Recently, I was criticized for standing against Covid vaccine mandates. Some of the criticism took a strange turn, where my point of view was misrepresented. I’d like to correct the record, and state plainly what I believe regarding medical mandates.

Charles FroelickMy view is very simple: I believe in bodily autonomy. Every person should have the right to choose what medical treatment they receive, or don’t receive. My principles are based on individual autonomy and individual responsibility. I also believe that ridiculing, exclusion and shutting out the unvaccinated from society served no benefit and actually had quite detrimental results.  I criticized the policies of organizations that ostracized the unvaccinated and never criticized the religious beliefs of anyone. I strongly support the scientific method, which necessarily involves questioning, testing, and open, free discussion.

Naturally, I also support free speech, as this is a pillar of both the scientific method and democracy. My decades-long public record shows that I support and work for inclusion, tolerance, understanding and sympathy, and that I work against exclusion, hate, and intolerance. As such, I am proud to defend individual freedom, bodily autonomy, and the right to choose. It shocks me that these principles are now considered controversial.

As an individual human, an American, an art dealer, an artist, I believe that free speech is a centerpiece of life, and so I welcome opposing points of view and robust discussion and debate, so long as those participating are respectful and measured.