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Dr. Anthony Fauci, citing the growing transmission of the Covid-19 delta variant, said there should be more requirements for vaccinations at the local level, even if there isn’t a federal mandate.
“I have been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion, that I do believe at the local level, there should be more mandates. There really should be,” Fauci said on CNN on Sunday.
A caller to my SiriusXM program illustrated why Covid-19 vaccines must be mandated by companies, schools and even some businesses open to the public. (Listen in to the call above.) We’re dealing with people who are propagating politically-infused lies or distortions. They think they’re standing against a political establishment, and aren’t about to be vaccinated —unless they must.
And they’re also very privileged: Right now they choose not to be vaccinated, though they have full access, because the pressure isn’t intense enough and they’re following Trumpian anti-vax politics. But if denied service or turned away from a job, they will indeed cave in.
The caller, David from Pittsburgh, made dubious claims about people he knows who were vaccinated, spewed outdated Covid hoax hogwash and got angry about being “shamed” to get vaccinated. And I responded the way we need to respond to every spoiled brat liar: By calling him out harshly.
No, I don’t believe we need to engage in gentle persuasion — at least, not with this certain subset of politics-driven Covid denialist. These people are hellbent on promoting lies and getting away with what they can to own the libs (ironically even if it’s killing themselves and their families). If treated with derision and banned from entry for jobs, stadium events or schools I believe they will go and get vaccinated.
David first said he’s not getting vaccinated because both his grandfather and his “wife’s best friend’s father” developed blood clots after getting the Moderna vaccine — and claims doctors attributed one of the cases to the vaccine. (One of them died from the blood clot, he said, while the other “took his own life” because of the stress it caused.) This, despite the fact that there have been no documented cases of blood clots connected to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
There are of course almost a million cases of blood clots among Americans per year — and over 100,000 deaths — for many other reasons. And that’s what likely happened in these cases — if they even existed.
I told David that only the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was connected to blood clots but that the chances of developing a blot clot after getting that vaccine were one one-hundredth of a percent. And actually, I was wrong! With 75 cases of blood clots connected to the J & J vaccine (only a few of which resulted in death) as of July 1 — out of 12 million of those shots given — it’s actually far less than one one-thousandth of a percent. (Not to mention that almost all of these cases were in young women, and so only younger women have been given an advisory by the drug maker.)
Even if his grandfather and his “wife’s best friend’s father” had the J &J vaccine, the chances of David knowing two men who got a blood clot connected to it (one of whom died) are astronomical. But they didn’t even get the J & J vaccine!
Angry at my dismissal of his claims, David went back to boilerplate Covid hoax material from early 2020, about how very few people supposedly die from Covid — now, with over 600, 000 Americans dead. I explained to him that the highly-transmissible delta variant — which is also believed to cause more severe illness — will get him if he’s not vaccinated. And I explained that if he doesn’t die he’ll likely have long-term debilitating illness.
One study has shown that a quarter of Covid patients going back to early last year are long haulers, with long-term illness, and this could be the tip of the iceberg. And the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, told PBS NewsHour that they’re finding even more long haulers among those who’ve had the delta variant:
[I]ncreasingly, we are seeing people [ who’ve had the delta variant] with what's called long-haul symptoms, with shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, brain fog that lasts for months beyond their infection.
David ended the call saying “we will not be shamed” into getting vaccinated, bizarrely posing the unvaccinated as victims of the vaccinated.
Again, these are not the people you read about who don’t have access to vaccines, or are uneducated and are following myths in their communities (and yes, who could benefit from gentle persuasion and explanation). These are educated, privileged people who are pushing lies based on their extremist, cultish political affiliations.
That’s why Fauci, who said this is a “life or death issue,” is right. At the local level, mandates should be put in place Companies should require all employees to be vaccinated, schools should require vaccinations and businesses with high crowd capacity, like stadiums, bars and clubs, should do the responsible thing and require vaccination proof for entry, as many New York City bars have been doing.
Anyway, you know there are those who say I’m too harsh with callers like this. So listen in to David’s call and let me know your thoughts.