A Canadian ethics professor gave a powerful lesson in ethics last week, using herself as an example in what she believed would be her final lesson after 20 years of teaching.
“Today, I’m going to teach you a short lesson on a universally accepted ethics of coercing people into medical procedures,” Dr. Julie Ponesse said in the video lesson, which has since gone viral. “I’ll be the example.
“My employer has just mandated that I must get a vaccine for COVID-19,” the PhD ethicist and philosopher explained. “If I want to keep working at my job as a professor, I have to take this vaccine.
“Here’s my conundrum. My school employs me to be an authority on the subject of ethics. I hold a Ph.D. in ethics and ancient philosophy and I’m here to tell you, it’s ethically wrong to coerce someone to take a vaccine,” she continued. “If it happens to you, you don’t have to do it. If you don’t want a COVID vaccine, don’t take one. End of discussion. It’s your own business.”
That, however, is not the approach of the University of Western Ontario (UWO), which has suddenly required the faculty and support staff to be vaccinated immediately, or not report for work.
Ponesse has taught for two decades at Ontario’s Huron University College, which is affiliated with UWO. She has taken “plenty” of vaccines, she explained, but refuses to get the CCP virus shots as she is not working in a high-risk environment.
“I am facing imminent dismissal after 20 years on the job,” she explained. “I’m a teacher. I’m a university professor. My job is to teach how to think critically; to ask questions that might expose a false argument.”
America’s Conservative Voice reached out to the UWO president’s office and the board of regents seeking comment. At the time of publication, we have received no response.
Dr. Ponesse’s dilemma is one being faced across the U.S. and Canada. With Joe Biden’s likely-unconstitutional vaccine mandates issued nearly a week ago, employers providing jobs to 100 or more workers are being forced to make a choice. They either have to implement a vaccine requirement or face massive fines ― $14,000 per incident of an employee not being vaccinated or getting a weekly China virus test.
No small business can afford such a financial impact on their bottom line. Nearly all will make the uncomfortable choice to implement vaccine requirements. Those will likely remain in place until Texas, Missouri or another state suing the federal government over the mandates are able to get a stay of execution order that will suspend the requirements until a full court hearing, at the least.
Equally troubling as these unfair and illegal demands on businesses is the tone Biden took in making the announcement and continues to exhibit before the media when discussing the mandates.
Biden began using the world’s most significant bully-pulpit to ― for lack of a non-repetitive term ― bully millions of Americans. He complained that “Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free.”
Once this rhetoric began, it didn’t abate. In fact, throughout the speech Biden repeatedly scolded the 80 million unvaccinated Americans, painting them in dark and divisive tones. He claimed this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” casting himself and his mandates as a type of white knight, swooping in to defend the pure, clean vaccinated members of our nation from the filthy unwashed and unvaccinated hordes. Portraying the unvaccinated as some sort of villain, he promised: “We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.”
Protect the vaccinated? Really? One can’t help but note a serious, logical question: If the vaccines are effective, how are the unvaccinated putting the vaccinated at risk?
Not only was his rhetoric divisive, but his political threats were despotic, bordering on Stalinistic. Biden made it clear that he intends to trample over the minority of Americans who have chosen not to be vaccinated, saying, “We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal.”
That is a chilling statement, “We cannot allow these actions.” What are these actions besides the free choice of millions of Americans, either informed by their faith, or by their conscience, or by their natural immunity from already having the CCP virus, to not get vaccinated? To claim that “we cannot allow” Americans to freely make their own healthcare choices in light of such a complicated dialogue about the China virus and the vaccine is nothing if not tyrannical.
But to make matters worse, Biden then went after the duly-elected governors in states that have taken a more hands-off approach, obviously referencing Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) without actually naming him. In what was perhaps the most despotic, dictatorial, and troubling statement of the speech:
“My plan also takes on elected officials and states that are undermining you and these lifesaving actions. Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools. If they’ll not help — if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as President to get them out of the way.”
Let that sink in. Biden is threatening to use his power to get governors who disagree with his approach “out of the way.” Those are the words of a dictator, a despot, a tyrant ― not the words of the leader of the free world.
As Dr. Ponesse has said of the UWO mandate, Biden’s executive orders are also unethical for a variety of reasons. Again in line with Dr. Ponesse’s dilemma, they primarily trample over the fundamental principle of bodily autonomy and individual agency when it comes to personal health care choices. Yes, the vaccine by and large seems safe and one can make a reasonable case that getting vaccinated is an arguably good choice.
But it should be just that: A personal choice. While these mandates don’t absolutely require individuals to get vaccinated to continue working to provide for their family, it coerces them under the threat of missing work, or even losing their jobs, in the event that they do test positive for the CCP virus.
Finally, the mandate is unconstitutional because there is no basis in Article II of the Constitution, which creates the Executive Branch and delineates its power and authority, to compel private businesses to take these actions.
The President, and by extension, the Executive Branch agencies such as the Department of Labor are not legislative bodies. They have no power — let me repeat that, they have no power — to make laws. Their job is to faithfully execute the laws duly enacted by Congress, our constitutionally designated legislative body.
Thus, like the CDC’s attempted unconstitutional eviction moratorium the Supreme Court blocked two weeks ago, claiming that it “strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts,” it more than strains credulity to think Biden has the constitutional authority to coerce private businesses, at the threat of hefty fines, to force their employees to get a Chine virus vaccine.
So, how should American citizens respond?
We would suggest following the example of Dr. Julie Ponesse, even though doing so may cost you your job. There are lots of small businesses out there today desperately looking for workers to fill all types of skilled and professional positions, as well as the entry-level jobs in food service and customer service. Many are vowing not to enforce Biden’s unconstitutional orders. Is your current job more important to you than protecting your rights and freedoms?
“Nobody is promising that I won’t get COVID, or transmit COVID if I get the vaccine,” Dr. Ponesse said in her video. She further stated a critical view of the vaccine that is often censored by social media outlets and fiercely refuted by government health authorities in the U.S. and Canada.
“I’m entitled to make choices about what does and what does not enter my body regardless of my reasons,” Dr. Ponesse continued. “This is my first and potentially my last lesson of the year,” the professor explained, as she appeared to grow emotional.
“In the spirit of Socrates, who was executed for asking questions, this lesson will consist of only one question.”
“When a person has done the same job to the satisfaction of her employer for 20 years, is it right, or is it wrong to suddenly demand that she submit to an unnecessary medical procedure in order to keep her job?” she asked.
“The employee is not allowed to ask questions,” she continued. “She may only submit to the procedure or be fired. To my first-year students, is this right or is this wrong?”
She concluded the video in tears, putting her face in her hands.
Ponesse was informed within half an hour of emailing her department head on Tuesday that she would not be allowed on campus if she refused to get the China virus vaccine. She was placed on temporary paid leave.
While some exemptions are available to attend in-person learning, Ponesse refuses to seek an exemption on principal as she doesn’t believe she should have to.
“I want to be very clear in rejecting it in principle, I don’t think we ever should have been in the place where we’re looking at the situation of mandates, so I’m not just seeking an exemption to one, I’m challenging the very foundation of the idea,” she told America’s Conservative Voice in a telephone interview Wednesday morning.
Her emotional video has been removed from YouTube for violating its standards on the China virus misinformation because she questioned the efficacy of the vaccine. However, it is still available to view on Rumble.
Regardless of the subject of these mandates, Joe Biden has revealed himself to be a tyrant, a dictator in the vein of Hitler, Stalin, and Castro in their early days of ruling their nations.
We must demand he be removed from office before he becomes what they were later in their reigns of terror on their own people.
Mike Nichols is a conservative, a patriot, U.S. Army veteran, licensed professional counselor, political enthusiast, sports fan and writer living with his beautiful wife Liz in the Heartland. He has a regular blog at America’s Conservative Voice on Substack and a Facebook presence at Americas Conservative Voice-Facebook.