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On Skepticism of Covid Vaccines

In my latest column for AIER, I identify what I believe are a few key reasons why some people are skeptical of Covid-19 vaccines. (Note: I am not a Covid-vaccine skeptic. But as I explain in this essay, I understand why many people who are skeptical of the Covid vaccines reasonably hold the position that they hold.) A slice:

From the start of Covid, the scientists and bureaucrats who were treated as virtually infallible by the media, and by most governments, embarked on a journey featuring some notable U-turns. Anthony Fauci’s 180-degree flipperoo on the advisability of wearing masks is the most famous of these. In light of such reversals, who can blame people for being skeptical of assurances offered about both the effectiveness and safety of vaccines by the likes of Fauci?

A related problem is the record of deceits, dodges, and half-truths practiced by many who are in power. Fauci and Francis Collins clearly were not forthcoming about the role played by the NIH in funding, if only indirectly, research done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Far worse is the effort by Fauci and Collins to orchestrate a scheme to discredit the scientists who wrote the Great Barrington Declaration. Why shouldn’t the general public be wary of proclamations made about vaccines by government officials who are fearful of open scientific debate? Why shouldn’t the public be leery of following the advice of officials who deride as “fringe” scholars who are tenured in scientific departments at Stanford, Oxford, and Harvard – a derision motivated by nothing more than Collins and Fauci’s fear of these prominent scholars’ public objections to the unprecedented use of general lockdowns and other authoritarian measures?

Then there are the too-many-to-count instances of hypocrisy by those who loudly insisted on draconian Covid restrictions. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s now-infamous partygate; Gavin Newsom’s soiree at the French Laundry; Neil Ferguson’s clandestine visit with his mistress; Matt Hancock’s not-socially-distanced passionate embrace in an elevator of his mistress; Muriel Bowser’s trip to Delaware to celebrate Joe Biden’s election; Deborah Birx’s Thanksgiving 2020 visit with her family; Nancy Pelosi’s hair-salon episode; San Francisco mayor London Breed’s maskless partying; New York mayor Bill de Blasio dancing in Times Square with his wife on New Year’s Eve 2020…. This list of high-level politicians’ and government advisors’ refusal to follow their own orders and advice can be extended. In light of such a list, is it any surprise that not a few members of the general public distrust government officials’ and their advisors’ affirmations of the safety and effectiveness of Covid vaccines?

And looming especially large for me are three other telling realities of the past two years.

One is that public-health-experts’ consensus until late 2019 for dealing with pandemics was almost instantly discarded in early 2020. Further, those who publicly continued to endorse this pre-2020 consensus were vilified. How can that which was a consensus view in late 2019 be a dangerous superstition in early 2020? Regardless of which position is correct – the one that prevailed before Covid-19 or the one that has prevailed since – the near-instantaneous reversal of ‘official’ knowledge (and of the resulting policy recommendations) is alone sufficient reason for many people to question today’s official recommendations regarding Covid vaccines.

Second, most governments and prominent advisors push for vaccination as if Covid’s consequences don’t have a very distinct age profile. I can well understand why vaccine hesitancy rises when the public encounters high-profile officials and advisors who press for vaccination as if Covid is as dangerous to fifteen-year-olds as it is to seventy-five year olds. Because this refusal to acknowledge Covid’s distinct age profile is obviously unscientific, why should advice about vaccines issued by people who refuse to acknowledge this age profile be treated as being scientific?

A similar point can be made about the Covidocracy’s continuing disparagement of natural immunity.