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BERLIN (AP) — German officials have praised a group of medical students who held a silent vigil outside a hospital in Dresden late Thursday in protest against a rally by far-right vaccine skeptics.

Saxony’s governor, Michael Kretschmer, thanked the students Friday on Twitter, saying they had made a “clear and important statement.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told reporters in Berlin that the student’s call for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 had his “emphatic support.”

Lauterbach said it was “disturbing” that some of the medical students reportedly face fines after police singled them out for allegedly breaching pandemic restrictions, but added that he didn’t have enough information to properly assess what had happened.

Germany’s doctors association Marburger Bund expressed its “full support” for the students and called for them not to suffer any negative consequences, saying that police had halted the medics’ silent protest “without any obvious reason.”

Police in Saxony have regularly been accused of failing to crack down on far-right protests including those that breach pandemic rules.

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Majority of Democrats Say the Unvaccinated Should Be Confined to Home: Poll

          by Bethany Blankley


One-third of Americans say they haven’t gotten the COVID-19 shots, majority of Democrats say they should be confined at all times, and or fined.

A majority of Democrats say they’d support the unvaxxed being confined to their homes at all times, with 45% saying they should be confined to designated facilities and 55% support for fines.

Roughly one-third of Americans surveyed in a recent poll say they haven’t received the COVID-19 shots and the majority of them said they don’t plan on getting them. The unvaccinated would be targeted by a majority of Democrats in another poll who say they favor a government policy that would require them to “remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies.”

The polls were conducted in early January.

The first poll, conducted by The Economist and YouGov, found that among those surveyed, 69% said they’d received at least one COVID-19 dose; 31% said they’d received none.

Roughly 1,500 people were surveyed on a range of issues related to COVID-19. They were also asked a range of other questions related to the direction of the country, approval of politicians and other policies.

Overall, of the 1,485 people surveyed, 20% said they won’t get the shots at all; 66% said they’ve received the required number. Of those who didn’t get the vaccine, 64% said they never will; 20% said they might get one shot; 8% said they’d get one.

But according to another poll conducted during the same time period by the Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports, “a majority of Democrats embrace restrictive policies, including punitive measures against those who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Among Democrats, 59% said they favor a government policy requiring citizens to remain confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies, if they refuse to get the COVID-19 shots. By contrast, the majority polled, 61%, oppose the idea.

Nearly half of Democrats, 45%, said they favor governments requiring citizens to temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get the COVID-19 shots. The majority polled, 71%, oppose the idea.

And 55% of Democrats said they support federal or state governments fining those who choose not to get the COVID-19 shots. By contrast, 58% polled overall oppose the idea.

Likewise, 66% of those polled said they were against governments using digital devices to track those who don’t get the COVID-19 shots in order to ensure they’re quarantined or socially distancing from others. But 47% of Democrats favor a government tracking system only for those who won’t get the shots.

Nearly one-third of Democrats polled, 29%, said they support temporarily removing parents’ custody of their children if the parents refuse to get the COVID-19 jabs. Overall, nearly one-fifth polled, 7% of Republicans and 11% of unaffiliated voters, expressed support for the idea.

Nearly half of Democrats, 48%, said federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison anyone who publicly questions the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccine on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications.

Nearly one-third of those surveyed, 27%, including 14% of Republicans and 18% of unaffiliated voters, expressed support for vaccine critics receiving criminal punishment.

“President Biden’s strongest supporters are most likely to endorse the harshest punishments against those who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine,” the report notes. Among those who expressed a “Very Favorable impression of Biden,” 51% said they supported the federal government putting those who don’t get the shots in “designated facilities;” 54% favored imposing fines or prison sentences on vaccine critics.

According to The Economist and YouGov poll, respondents remained divided over vaccine mandates.

On whether health-care entities should require their patients to get the COVID-19 shots as a condition to receive medical care, 34% said they should; 44% said they shouldn’t and 17% said they were unsure.

A minority, 38%, said businesses should require their employees to get the shots as a condition of employment; 45% said they shouldn’t, 12% said they were unsure.

A minority, 43%, said K-12 schools should mandate students get the shots to receive in-person instruction; 45% said they shouldn’t, 12% said they were unsure. Similarly, 45% said colleges should require students to get them as a condition to attend on-campus activities and classes; 44% said they shouldn’t and 11% said they were unsure.

The majority polled appeared to oppose in-person instruction for K-12 schools. Only 27% said schools should be fully open; 25% said they should be mostly open. The rest said schools should be open mostly online (19%), completely online (17%) and 12% said they weren’t sure.

The findings were announced as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 on Jan. 13 against the private sector employer mandate and upheld the healthcare worker mandate.

– – –

Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Young Woman Working On Laptop and Writing at Home” by Nenad Stojkovic. CC BY 2.0.






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