The Freedom From Religion Foundation is renewing its urgent request to Madison and Dane County authorities to require proof of fully vaccinated status to engage in indoor dining, bars, nightclubs, gyms, theaters and other such events.
In a follow-up to its August 13 letter to the mayor, county executive and Madison & Dane County Board of Health, FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker write: “With strong leadership and evidence-based approaches, we in Dane County could be doing even better in defeating the spread of Covid-19. We are sure you share our dismay in seeing Dane County remain on the CDC’s ‘high’ rating for Covid spread, and going from being among the most fully vaccinated counties in the nation in early summer to being surpassed by many counties.”
FFRF notes that various counties in the San Francisco area, plus the cities of New York and New Orleans have greatly surpassed Dane County’s full vaccination rate of about 71 percent because they have wisely required proof of fully vaccinated status to enter many places of public accommodation. Gaylor and Barker also cite countries such as Italy and Switzerland that have shown true leadership in enacting follow-the-science Covid vaccination mandates.
“Begging, bribing and (sadly) reasoning with vaccine-hesitant individuals has not done the job,” notes FFRF. “Governmental policies must therefore step in so science and reason will prevail." In addition to urging mandates for proof of vaccination, FFRF exhorts Madison and Dane county authorities to expand and improve rapid testing to work hand in hand with vaccinations to stop the spread.
“We are fortunate indeed that science works, that science and the tax dollars invested in the vaccines, and the round-the-clock work of heroic researchers and clinicians, have produced multiple vaccines which could, if fully utilized, spare lives and health on a global scale and put an end to this pandemic. Until we reach herd immunity here . . . public officials and leaders must do everything within your power to hasten herd immunity in Dane County,” FFRF concludes.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is committed to countering the disinformation and anti-science rhetoric endangering public health in Madison and throughout the nation. FFRF this week also renewed calls to its home school district, the Madison Metropolitan School District, to urge vaccination mandates for eligible students, following the lead of Los Angeles and a few forward-thinking California districts. FFRF warns MMSD that religious exemptions for staff are unnecessary, unconstitutional and unwise.
The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate. With more than 35,000 members and chapters all over the country, including 1,500-plus members in Wisconsin, the organization also educates the public about nontheism.