In a polarized nation confronted with a new strain of the coronavirus, a vaccine mandate may pit vaccine resisters against employers. While 78% of those getting at least one shot support the employer mandate, 71% of vaccine resisters oppose the mandate.
The latest IBD/TIPP Poll revealed that 52% of the respondents were fully vaccinated. Another 14% were partially vaccinated. But, there has been no marked change in the percentage of vaccine skeptics and resisters. Over a quarter of the population has refused to be immunized, with 16% resolutely against getting the shot.
At the same time, Americans continue to support employers making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for their employees.
The Investor's Business Daily/TIPP Poll conducted in late June/early July, in which 1,424 American adults participated, found that support for mandatory Covid-19 vaccination demands from employers held steady at 61%.
The response to the query, "Do you support or oppose employers requiring vaccination by employees?" reads:
- 36% Strong support
- 25% Support somewhat
- 19% Strong opposition
- 13% Oppose somewhat
The numbers have held steady since the previous IBD/TIPP Poll. The lockdowns and restrictions induced by the Covid-19 pandemic have taken a toll on the country's economy and personal finances of the people. As Americans eagerly look forward to going back to pre-pandemic normalcy, disturbing trends of rising infections, especially in states with low vaccination rates, have raised concerns about another wave of the pandemic.
The vaccination issue is complex. Many believe that getting inoculated or not is a matter of personal choice. But, the unvaccinated could become potential carriers or spreaders of the coronavirus, putting others at unnecessary risk.
Concerns about the long-term effects of the vaccine and reports of severe side effects are factors contributing to the hesitancy. Further, many continue to question the overwhelming data put out by health workers and experts that attest to the safety and efficiency of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Employers and business owners may have few options other than to impose a vaccine mandate to provide a safe working and business environment.
Both conservatives (40%) and Republicans (47%) oppose making vaccines mandatory for employees.
The higher transmission rates and the persistent chances of getting infected with the new strains of the coronavirus, despite being vaccinated, are a cause for worry for many Americans. 67% of those who participated in the IBD/TIPP Poll said they were concerned that the new COVID-19 strains would worsen the pandemic in the U.S.
There have been talks of vaccine passports, and digital health passes to facilitate the opening up of the world economies. International travel hinges on vaccination certificates and recent negative COVID-19 test results. To ensure safety and reduce the risk of infection, many institutions and facilities have had to resort to measures that exclude the unvaccinated for the larger good.
Legitimate concerns about the vaccine's long-term effects and reports of severe side effects will have to be sincerely addressed to bring down the number of vaccine resisters. At the same time, supporters of a vaccine mandate believe it is a necessary evil that might facilitate the safe reopening of the economy. Balancing legitimate personal concerns with the concept of the greater good is a big challenge facing a largely polarized nation confronting a new virus strain.
Washington and Berlin have committed to imposing sanctions on Russia and German companies should Moscow use the pipeline as a political weapon.
Congressional aides briefed on the deal's outlines said it would allow the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline without either Germany or Russia facing new U.S. sanctions. In return, the U.S. and Germany will make certain concessions to Ukraine and Poland.
Poland, Ukraine, and other eastern and central European countries bypassed by the pipeline are concerned that Russia will use gas supplies as a political weapon.
Under the terms of the expected U.S.-Germany agreement, Ukraine would get $50m in green energy technology credits, a guarantee of repayment for gas transit fees it will lose by being bypassed by the pipeline through 2024. Both Germany and the U.S. will likely pledge that sanctions will be revisited should Russia use the gas as a political weapon.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will travel to China to hold talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and others, making it the highest-level visit by a U.S. official to China in months.
The planned discussions are "part of ongoing U.S. efforts to hold candid exchanges" with Chinese officials to advance U.S. interests and values and to "responsibly manage the relationship," the State Department said.
The deputy secretary will also discuss areas where the United States has "serious concerns" about Beijing's actions and areas where U.S. interests align.
Sherman's itinerary for her Asia trip initially only mentioned Japan, South Korea, and Mongolia. However, the State Department added that she would also travel to Oman after staying in the northeastern Chinese city of Tianjin.
China's putting on a show for Qurban Eid under international pressure,' says Ilshat Hassan of the World Uyghur Congress.
Chinese officials organized a Qurban Eid news conference in the XUAR's capital Urumqi featuring five Uyghurs from Urumchi (Wulumuqi) and the cities of Turpan (Tulufan), Aksu (Aksu), and Kashgar (Kashi), to talk about the Eid holidays.
Qelbinur Sidik, who taught Chinese at internment camps for nearly two years, dismissed the press conference as "Chinese propaganda" aimed at trying to show that Uyghurs enjoy religious freedom.
Qelbinur, an ethnic Uzbek teacher from Urumqi, provided witness testimony on unsanitary conditions in the camps and evidence of forced sterilization and the forced medication of Uyghurs at the Uyghur Tribunal in London.
Since April, dozens of female soldiers have become part of the security services that monitor pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, the birthplaces of Islam.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed through social and economic reforms as part of plans to modernize the conservative Muslim kingdom and attract foreign investment under a diversification drive.
Under his reform plan, known as Vision 2030, the crown prince lifted a driving ban on women, allowed adult women to travel without permission from guardians, and granted them more control over family matters.
But the reform plan has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including on women's rights activists.
Saudi Arabia has restricted the haj to Saudi citizens and residents for the second year in a row, barring millions of other pilgrims from abroad in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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