George Washington on Mandatory Vaccinations


Take it from George Washington, vaccines are a good thing. In February of 1777, Washington was held up in Morristown with his troops many of whom were suffering from smallpox. Washington long knew his most feared enemy at his time was not the British, but disease. In 1776, when the smallpox outbreak began to devastate the nation, Washington wrote to John Hancock where Washington calls smallpox "the most dangerous enemy."

Smallpox devasted not only the country but the war effort. The disease caused countless abandoned invasions and battles retreated. It wasn't until Washington ordered a vaccine mandate that the war began to turn in Washington's favor.

In the late 1700s, vaccines weren't a short prick with a sharp needle vial combo. There was a crude method of vaccination where pus from an infected person would be passed through the wound of a healthy individual. That individual would get sick with a milder case of smallpox and recover fully immune.


But it worked. And even back then they were controversial (I might be able to understand...ew) but effective, although some patients did develop more serious cases and die. Despite all the dangers, Washington still mandated vaccination for all troops, a decision that ultimately help him win the war for independence.

We're not necessarily fighting a war for independence...but maybe we take a page from Washington's book on vaccination necessity.

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