Nearly 1,000 colleges across the country are still mandating the COVID-19 vaccine, including at least a dozen in Minnesota.
One Indiana mom is hopeful the number will continue to shrink. She’s made it her mission to fight back against the ongoing mandates at post-secondary institutions.
Joni McGary co-founded NoCollegeMandates.com. While she is no longer affiliated with the group, she continues to speak out on the issue.
McGary was a guest on Liz Collin Reports.
“The shots don’t prevent transmission or infection and have not really been effective in preventing COVID outbreaks on campus, and also they have adverse side effects, particularly in this age group,” she said.
“We figure between 800 and 1,000 colleges are still mandating what is called the primary series, and over 200 to 250 mandate the booster. At one point about 350 were mandating the booster. Then, there are about 25 that mandate the bivalent booster,” she said.
McGary believes there are several reasons why the mandates are still in place.
“If it was just the money, it would be very easy because many of these colleges get tremendous amounts of money from the federal government. They have partnerships with Big Pharma. They get Gates Foundation money. I think it’s more of a mindset in the academic community where you have many people on the faculty, many students, families, many administrators, believing this is the effective way to go to prevent COVID on campus,” she said.
McGary spent some time looking at schools in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin as part of the podcast.
She said it’s hard to paint any state with a broad brush, but of all the colleges in Iowa she saw listed, there were no vaccine mandates. At one point, Grinnell College was the only school to mandate the vaccine in Iowa.
“Wisconsin isn’t bad, either,” McGary remarked. The NoCollegeMandates database shows just a few colleges in Wisconsin have a booster mandate.
Minnesota, however, is quite mixed.
“Macalester College mandates the bivalent. But then St. Olaf, that was one of the first colleges to mandate the bivalent. They came out of the gate very early and now they just dropped all of their mandates,” McGary said.
The college announced March 9 it would no longer require the vaccine.
‘Go to colleges that don’t mandate’
McGary’s own quest began with her son, a senior this year at Dartmouth College. He was vaccinated a couple of years ago, but McGary explained how that wasn’t good enough for the school.
“Six months later, right before he was to go back for his winter term after tuition had been paid … we got notice that he had to get a booster and that did feel like that was a bridge too far,” McGary said.
A post on a Facebook page grew to a group of 2,000 people concerned about COVID vaccine mandates at colleges across the country. The movement grew into NoCollegeMandates.com.
“The whole term anti-vaxxer, I think it’s so problematic. I mean, I don’t even know what it really means. Is someone against all vaccines? It’s just used as such a smear. I was somebody who never questioned medicine, never questioned pharmaceuticals. I worked in biotech; I worked in Big Pharma. My husband is a physician. You know, we didn’t think twice about all the vaccinations on the schedule,” McGary explained.
“I’m not keen on this product and what I’m particularly against is mandating these products. In order for there to be a mandate, the product has to be exceedingly effective and exceedingly safe, and there has to be a clear and present danger. Those standards have not remotely been met by this product, so I’m against mandates across any of the population, but particularly for young people,” she said.
“This injection has no long-term safety data, and it is novel technology. There’s reason to believe that it could have long-term effects on reproductive health. There’s been widespread menstrual disruption, sperm count suppression, so just even those things in the interest of caution and prudence would dictate that you pump the brakes and you don’t force people to get this.”
U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney of New York introduced the Ending COVID Vaccine Mandates for Colleges and Universities Act this month. The legislation would prevent colleges and universities from continuing to impose “unconstitutional and overreaching COVID-19 vaccine mandates.”
McGary encouraged students who oppose the mandates to do everything they can to secure an exemption.
“Usually, a religious exemption is the way to go, because medical exemptions are very difficult to get from doctors. Their hands are tied, issuing them,” McGary said.
For those who are applying to college, “go to colleges that don’t mandate,” she said.
She brought up Hillsdale College as an example. The school operates independent of government funding in Hillsdale, Michigan.
“People are flocking to schools like that because they want freedom and open-minded thought for their potential students,” she said.
See the list of college vaccine mandates here.