Open Letter to Senator Brad Hoylman:
Please Challenge Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
to Debate the Merits and Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

Dear Senator Brad Hoylman,

Please fulfill the obligations sworn by you upon taking the oath of office you now are privileged to hold to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. On April 12 you stated that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is “A public health menace who should be banned from Twitter”.

Rather than cower behind the type of authoritarian censorship the United States accused the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War, please stand up proudly for the highest ideals of our constitutional republic and debate Mr. Kennedy on the merits and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. You have a tremendous opportunity for a teaching moment here. As a servant of the people, why squander this by hiding behind demagogic name-calling?

Your press release makes crystal clear your position on the efficacy of vaccines:

Senator Hoylman has been an outspoken champion of vaccines during his tenure in the NYS Senate. He sponsored legislation strengthening vaccine requirements for schoolchildren during the 2019 measles outbreak and in 2020 permitting the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered by licensed pharmacists. Last summer, Senator Hoylman participated in a COVID-19 vaccine trial at the Vaccine Center at NYU Langone Hospital.

Why not take advantage of your experience of and knowledge about vaccine effectiveness to challenge Mr. Kennedy in a public discussion on the value vaccines provide to further the health and well-being of all people from children to our venerable elders?

The Nuremberg Code, drafted in 1947, requires Informed Consent, without “the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion…” The Universal Declaration on BioEthics and Human Rights, negotiated, Article 6, Consent, states: “ Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information.” Surely engaging Mr. Kennedy in a public forum on the necessity and substance of informed consent will benefit all people in the United States given that what you are calling for will not only affect free and unfettered information access for residents of the State of New York.

As Chairperson of the state of New York Committee on Judiciary you are well-versed on the vital role judicial responsibility has in protecting the freedoms our ancestors sought to establish for future generations. The bedrock of our country’s strength is founded on inalienable rights including freedom of speech and from this, freedom of thought.  Censorship betrays the principles women and men fought for during World War II to preserve democracy at the cost of their own lives. Surely you are not afraid to engage Mr. Kennedy in a frank, open, and thorough debate about the differing positions you and he hold with regard to the usefulness and consequences of vaccine efficacy.

Constitutional freedoms can never be taken for granted.  Every generation has the responsibility to ensure these inalienable rights are protected and defended for the sake of all who follow us here.  Please live up to the oath of office you swore to uphold during your tenure as New York State Senator.

Sincerely yours,
Dave Ratcliffe
Piano Teacher
Boston, Massachusetts