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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) received a history lesson on Twitter on Monday after making an incorrect claim about vaccines in the United States.
As doctors and public health officials struggle to encourage more people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, the lawmaker tweeted:
Vaccine mandates are un-American.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) September 6, 2021
But many were quick to point out that vaccine mandates were so American that there might not have been an America without an early form of such a mandate. As PoliticFact previously noted, Gen. George Washington ordered his troops to be inoculated against smallpox in 1777 via a precursor to vaccination called variolation.
Healthline reported last month that school vaccine mandates have existed in the United States since the 1850s when the first one was enacted in Massachusetts to stop the spread of smallpox.
And Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told NPR last week that the Supreme Court upheld vaccine mandates more than a century ago.
“That was something where the Supreme Court said that we don’t have a right to place other people at risk,” Gostin said. “And by 1922, in another case, Justice Brandeis, writing for unanimous court, upheld childhood school mandates, calling it settled law.”
Gostin added that the notion of a nationwide vaccine mandate was a misconception as they are “traditionally imposed by cities and states.” Vaccines are also mandated by schools, the military and others.
(R-Ohio) received a history lesson on Twitter after making an incorrect claim about vaccines in the United States. (Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images)" data-caption="Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) received a history lesson on Twitter after making an incorrect claim about vaccines in the United States. (Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images)" data-rich-caption="Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) received a history lesson on Twitter after making an incorrect claim about vaccines in the United States. (Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images)" data-credit="Drew Angerer via Getty Images" data-credit-link-back="" />
Jordan’s critics were quick to pounce on his comment. Some offered to correct the record on vaccinations. Others pointed out that it was un-American to support an insurrection on the U.S. government, given his attempts to tank investigations into the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. And still others noted the allegations that Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, ignored molestation claims against the team’s doctor. Although Jordan denied those charges, several athletes have corroborated the story:
This is simply not true. Vaccines for smallpox, later childhood vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, Hib (vaccines discovered in USA), preserved our nation. I’m aghast at the absence of intellectual curiosity or even passing interest in American 🇺🇸 history from our US Congress https://t.co/JyUmldvQCn
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) September 7, 2021
what to say if you want george washington to court martial you for insubordination at valley forge: https://t.co/zN8ZL5FAy4
— Michael Tae Sweeney (@mtsw) September 7, 2021
Every US soldier is required to be vaccinated against chicken pox, hep A, hep B, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria, rabies, typhoid, pneumococcal pneumonia, and the flu. Is that really un-American? https://t.co/irWMNXhPrm
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) September 7, 2021
So two things, you pedophile-enabling stooge hack dickdrip of middling intellect: One, schools, universities and government agencies have been mandating vaccines for decades. Two, inciting insurrection against the US government is un-American. What else you got? https://t.co/1jqPqpqNUv
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) September 7, 2021
On January 6th 1777, George Washington wrote to Dr. William Shippen Jr., ordering him to inoculate all the troops that came through Philadelphia. https://t.co/5O70Vehba1
— Morten Øverbye (@morten) September 7, 2021
Ohio State University has a vaccination mandate for all students. Did you voice your opinions on vaccine mandates when you worked there, or is this a new thing for you? https://t.co/3C7vLRAxjo
— Jax Persists (@LadyJayPersists) September 7, 2021
i'm sure everyone on this website has already mentioned it, but george washington, america's first president and the face of america's money, literally forced smallpox inoculations during the fight for american independence https://t.co/KJZrl5i6hh
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) September 7, 2021
Allowing sexual assault is un-American. https://t.co/SKO4Pg3cvj
— 🏳️🌈NOT Shu of the Deep State™🏳️🌈 (@DeepState_Shu2) September 7, 2021
Jim's not big on mandated things, like reporting sexual assault of student athletes he coached, for instance. https://t.co/alDLRBC8mD
— Patrick (@QuadCityPat) September 7, 2021
People who could have prevented boys on the wrestling team from being molested but did jack shit about it are un-American. https://t.co/R4F45vTz1q
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) September 7, 2021
— Harry Turtledove (@HNTurtledove) September 7, 2021
You mean like how America handled polio?
Or like how George Washington himself handled smallpox?
Or like how America handled measles?
Or like how America handled lots of other communicable diseases?
With vaccine mandates?
— Graham the Cat (@CatGrah17554541) September 6, 2021
— Queen of Typos (@KellieADennis74) September 6, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.