We are at war. It is a hot war, a life-threatening war, and potentially, a near-extinction event. This should not be a war of economics, it should not be a war of opinions. We are facing an enemy that will not miraculously vanish one day. This is a classic war of life and death. While our notions of war evoke nuclear-armed threats from another country, where a different language is spoken, in this war, the enemy won’t negotiate, won’t make a deal, is invisible, and possibly the most lethal one we have ever faced. 

At the onset of any war there is chaos, confusion and fear. In order to organize a country towards winning a war, the leadership must act quickly. A first step is to activate previously developed and practiced already in-place, historically successful plans and procedures. We adjust and augment those plans to respond to a specific threat. We must follow the advice of our best scientific minds and strategists in order to minimize casualties and focus our resources to defeat the enemy. We expect our leaders to minimize confusion, speculation, and contradictory advice especially advice promoted by non subject matter experts. These concepts are valid in both a human war and a war against a virus. When one is at war the enemy is defeated because the winner uses  overwhelming, superior intelligence and  firepower. The winner uses every available tool available. 

Our experts have emphasized that these “war winning tools” include rapid diagnostic testing, contact tracing, social distancing, the wearing of masks, and especially vaccination. Our experts have often been ignored, contradicted, marginalized by non subject matter incompetents.

There is no confusion on my part. There are no extraneous factors, economic or otherwise that supersede life. 

More recently, even after 800,000 American deaths, folks from the grass roots, right wing media and even some in Congress are having heated arguments over vaccine mandates, versus choice. There may be many valid arguments against generalized government mandates, but in my view , not in this specific case. 

The naysayers argue that the government has historically not mandated. Not true. Seat belts, auto insurance………..

When the U.S. historically declared war it mandated a draft. We are again at war, a war for survival, a war which to date has taken the lives of nearly 800,000 Americans!

This war is still very hot, and far from over, with no end in sight  

Should we wait until our death rate reaches one million, two million, three million….. before we mandate the vaccine draft. 

Or should we enact it now. 

Think about it!

*Steven J. Phillips, MD,  is a retired cardiac transplant surgeon and NIH staff scientist

He also served as an officer in the USAR from 1968-93, including two deployments to Vietnam. He and his wife are live in Coronado.

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