Robin Cornwell

Stillwater

To the editor:

Some readers may balk at a shot requirement coming from Joe Biden, but there’s a long history of vaccine requirements in the U.S.

Might people feel differently if the requirement came from George Washington, or if the admonishment to vaccinate came from Benjamin Franklin? In requiring troops to be inoculated with smallpox, Washington saved the lives of soldiers fighting in the American revolution. It’s impossible to know what might have happened if Washington hadn’t taken this step, but usually the smaller army loses.

In his autobiography, Ben Franklin pointedly warned parents not to make the mistake of failing to recognize the greater danger – disease (in Franklin’s case, smallpox), not prevention (inoculation, or, in modern times, vaccination). To quote Franklin, “I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of 4 years old, by the smallpox.... I long regretted bitterly and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of the parents who omit the operation, on the supposition that they would never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.”

I urge all eligible readers to choose the safer option – roll up their sleeves and vaccinate, for the health and safety of our community, our state, the country, and the world.

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