As a medical oncologist for over 30 years who has practiced on both coasts and in the Midwest, I know that the reputation of Mayo Clinic is unrivaled. I believe that strategies Rochester implements to contain COVID-19 will be respected and followed by other cities and hopefully Washington.

After all, U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Mayo Clinic as the No. 1 medical center in this country. Since Mayo is by far the largest employer, when Rochester acts it is the voice of the esteemed Mayo Clinic -- the voice of medical science -- that is speaking.

If the Rochester School Board requires vaccinations for children over age 11 -- not only to protect their students but also to protect unvaccinated and otherwise vulnerable loved ones at home from these children contracting and spreading the virus -- I am confident that other communities will follow Rochester’s lead.

Maybe Washington might then act decisively and accept its ultimate responsibility to protect America from this existential threat by not waiting even another month to review and hopefully authorize vaccination use in children under age 12, enact an emergency executive order or universal vaccination legislation now, and help the rest of the world to vaccinate without delay.

Steven Sorscher, Winston-Salem, N.C.