Letters to the Editor: ‘General welfare’ is in the Constitution. Mandate vaccines already

 Jasmine Daughtry, 31, throws her arms in the air after being vaccinated against COVID-19 in Los Angeles on Aug. 4.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (“No more playing around for the unvaccinated,” editorial, Aug. 5)

This is the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, which elected officials swear to uphold and defend. Yes, one of the Constitution’s purposes is to “promote the general welfare.”

We are in a middle of a pandemic, and the virus is mutating into more transmissible forms. We should demand that all our elected officials commit to fighting to end the pandemic, and that includes mandating vaccination, masks, hand washing and social distancing.

Vaccines are safe, and we and our children are resilient. Let’s all work for general welfare.


Danute Handy, Santa Barbara


To the editor: One can agree or disagree with people on their decisions regarding vaccination, but when we start talking approvingly about government compulsion and even contemplate government restriction of things that people need to live, it’s time to slow down.

What about civil liberties? What about the “small issue” of individual freedom? Personal choice? What about control of our bodies? Remember, these vaccines have received only emergency use authorization and are not yet fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

And what about the fact that vaccination rates are lower in certain minority communities? Wouldn’t we then have to conclude that folks would be justified in saying that The Times Editorial Board is racist?

For what other individual choices should government start to issue mandates? Should government do similar things for obesity? Alcohol consumption? Meat eating? Driving too many miles? Living in too big a house?

Do we really want government mandates of our behavior of this sort?

Michael S. Klein, Los Angeles


To the editor: Can someone please explain to me how people who refuse to be vaccinated and have children under the age of 12, who cannot get their shots yet, can consider themselves to be good parents?

Susan Greenberg. Los Angeles