ARKANSAS, USA — Thursday, President Joe Biden announced new federal vaccine requirements that mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly.
Two sheriffs in Arkansas do not agree with this all-out effort to curb the surging COVID-19 delta variant, and they posted letters on Facebook that said they will not mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their employees. Letters signed by Cleburne County Sheriff Chris Brown and Faulkner County Sheriff Tim Ryals each were posted to their department’s respective Facebook accounts.
The following is the letter signed by Sheriff Chris Brown and posted the day after President Biden’s announcement:
Since March of 2020, we have seen much controversy over COVID, mandates, restrictions, lockdowns, vaccines, and a number of other things. We have watched as this topic has divided families, friends, and coworkers. We have seen an unprecedented amount of division, hate, and contention among Americans. With the rollout of the COVID vaccines, that division has become more and more widened, and the vitriol more intense between those who believe in the vaccines, those who don’t, and those who are undecided.
As law enforcement officers, our first duty and what we swear an oath to, is to support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Arkansas. It is in that defense and the defense of individual liberty that the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office has not, and will not mandate the COVID vaccine for any of our employees. Just like with the flu shot, their choice to get vaccinated or not is theirs and theirs alone, and we respect their decisions.
I am not pro-vaccine, and I am not anti-vaccine. I am pro-freedom, and I am for each person’s ability and responsibility to decide for themselves (in conjunction with their doctor) whether or not to get the vaccine.
I am appalled at some of the absolute dictator-like things we are seeing from the Federal Government, and several of the State Governments. It is absolute tyranny, and completely abhorrent. It flies in the face of everything our country has always stood for, and is only furthering the damage and division done to the people of this wonderful nation.
CS Lewis said this: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
It's time for our politicians and other public servants to stand up and remember that their first responsibility is to protect people’s rights, not to run their lives.
Sheriff Chris Brown
Biden has also signed an executive order requiring vaccination for all employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government. No testing opt-out is expected to be included for the executive branch requirement.