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State Sen. Elliott: COVID protocol, vaccines raise questions about sacrificing personal liberty to feel safer

Front and center, both as a political matter and as a policy matter, is what approach should government at all levels take to combat the reported rise in coronavirus cases because of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.

In Alabama, measures have been instituted to protect a laissez-faire system that leaves much of the decision-making up to the individual, and others have been proposed to decentralize the power within the executive branch during a crisis.

State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) cautions against the historical precedent of being willing to cede individual liberty to the government in the name of personal safety. During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5 on Friday, Elliott emphasized the need for principled leaders.

“[I] was very much in favor of that legislation and it moving forward,” he said, speaking about efforts to roll back executive authority granted under certain emergency situations. “I just don’t know that the will will be there unless something that is terribly offensive in the mind of legislators — some overstep, some recent overstep by the executive branch. If you look at erosions of liberty around the world over time, they have been in response, and they have been because the electorate was in fear. And that is something that is terribly important to remember. Take a comparative politics look at it, look at erosions of liberty. It is fear that allowed that to happen. And that is what concerns me now — is that folks are willing to sacrifice personal liberty to feel safer. That is a scary thing from a principles standpoint and why I think it is so important to have principled leaders who are willing to stand up for individual freedoms and individual rights.”

“Folks are very concerned about that, and they’re very concerned about being told what to do from a health care standpoint,” Elliott added. “They don’t like that coming from insurance companies. They don’t like that coming from their government. They want to make their own decisions with their doctor. That is something the government needs to be respectful of. And I will say this: People need to talk to their doctor. They need to talk to their primary care physician about whether or not a vaccine is appropriate for them.  Each and every person is different and they need to make that decision with their doctor, in consultation with their doctor and without the government telling them what to do.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.