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  • Writer's pictureJoe D'Orsie

Washington's Supposed Vax Mandate | 5 Important Facts

The mainstream media’s darling of late, in an effort to coax people into getting vaccinated against COVID, has been the tale of George Washington’s sweeping vaccine mandate of American lore. Surely our nation’s progenitor, whose judgment was impeccable (at least when it’s convenient for liberal arguers), could push those still doubting over the edge to join the chorus of science first and everything else second. Numerous liberal news sources have run stories cherry picking this story and using it as a weapon to wield against so-called anti-vaxxers. But, as is the case with much of the junk written by these modern-day yellow journalists, the story is missing a few key facts. Some variation of the following has been parroted by the liberal talking heads: George Washington once issued a national vaccine mandate to combat the variola virus (aka Smallpox). Here are a few inconvenient facts about that story.

1. This “mandate” occurred in February of 1777. We wouldn’t officially become a nation until somewhere around the time when our founders created the first draft of our Articles of Confederation (November, 1777) the Constitution was ratified (June, 1788), and George Washington was inaugurated as our first president (April, 1789). So, there was simply nothing “national” about this “mandate,” for starters.

2. The smallpox vaccine mandate, issued by General Washington near Philadelphia, was a very narrow and focused directive. He issued all soldiers encamped near Philadelphia or travelling through it to be inoculated. This group totaled no more than 15,000 men. This was not a broad mandate affecting all Americans.

3. The smallpox vaccine was invented in… 1796. Yes, you read that correctly. The Smallpox vaccine was invented 19 years after Washington supposedly issued a mandate for all soldiers to be vaccinated. What Washington did, however, which is more so a scientific argument for natural herd immunity than it is for vaccines, was to infect new recruits with the virus so that they could recover and in turn be immune by the time fighting was expected of them.

4. Comparing COVID-19 to Smallpox is kind of like comparing a pen knife to a howitzer. Smallpox, at the time of Washington’s order, was killing about 3 of 10 people. The casualties were much denser amongst Native Americans, tragically. COVID-19, on the other hand, has killed less than 1% of the people it has infected, or under 0.1/10.

5. These guys were…volunteers. The Continental Army was comprised mostly of volunteers. This means, in most cases, that they could leave to go home any time they so desired, and they actually did – the best example of this was at Valley Forge one year after this “mandate.” Thousands deserted the Valley Forge encampment and Washington’s forces dwindled significantly as they wintered in crude huts during the fateful Winter season of 1777/1778.

A final point I’d like to make is this… there are some sectors of American history that I know a good deal about… Our nation’s founding and the personalities who forged our Republic, the Civil War era, the World War II era, and the history of our nation’s revivals and moves of God. This particular topic, illnesses and inoculation mandates in our country’s early years, is an area where I have limited knowledge, admittedly. But, rather than take a story that sounds off as the unrivaled truth, I took 15 minutes to check it out, and, it proved to be mostly false. Not a meme posted to Facebook, not a Washington Post headline, just 15 minutes of research.

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