The Twitter account of New Jersey state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon was suspended for 12 hours after the lawmaker posted a message critical of of mandatory vaccinations and “vaccine passports.”
New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman Bob Hugin responded with outrage, but the lawmaker is probably going to cash in on a punishment that many GOP politicians wear like a badge of honor.
“This appalling suppression of free speech is an assault on our democracy, and is as unacceptable as it is un-American. I call on Twitter to reinstate Senator Declan O’Scanlon’s account immediately,” said Hugin. “In expressing opposition to mandatory vaccine passports, Senator O’Scanlon gave voice to the many New Jerseyans who have legitimate concerns about privacy and civil liberties by being required to show proof of vaccination to participate in everyday activities.”
There is some irony that the same Republicans who demand that voters be required to show ID in order to cast a ballot are opposed to proving that a person is inoculated against a deadly contagion before being admitted into as crowded polling place.
“I’m guessing that O’Scanlon’s tweet got him suspended because of the article it linked to,” opined Politico correspondent Matt Freidman. “But it’s an arbitrary decision when you look at the straight up lies published on that site every day.”
Our nation has a long history of vaccine success. Childhood vaccines have saved millions of lives and billions of dollars in health care costs. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program collects an excise tax on every such vaccine administered in the event of adverse events requiring compensation.
In 2020, the fund had a cumulative surplus of $4 billion, one indicator of how safe childhood vaccines have been, but Republicans have waged a war of misinformation about the coronavirus, which spread wildly as a result of the Trump administration’s incompetent response in the early days of disease and mistakes made even before then.
Twitter has permanently suspended numerous accounts that spread Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election or pushed for partisan “audits” to find evidence to support those falsehoods, as well as the former president’s account.
Twitter said the accounts were permanently suspended for violating the Twitter rules on platform manipulation and spam.