The government had approximately 50 years of warning that hundreds of thousands of people would be gathering at the Oshkosh airport last week (608,000 through the gates (but the same person could be counted twice if showing up on multiple days, I think); 10,000 aircraft landing KOSH). The same government says that it will pay any price (with printed money?), bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe to get life-saving vaccines into the arms of those too stupid to realize that they need salvation. From July 28, 2021, state-level: “‘Get vaccinated’ is the united message Wisconsin health officials say amidst COVID-19 spike”. From July 29, federal: “Biden announces measures to incentivize Covid-19 vaccinations, including a requirement for federal employees”.
You don’t have to be a marketing genius to see the opportunity to reach the general public at EAA AirVenture. Ford runs a big pavilion promoting its SUVs and pickups. Cookware, mattress, knife, and massage chair companies rent small booths. You can check out a new concrete truck or military vehicle from the local defense contractor. You can order an AC Cobra replica. The majority of the attendees aren’t pilots and many attendees aren’t even interested in aviation specifically, but merely show up as companions with someone who is. Some Mennonite farm kids, below, for example, just waiting for a technocrat to inject them for their own good:
Why wouldn’t the multi-billion dollar government vaccine bureaucracy not set up a booth at Oshkosh and offer people one-shot J&J or their first or second shot of the other vaccines? EAA probably would have given the government worthies space for free, given that the COVID-19 mandarins have the power to shut down gatherings such as EAA AirVenture. It can’t be a shortage of personnel. At any one time there were probably hundreds of government workers on site for various reasons (police, U.S. military recruiters in their recruiting booths, U.S. military crews that had come with aircraft, FAA administrators and educators, Border Patrol folks showing off their gear, etc.). [Exactly 0 of these folks were observed to be following President Biden’s example by wearing masks!]
Here’s a sampling of non-aviation enterprises that decided a gathering of hundreds of thousands was worth showing up for:
The excuse is that vaccine injections are too complex to deliver without a permanent building? The government actually has several permanent buildings at its disposal during “Oshkosh”. One is an FAA Safety building and one is half of a huge hangar in which various agencies explain their operations (“International Federal Pavilion”). Even without a permanent building, Chick-fil-A was delivering 20+ sandwiches per minute out of a trailer and tent: