Two years ago, a reasonable reader might have chalked this up to a crazy conspiracy theory. Times have changed and what seemed impossible in the United States of American just got a little more possible.
This week, the Salt Lake City Tribune called for the National Guard to be used to keep people in their homes — if they are unvaccinated for Covid-19.
The editorial is titled, “Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic. Cowardice and misinformation at all levels have left each one of us to fight this battle alone.”
The editorial said the government should “deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.”
Then the newspaper singled out Republicans as a special problem for combating the virus.
“Government officials, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, were apparently determined not to be caught governing in the face of this challenge. Any move or recommendation to mask up or, when safe and effective vaccines became available, to make vaccination a requirement of admission to public places and society in general was shouted down as an unwarranted imposition on individual freedoms,” the Tribune said, before going after Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox. “Cox and so many others have not carried the courage of their convictions. Cox, state legislative leaders, our congressional delegation and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes have so proudly stood against the kind of vaccine mandates that civilized society has used for generations to effectively wipe out everything from polio to diphtheria to the measles.”
The editorial took a kinder, gentler approach to President Joe Biden, praising him for trying to mandate vaccines nationwide, and wishing he would do more, faster.
“President Joe Biden tried to pull a couple of useful levers by ordering vaccine mandates for health care workers and vaccine-or-test rules for workplaces of more than 100 employees. The U.S. Supreme Court this week upheld the former while quashing the latter, foolishly holding that a communicable disease is not a workplace hazard,” the editorial board said. “Not that Biden is blameless in all this. Seeing the obvious reluctance of so many people to get, or to require, vaccinations has only now moved him to push to make tests and the most effective kind of masks available to everyone. It’s the right thing to do, but months late.”
The Salt Lake City Tribune was purchased by billionaire Utah businessman Paul Huntsman in 2016. Huntsman is a Republican.