Just days after the “Operation Gridlock” protest, Michigan Senate Republicans unveiled their “Open MI Safely” plan that would potentially ban mass gatherings such as concerts, sporting events and festivals until vaccines are synthesized and ready for mass consumption or there is no spread of coronavirus for 30 days.
“The Senate Republican caucus believes it is our responsibility to propose a framework for Michiganders to live life in the presence of COVID-19 while also minimizing risk,” they wrote.
The Senate GOP has a five-phase proposal. Under the final phase of the plan, festivals, concerts and sporting events would only be allowed to open after there is “no active spread for 30 days or a vaccine has been available for 30 days.”
“Until a significant medical breakthrough is achieved that markedly reduces risk for the entire population, such as a vaccine, our citizens will likely live with recurring outbreaks of the virus for months or longer,” they speculated.
According to the experts, there will not be a vaccine for the coronavirus for 12-18 months. This means that concerts, sporting events and festivals could be banned until late 2021. It is a tenuous process that could have a tremendous negative impact for the public health if it is rushed.
“We could have a vaccine in three weeks, but we can’t guarantee its safety or efficacy,” said Gary Kobinger, a virologist at Laval University in Canada.
Skeptics are concerned that a vaccine may ultimately do more damage and exacerbate the crisis, which could keep society shut down into 2022 if the Senate GOP’s plan is enacted.
“Experts are saying that it will be very difficult to develop a safe vaccine against a respiratory illness like COVID-19,” vaccine-skeptical author Jennifer Margulis told Ars Technica. “An effective vaccine against SARS was never successfully implemented.”
The Michigan Senate Republican plan essentially doubles down on the status quo that is growing more reviled as the crisis continues and the economy plunges to the worst conditions since the great depression.
“Resurgence plans would utilize known strategies such as extreme social distancing, temporary closures, wearing masks, and/or other measures. The goal is for the phases represented to become a continuum so that, based on infection rates and healthcare capacity data, we may advance up or down in phases to mitigate risk and spread of the virus,” they wrote.
More protests may be in order before Lansing gets the picture that the public is sick of having their rights violated by members of both major political parties.