A chilling executive order was issued by a newspaper’s editorial board last week and most of the mainstream media, as well as the political class, seem to be working overtime to ignore it. They should not.

The editorial encouraged a draconian punishment that the United States must never allow. The liberal Salt Lake Tribune has called for the National Guard to be used to lock down unvaccinated Utah citizens, so they can’t go “everywhere.”

The editorial notably stated, “If Utah were a truly civilized place, the Governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going so far as to deploy the National Guard. to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.

What could be the next step for the editorial board of the Tribune? For the Guard to imitate the military of the People’s Republic of China and lock unvaccinated Utah residents in their homes?

The newspaper’s editors apparently want to prevent some of their fellow citizens from participating in society or life in general. Why? Because they have legally chosen not to be vaccinated.

Do the millions of other Americans who choose not to receive vaccines or boosters, for whatever reason, have the right as Americans to make that choice? Surveys show that some are waiting to determine the potential long-term risk of side effects; some have religious objections or, perhaps, allergies. And some just want to exercise personal choice.

They most certainly have the right to do so, just as the hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the world have the right to receive the vaccines they believe will lessen the severe effects of the virus.

Some experts, like the White House’s chief medical adviser Dr Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThese Senate seats are up for grabs in 2022 A year into Biden’s presidency, we’re just burying more overdose victims Stop saying ‘breakthrough cases’ – that doesn’t help MORE, said that omicron, the latest variant of COVID, will eventually infect “pretty much everyone” sooner or later, including – as we witness – some of those who are vaccinated. These experts assume that the virus will eventually turn into something akin to a “bad cold” or “the average flu.”

If that happened, would the Salt Lake Tribune then ask that those who are not vaccinated against the seasonal flu every year be prevented by the National Guard from participating in life? Where would the newspaper’s editorial board draw the line in using the US military as a tool of enforcement against law-abiding citizens?

In a sarcastic response to the newspaper’s tyrannical wish, Christina Pushaw, press secretary to the governor of Florida. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisTrans Rights Under Attack: Persecution Should End Now Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis Completes Breast Cancer Chemo Treatment Trump By The Numbers: 2024 Ain’t Simple MORE, tweeted“I think we should deploy the National Guard to shut down the corporate media that spread terror and misinformation. We can start with you guys.

Just kidding, this is America – we shouldn’t use the military to end our fellow citizens’ disagreement. Are you crazy?”

Much of the debate that has swirled around the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic and the early containment measures has been more political than “crazy”. The hyper-partisanship – which infects some on both sides of this debate – is a toxic poison that prevents us from combining the talents of our scientists and doctors to defeat an enemy capable of targeting any of us, regardless of either our ideology or our position in life.

I cannot stress enough how disturbing I find the Salt Lake Tribune editorial. This is a stark example of an un-American diktat.

As I write this, the Prime Minister Boris JohnsonUK’s Boris Johnson says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would be a “disaster” for the whole world. UK lawmaker accuses government of blackmailing Boris Johnson into power The Hill’s Morning Report – Powered by Facebook – Biden speaks, Senate balks MORE announced that the UK will lift its work-from-home order and, from January 27, the country’s vaccination passports will be a thing of the past, as will the requirement to wear face masks indoors.

So, will the Salt Lake Tribune next go after our ally across the Atlantic, suggesting that Scotland Yard and MI5 round up all the citizens there who dare not follow their dictates? Could they call for Johnson’s resignation?

What would they say if other European nations decided to adopt the same strategy, or – perish that thought – if some “blue” states and cities here in the United States suddenly did the same?

Surely there is at least one person at the Salt Lake Tribune who understands that overheated ideological rhetoric inflames an already dire situation and can spur some twisted, hate-filled minds into action.

The virus is our common enemy, not those with opinions different from ours. We all have to work together to try to overcome it. We should not choose our fellow Americans to persecute.

Douglas MacKinnon, a policy and communications consultant, was a White House writer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, and former Special Assistant for Policy and Communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration.