MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace was slammed for comments Thursday that the debate over personal choice on coronavirus vaccines had gone too far and people were not free to resume their “pre-pandemic life” if they weren’t willing to “carry your burden in society.”
Reacting to relaxed federal guidelines on mask-wearing for vaccinated people, Wallace asked medical contributor Dr. Vin Gupta about why the debate over vaccinations was controversial. Gupta had discussed the operational difficulties on the ground for society to follow the guidelines, as unvaccinated persons are still recommended by the government to wear masks in public.
“I understand right to privacy and a right to freedom, but I don’t have a right to go to my workplace unvaccinated. I don’t have a right to send my kid to school without testing him to make sure he doesn’t become a vector for disease,” Wallace said. “Has this debate gone too far? Sure, you can do what you want, but it doesn’t mean you get to go on with your pre-pandemic life if you’re not willing to carry your burden in society.”
Gupta, an adviser to President Biden’s campaign who said last year that vaccinated persons would need to wear masks at least into the summer, replied that the previous year’s events had distorted the “concept of freedom.”
“Freedom used to be the ability to live a long, healthy life and do what you wanted for the extent of that life,” he said. “But practically what is freedom? It is the ability to say yes or no to the mask in the worst days of this pandemic or to say yes or no to a vaccine … Why is this a flashpoint? Because other common-sense things the last 18 months have been flashpoints.”