GOP Georgia Gov Points To Failure Of “AIDS Vaccine Mandate” As Example Why COVID Mandates Will Fail

Salon reports:

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, keeps mentioning the failed campaign to vaccinate Americans against the AIDS virus as an example of the pitfalls of healthcare mandates. Except the AIDS vaccine doesn’t exist. And there sure wasn’t a failed campaign to mandate it.

He made the comments most recently on an episode of the right-wing commentator Erick Erickson’s podcast, emphasizing that as a result of his knowledge of the nonexistent AIDS vaccine, he believes that education is a more effective tool than mandates.

“That is basically how the AIDS vaccine worked. People wouldn’t take it early on because it was mandated, they started educating people and now it is doing a lot of good out there,” Kemp told Erickson. “Same scenario, different year that we are dealing with right now.”

Atlanta’s CBS News affiliate reports:

The governor has made references to an AIDS vaccine on at least two other occasions. On Sept. 4, 2020, Kemp held a press conference ahead of Labor Day weekend to discuss the spread of COVID-19, and he mentioned why he didn’t believe a statewide mask mandate would work.

He referenced discussing mandates with Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Dr. Toomey and I have talked about this,” Kemp said. “She has said when you look back at trying to mandate somebody taking the AIDS vaccine, it doesn’t work.”

Kemp’s office confirmed Dr. Toomey had referenced the HPV vaccine, not an AIDS vaccine. WFXG in Augusta quoted Kemp during a visit in July to south Georgia as he again discussed mask mandates and said there won’t be a statewide mandate.