID outbreak, the mounting hysteria and pressure are far out of proportion to reality. Now, the vast majority of high-risk people have accepted experimental protections against COVID, death rates are low, we know of effective therapeutics for hard cases, and there is plenty of hospital capacity. Daily COVID deaths are now one-fourth the average daily deaths from heart disease and one-third the average daily deaths from cancer.

We have been promised “back to normal” for more than a year, and what we are instead getting is more of the same use of that promise to force us into harmful behaviors and social re-engineerings. Republicans are largely out to lunch on this, or worse, helping. …

… [I]t should also be the prerogative of the other half of Americans to decide that they prefer the risks of a case of COVID-19, which are low for the vast majority of the population, to the risks of trying novel treatments overseen by highly politicized health agencies that have proven they put politics before science.