RICHMOND, Va. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Virginia's top health official is facing backlash for his desire to force Wuhan-virus vaccines on all Virginians.
Doctor Norman Oliver, the state health commissioner, told 8News on Friday that he intends to mandate COVID-19 vaccines once they become available. Oliver strongly opposes a state bill that would permit religious exemption from the mandate, but imagines "the overwhelming majority of people would, in fact, respond well." He did not speculate on punishment for non-compliance.
Faithful Catholics are denouncing Oliver's scheme.
"Virginia authorities have been using the Wuhan virus to expand their power far beyond the legitimate exercise of their authority," Dr. Christopher Manion, longtime U.S. Senate staffer and Catholic author, told Church Militant. "They have told Catholics throughout the Commonwealth that, for our 'safety,' we were barred from the Mass and other sacraments for months."
"Now they turn to predictions — that their absolute power extends into the far future, to the day that a virus 'has proven to be safe,'" continued Manion, referring to the compulsory vaccination proposed. "This conforms to the Democrats' efforts to impose a radical agenda in every possible way, legal or not, in the year that they have left before Virginia's off-year elections."
"Forcing a vaccine on Virginians that has not been properly tested and has not been given the proper time to determine long-term side effects is tantamount to assault with a deadly weapon," Michael Hichborn of Lepanto Institute told Church Militant.
The Arlington diocese provided Church Militant with the following statement:
We have heard follow up reports indicating the Commissioner clarified his statement, noting it was a personal position and not a policy objective on which the Northam administration plans to take action.
Church teaching supports vaccinations as a public health tool. There are religious objections to vaccines which have been developed through the destruction of or testing on human fetuses or embryonic stem cells. The issue of vaccines should always be considered carefully and in consultation with the public who stands to benefit or suffer under its application.
We will be monitoring the situation closely as well as the development and efficacy of vaccines related to COVID-19. If a vaccine becomes available and moral questions arise, the diocese of Arlington will certainly work to communicate with the faithful about their moral and prudential options.
Under condition of anonymity, a priest with experience in the medical field weighed in on moral and medical aspects of what is playing out in Virginia.
"For me, as a cleric, the use of vaccines and how they are developed now, as opposed to how they were manufactured 50 years ago, raises many serious ethical questions," said the clergyman. "How is it ethical at all to use a vaccine developed from the stem cells harvested from aborted fetal tissue?"
"And what is the cost for taking such a vaccine? Your relationship with the Almighty?" he asked rhetorically. "I for one don't feel at all comfortable with developing any medicine or virus from any aborted child. And I don't want the cells from this child injected into my body, dead or alive."
"And, how is it justified to mandate everyone be vaccinated for a virus with a relatively minuscule morbidity rate. The current morbidity rate for the Wuhan virus is a low 2% for those infected, as shown from a recent state of Arizona analysis," he continued, addressing the medical aspect. "Moreover, the rate of individuals having paradoxical, adverse, detrimental, life-threatening reactions to receiving vaccines is a reality, as are the morbidity rates."
"In this instance, the cure for Wuhan virus may be far worse than the disease," the priest concluded.
Prior to his current appointment, Oliver served as the deputy commissioner for population health for the Virginia Department of Health. According to his official biography, he has a long record of "studying health inequities, particularly as it affects racial and ethnic minorities."
Oliver's most recent research interests "lie in the area of improving our understanding of the role of racial discrimination, bias and prejudice in establishing and maintaining these health inequities and the understanding of the interplay between race and socioeconomic position in these disparities."
"Improving our understanding of racial and ethnic health disparities and developing effective interventions to reduce or eliminate them are major goals of the health department," continues that section of the biography.
"Northam was almost forced to retire last year when it was revealed that he and Attorney General [Mark] Herring had both worn blackface in their post-college years," Manion recalled, referring to headlines from February 2019. Northam was forced to apologize for his medical yearbook page with a photo of one person dressed in blackface and another in the KKK's signature white hood and robes.
"It's obvious that they quickly did a deal with the national Democrat machine and its allies at the Washington Post that they survived; the Post would lay off if Northam and Herring toed the line," explained Manion. "Failing that, the Post could ruin them in a fortnight, the way it did when it ended the career of pro-life Republican Sen. George Allen."
One month prior to the racist scandal, Northam, a medical doctor, made headlines for his support of infanticide. Speaking of legislation on failed, late-term abortions, Northam explained exactly what would happen if the bill he supported passed.
"The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable," he said. "The infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother."
Manion said Northam "insists that he 'wants to keep us safe,' but last year he advocated infanticide for children who survived a late-term abortion."
"As a pediatrician, he has betrayed the safety of the most innocent Virginians — both unborn and the newly born," he added. "His health commissioner is cut out of the same cloth. Even Virginia's liberal media have attacked Northam and Oliver for hiding the truth about deaths in nursing homes due to the virus."
"This is the first time in Virginia history that religious freedom has been so savagely attacked at its core," said Manion.
Echoing Manion, Hichborn said, "Virginian citizens are not guinea pigs, and for Gov. Northam's administration to treat us as such is a gross violation of our human dignity and our rights as both Virginians and Americans."
"It's time to remind Virginia's tyrannical administration what the motto of this commonwealth actually means," he added.
George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, designed the Virginia seal, which was adopted in 1776 and modified in 1930. The motto is "Sic Semper Tyrannis," which is Latin for "Thus Always to Tyrants." The motto implies tyrants should or will always meet a bad end.
Church Militant reached out to the diocese of Richmond for comment but received no response as of press time.