If you want to know what South Carolina voters think about mask mandates and so-called ‘vaccine passports’ as a response to Covid-19’s delta variant, I published an exclusive report yesterday with some fresh polling data. The takeaway? People have strong opinions on the matter, but there is little support for state government imposing such diktats on the citizens of the Palmetto State.
Many believe government can – and should – encourage vaccination and the wearing of masks, but few feel it is within the state’s purview to make such behavior compulsory.
Not surprisingly, professors at the state’s “flagship” institution of higher learning feel differently … even if there does appear to be a “rules for thee, not for me” issue at the University of South Carolina (which is imposing a mask mandate on its students this fall).
On Tuesday evening (August 31, 2021), a professor at the Darla Moore school of business took this mandate a step further – threatening to penalize unvaccinated students in his microeconomic theory class if they missed homework assignments or quizzes due to Covid-19 infections.
“I have no vaccine mandate. I believe in freedom of choice,” professor Chun-Hui Miao wrote in an email to students. “That said, if you cannot complete homework assignments or quizzes due to covid infections, I can offer you a make-up if you show me proof of vaccination. If you are not vaccinated, then you will have to use the free passes for missing homework/ quizzes.”
Miao – an associate professor of economics – added he would be enforcing the school’s mask mandate rigidly.
“The university has an indoor mask mandate,” he wrote. “Whether you like it or not, it is the current rule and this country is a land of law. So please wear a mask PROPERLY. I don’t care whether you can breathe or not, because this is not for your own benefits, but to protect others.”
Wait … what?
“I don’t care whether you can breathe or not?”
Not long after this email was circulated, Miao seems to have become aware that state law prohibits him from discriminating against students in his classroom based on their vaccination status. And so on Wednesday (September 1, 2021), he sent students a “clarification and correction” addressing the “complaint and inquiry” he received in the aftermath of his previous policy announcement.
“I did not intend to ask you about your vaccination status,” Miao wrote. “There was no requirement for you to upload vaccination cards. Going forward, there will be no such requirement either.”
Good to know … right?
(Via: The University of South Carolina)
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Miao added that “since the university requires the faculty to treat all situations uniformly and we are now back to normal teaching mode, there will be no special treatment for any circumstances.”
Specifically, Miao affirmed that vaccinated and unvaccinated students would be treated the same when it came to missed homework assignments or quizzes.
“The vaccination exception is now formally withdrawn, because I am not allowed to offer it,” Miao wrote.
Credit where credit is due: Miao recognized his error, acknowledged it and reversed his position. Promptly. However, his initial inclination – and the smug manner in which he articulated it – is illustrative of the “my way or the highway” approach embraced by so many of those who subscribe to America’s “new orthodoxy.”
Such approaches may be the norm in Miao’s homeland, but we must remain vigilant against them taking further root in our Republic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that 2010 San Francisco Giants’ World Series lid pictured above).
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