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The Left would sacrifice the unvaccinated What happened to the principle that everyone deserves healthcare?

An unvaccinated Covid patient in Minnesota. Credit: Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images

An unvaccinated Covid patient in Minnesota. Credit: Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images


December 20, 2021   5 mins

An underdiscussed element of the Covid pandemic is the cost of the virus — not in American lives, but in American dollars. In the United States, a Covid hospitalisation costs $29,000 on average; if you’re sick enough to require an ICU stay and a ventilator, that average soars to $156,000. And in a country without universal healthcare, with a piecemeal system of private insurance that ties insurance coverage to employment, and amid a pandemic that has left many unemployed, an enormous number of Americans stand to find themselves underwater. There’s a looming crisis of Covid medical debt.

Already, their stories are legion: there’s the flight attendant who spent a week in the hospital with Covid, then spent six months fighting with his insurance company over the $25,000 bill. There’s the Phoenix family who were hit with a million-dollar claim summary and a bill for $700,000 while still grieving their father’s death. There’s the dental office manager, stricken with long Covid and still too sick to work, drowning in tens of thousands of dollars of medical debt.

Ten years ago, stories like these would have been held up by our country’s Left wing as proof of the continued, desperate need for healthcare reform. The stratospheric cost of healthcare, the idea that a citizen of one of the world’s wealthiest nations could go bankrupt just by falling ill, the prospect of a suffering person forgoing treatment because they couldn’t afford it: these were stains upon our country, the hallmarks of a broken system. Barack Obama summed it up best when he said, “In the United States of America, health care is not a privilege for the fortunate few — it is a right.”

The notion of healthcare as a human right was fundamental to the 2009 debates over Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as to the identity of political progressives: they argued fervently, at the time, that nobody, no matter who they were, should be left destitute just because they got sick. And the idea that affordable care or coverage might be tied in any way to one’s lifestyle choices was particularly offensive: when conservatives complained that an ACA mandate providing free hormonal birth control was akin to prostitution, it caused a nationwide scandal. And when a Republican governor proposed levying a moderate additional charge against Medicaid recipients who were overweight or smoked, the idea was widely derided as “noodle-headed” by progressives.

Indeed, the idea that the Left would ever limit someone’s access to healthcare on moral or ideological grounds was considered laughable — a bogeyman invented by the Right in the form of a memorably hysterical panic about “death panels.” When Sarah Palin claimed that Obama’s healthcare bill would ration care only to those deemed “worthy” by government bureaucrats, the fact-checking site Politifact declared it the Lie of the Year, writing, “Palin’s statement sounds more like a science fiction movie (Soylent Green, anyone?) than part of an actual bill before Congress.”

Suffice to say, things have changed. First, that actual bill is an actual thing, albeit a state rather than federal prospect: on December 6, Illinois state representative Jonathan Carroll advanced legislation to make unvaccinated Covid patients pay out of pocket for the cost of their medical treatment, whether or not they were insured, no matter how astronomical those costs might be.

Carroll rescinded the bill a few days later, citing a backlash that included death threats, but not before it found support in some remarkable places — including the Twitter account of the progressive organisation Occupy Democrats, which posted an all-caps clarion call:

“Illinois introduces a bill to force unvaccinated residents to pay out of pocket for their hospital treatment if they catch COVID, saying that they ‘must asume [sic] the risk’ and ‘take responsibility’ for their carelessness. RT IF YOU THINK THAT YOUR STATE SHOULD DO THE SAME!”

Just a few days later, Atlantic editor David Frum suggested that it was time for the country to return to normal — but while encouraging hospitals to “quietly triage emergency care to serve the unvaccinated last.” And last week, American supermarket chain Kroger announced that unvaccinated employees would be subject to a monthly surcharge on their health plans — and that if they contract Covid, they will not be given paid emergency leave.

In all these cases, the notion of depriving vaccine holdouts of affordable treatment was met with widespread acclaim — in keeping with the idea, promoted by everyone from the paper of record to the current President, that the pandemic would’ve been over ages ago if only they’d sucked it up and gotten their shot. And yet the folks cheering on these measures are the very same people who, only a few short years ago, mocked accusations that they supported ideologically-driven triage, while also grieving the indignity and suffering that punitive healthcare policies would inflict on the most vulnerable among us.

Granted, we still have a way to go before our real-life Covid response resembles a sci-fi dystopia; nobody, at least not yet, has advanced a bill to propose turning the unvaxxed into human Clif bars. But we’ve certainly come a long way from the rhetoric of the 2010s, and from a progressive Left that once defined itself by its willingness to care for other people without caveats. What used to be a narrative of universal compassion has been replaced by a tribal snarl, one to which we feel entitled in our eternally self-conscious selflessness. My mask protects you, but your unvaccinated status is an attack on me — and so anything I do to you in retaliation is an act of self-defence.

It’s not just that legislation like the Illinois bill would set a dangerous precedent — although it doesn’t take much imagination to understand that it does do this, too. Insurance companies already jump at every opportunity to avoid paying out a claim, and this would open the door to a world in which we might be left holding the bag for virtually any illness, injury, or accident, based on some distant bureaucrat’s idea that we could’ve been more careful. The obese patient who suffers a heart attack, the surfing enthusiast with skin cancer, the thrill-seeking youngster who breaks a leg while skiing at imprudent speeds: should they, too, be denied care or coverage for having brought this on themselves? (Do we want to think, for a moment, what kind of horrors might lie in store for women’s reproductive rights if a Republican-heavy legislature used this same logic to target abortion access for women who were “careless” about using birth control?)

There’s no need to imagine the impact of this ideological shift on our civic discourse, however: that, we can see already, every time the tribe that used to pride itself on compassion refers to the unvaccinated as “plague rats.”

Healthcare in the US has always been a system of carrots and sticks. Insurance carriers will subsidise your gym membership (carrot), or charge a higher premium if you smoke (stick), and they generally adhere to the common wisdom that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — especially when preventive medicine not only saves lives, but keeps costs lower for everyone involved. That’s the nature of privatised healthcare, and so it’s reasonable enough under these circumstances to be frustrated when certain people won’t do their part, won’t sacrifice for the greater good, won’t get their damn jab because it violates some abstract principle of bodily autonomy they’ve never before expressed much interest in.

But it’s one thing to find the unvaccinated frustrating; it’s another to openly fantasise about using the power of the state to punish them for their noncompliance, and another still to express dark and malicious glee at the prospect of their suffering or death. Never mind what this means for the health of the individuals in question — or even of the public at large. We have abandoned a principle that used to define us, and a vision of universal healthcare we used to passionately advocate for, all because we realised that an unjust system makes it easier to coerce and inflict harm on the people we don’t like. The American Left should be deeply worried about the state of its soul.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

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David Slade
David Slade
2 years ago

The vitriol hurled at the ‘unvaxed’ has been nothing short of evil over this pandemic; it makes you want to refuse it purely out of solidarity. Frankly, I would be loath to do anything requested of me by the type of low life that would refuse treatment to the unvaccinated or show such glee at their suffering.

I will repeat what I have said many times but only seems to get more prescient – this is the most inhumane and irrational response to disease since before the enlightenment.

Whoever kids themselves that this nonsense is enlightened simply because it comes with modern mRNA vaccines, track and trace technology and zoom calls should think again about what ‘enlightened’ really looks like.

This is tech enabled mediaevalism (sure I’ve said that before; sadly it never stops being true).

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

I’ve upticked you, but are you sure it isn’t worse than medieval? Maybe far worse by the time we reach the end?

J Hop
J Hop
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Agreed. I’m willing to give medieval society some leeway considering life was short and brutal and we knew very little about science or medicine. Clinging to religious dogma when it was all you had to give your short and brutal life some hope and meaning, with no real options or alternatives, is somewhat excusable. Now there really is no excuse.

jim peden
jim peden
2 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

I’d have given you many more upticks for this if I had been allowed by the technology.

Toby Bray
Toby Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

Very well said.
Despite modern technology, we still succumb – at the drop of a hat – to very disturbing ancient forces. In this case, scapegoating.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

As a former lifelong (until that point in my life, anyway) socialist, I understand completely why the left are such lying unalloyed hypocrites: it simply doesn’t occur to them that they are. When you assume — not believe, assume; “believe” implies you’ve thought about it — that there’s some kind of inevitable progress in the simple passage of time, the logical corollary is that you yourself are the most advanced creature who’s ever lived because you’re the current generation. In short, you yourself are the standard of good. If you want it, it’s right, and it doesn’t matter that you were foursquare against it last Tuesday.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francis MacGabhann
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

Very well put.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago

Many on the right are just like this too!

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Half way through The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. Thanks for the recommendation.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Yes, luckily many of us who comment here don’t adhere to left-right political dogma.

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
2 years ago

I suspect arrogance, intellectual arrogance, is the reason why they cannot see why they are so hypocritical. Stir in a little Cognitive Dissonance about the dangers of the Jab and we have a recipe for intransigence on a grand scale.

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago

For those who know they are on the side of the angels there is nothing too monstrous they will not do to those they think are not. It was ever thus, but thank you for the reminder. Good article. Sadly I do not think many will see your point.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lee Jones
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

A good example of exactly what you say is the writer’s line:

“(Do we want to think, for a moment, what kind of horrors might lie in store for women’s reproductive rights if a Republican-heavy legislature used this same logic to target abortion access for women who were “careless” about using birth control?)”

OK, so what is it that caused the19,900,000 of the last 20,000,000, twenty million + abortions in the West? Because there have been more than that – what? Is it a horror to not allow state sanctioned killing of a fetus conceived by sex when it is known this may well cause pregnancy unless one is not ‘careless’?

You may think it a right to have abortions as a lifestyle decision, but is it a ‘Horror’ than someone else does not?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

If somebody doesn’t believe in abortion then they’re free not to have one. I just don’t believe they should force their opinions onto others who see abortion as part of women’s healthcare

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Good point. If someone is not on death row they should not have opinions on death penalties either.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Pray tell me how those two things are at all related?
An abortion is a decision a woman makes regarding something growing inside her body, if somebody doesn’t believe in abortion then they’re free not to have one.
The death penalty is a punishment for the most abhorrent crimes people can commit.
There is simply no similarity in those two situations

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Smith
James Watson
James Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Something growing inside her”. No, Billy Bob, not something, someone.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  James Watson

It’s a foetus, to me it’s not someone while it’s incapable of surviving if separated from the mother

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So if an acquaintance has a miscarriage at 14 weeks you offer up condolences or say it’s only a foetus so buck up?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

Of course not, I’d offer my condolences because I’m not a monster and they’d lost their chance at having a child. What would you say to a lady who’d had an abortion at 14 weeks?
Personally I’d also find it much more upsetting and have much more sympathy if they’d lost a child 14 weeks after it was born

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I say this after reading your other comments, and finding them eminently reasonable, and sensible, but, “Of course not”? I would hope any kind and decent person would do and say the same and support the woman. But, in a wider sense, is an individual life of value of itself? And, should any life be considered to be an individuals possession which can be nurtured or destroyed at the whim of the possessor. These are concepts that seem to be muddied by theists and rights activists. I do not claim to have an answer but I think the questions worthy of consideration.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What about the baby’s healthcare?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

As I’ve said previously, until it can survive outside the womb I simply class it as part of the mother, and as such it should be her decision.
The most premature baby to survive was born around 21 weeks, therefore I’d currently set the abortion limit a few weeks below that level at around 18 weeks, and the level should drop if medical advances allow babies to survive earlier

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’ve had two healthy babies and two miscarriages. They were not part of my body.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

When people have a miscarriage they do not say they have lost a foetus.

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So you’re saying that whether a being is human or not depends on the state of technology.

Cat Fan
Cat Fan
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What does ‘believe in abortion’ mean? I believe abortions exist. I believe they take the life of a human being, scientifically this is correct. Morally the procedure is a murder of convenience.
This line of thinking ‘if you don’t like… don’t do’ is flawed. If you don’t like wife beating, don’t beat your wife. If you don’t like child labor, don’t employ children. If you don’t like rape, don’t rape. If you don’t like slavery, don’t own slaves. If you don’t like speeding through town, don’t speed. If you don’t like smoking in the emergency room, don’t smoke. And so on and so forth.
Many years ago there was a reasonable argument for very liberal access to abortion. However, advances in women’s rights over contraception, divorce and more make the case for abortion weaker. Advances in healthcare make pregnancy less dangerous for women. Advances in healthcare in terms of ultrasounds have also brought the reality of the humanity of the unborn child to light. Go watch an ultrasound of a 12-14 week in utero baby kicking, touching his/her face and tell me that isn’t a person, an innocent person who doesn’t deserve the death penalty because their existence is an inconvenience.

Dave Corby
Dave Corby
2 years ago
Reply to  Cat Fan

This ought to have another 100 upticks. But I suppose its not quite on topic.

Cat Fan
Cat Fan
2 years ago
Reply to  Dave Corby

Thanks!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Cat Fan

So what are we to do with all these unwanted babies? Are you willing to pay extra taxes to support the women you’d force to give birth to children they don’t want or can’t afford? Would you be willing to foster any of these unwanted children if their mothers can’t cope? I bet I already know the answer to those questions unfortunately. It’s easy to push your opinions onto others when it isn’t yourself that has to live with the consequences

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There’s a shortage of babies available for adoption anymore.

William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You’re right, babies are costly, especially unwanted ones. That’s probably why poor countries have so few of them.

Far better for the UK and the US to just import full-grown adults from Niger, Syria and Bangladesh to do the work those foetuses won’t do (anymore).

What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

This is Peter Singer’s argument and also applies to newborn infants and the elderly; do you believe those groups can also be killed off?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Of course not, why would I believe that? Bumping off old people or infants is completely different to ending a pregnancy before it’s viable in my eyes

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

In answer to “why would I believe that?” Judy Johnson already provided the answer: because the argument you applied to the unborn has been made before and shown equally applicable to newborns and the elderly by the noted Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer. Singer, unlike you, sees the logic of the argument and realizes it extends to newborns and the elderly. You somehow do not, leading the the more sensible question “why would you not believe that?”

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Snuffing out human life because of inconvenience is a bit more than just ‘opinion’.

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I somewhat agree, abortion, in essence is horrible. Someone has been killed! But, sometimes it is acceptable for people to be killed; just wars, sociopathic murderers, war criminals etc.. but sometimes there are situations (I cannot list them the emotions of every case can be complex and different) where it can be be the kinder or more humane choice. (While still keeping in mind that a lesser evil is still evil – but sometimes it is a choice that has to be made).

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

Indeed. The oft-repeated anti-abortion mantra, “Abortion is murder,” bothers me. Abortion is homicide. The question presented by a sane debate on abortion policy is “which, if any, abortions are justifiable homicides?” Once that is decided, the others are murder. The triage abortion that ends a pregnancy which, if continued, would result in the death of the mother (esp. if the mother’s death would also result in the death of the child) is arguably a justifiable homicide. Beyond that the matter should be debated in democratically elected legislatures.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”― C. S. Lewis

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

“so it’s reasonable enough under these circumstances to be frustrated when certain people won’t do their part, won’t sacrifice for the greater good, won’t get their damn jab because it violates some abstract principle of bodily autonomy they’ve never before expressed much interest in”
I don’t think the writer should have embarked on an article like this is if she doesn’t have a basic understanding of why so many people are Covid vaccine hesitant.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

After a while on Unherd I do not have that basic understanding either. It is an irrational decision after all. Maybe you have an explanation that makes sense?

Or are you just going to tell me to have som cheese and onion crisps with bilitong and go watch motor racing?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think Samir sets the reasons out pretty well, particularly for people under 60.

Covid is not a statistically significant risk to me

By its very nature it cannot have been tested over the long term.

It is produced by an industry with a track record of profit over people that has specifically demanded immunity from liability.

I’m fully vaxxed. My risk assessment has factored in these arguments and come down on the other side, but that doesn’t mean the arguments are invalid or irrational.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

The risks of vaccination are not statistically significant.
The ill effects of COVID infection have not been tested over the long term – but are likely to be worse than the effects of the vaccine.
The SARS-COV2 virus was produced by nature, that has a track record of not prioritising people at all, not even as a secondary objective, and that does not have to pass any regulatory procedures.
That is before even considering that not getting vaccinated risks others, as well as yourself.
Whatever drives the vaccine-resistant (and I would like to know), it cannot be a rational evaluation of the alternatives.

Anyway, go and have some Walkers with mature cheddar – that will help you feel comfortable with the vaccine mandates.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

you mean Covid jab resistant, they are not vaccines. Untested, causing all sorts of serious adverse side effects, especially in young males. Under 30 (maybe even under 40)* you have MORE chance of dying from the vaccine than from Covid. Reason enough for you?
*normal health and fitness levels

Last edited 2 years ago by David Owsley
Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

That is fake news and not factually correct. If you have access to hidden information, you should share your sources before coming out with these statements

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago

Currently unprovable yes, but easy to estimate (even guestimate, which would also be a darn sight more accurate than current models the UK GOV are following), add the number of deaths from COVID in healthy under 40s (it is a VERY low number) the add the KNOWN deaths from vaccines (unreported as such so like I said, unfortunately unprovable).

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Lookout QAnon are here!

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

LOL, not quite, maybe I am over-zealous in my wording BUT it will come out soon enough.
But I am an avid Trump fan 😉

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

From whence did you get those figures? NB not a criticism, but I would like to read up on it. The anti Covid jab is a vaccine produced much along the same lines of how Edward Jenner first created a vaccine against cowpox.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

see above to Michael, perhaps I was polemic in my choice of words but deaths in healthy from COVID is a TINY number, serious adverse events from vaccines is growing (and numbers reported are generally thought to be about 10% actual) but all unfortunate impossible to prove, even with a proper enquiry, which there will be.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Oh dear!

Since I do enjoy a chunk of cheddar in a packet of Walkers, and you couldn’t possibly know that, I assume I must have posted about it.

It seems unlikely you remember my posts better than I do, so presumably you keep a record of posts on here.

To what end?

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Bollis
John Montague
John Montague
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“…… produced by nature….” now are we all absolutely 100% sure about that. No additional little help from mankind with the ability to transmit straight onto the human respiratory system along the way at all…? really completely sold on that one with no doubt at all?

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago
Reply to  John Montague

My money is on made by nature tinkered with by man.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

A huge portion of the earth’s population has tried various vaccines over a year. It’s hard to better that

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

I agree, that was evidence I used for feeling reasonably comfortable about it.

It doesn’t alter the validity of any of the three arguments put forward as the contra case.

Trust is a key issue in the debate. Since the social media giants, and the MSM, decided their editorial line is pro vax, I have little faith that stories of adverse side effects will get any real traction unless they’re too massive to ignore.

It will interesting to see the headlines in a few years, when this is history, and selling papers involves finding evidence of people terribly injured by vaccines that the terrible Tories foisted on an unsuspecting population.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I suspect you’ve been given many explanations before and simply ignored them.
For me, my fiancé and the friends we have that haven’t taken it the explanations are simple:

  1. Too many friends who have taken it have reported that it made them sick, and in a few cases, that it left them with what now appear to be permanent injuries. One friend appears to have been rendered infertile. The medical system is ignoring these people, who are invariably told it must all just be a coincidence. This is scary and discouraging.
  2. Due to (1) of the friends who took their two shots, a non-trivial proportion have said explicitly they don’t want to take any boosters and some have been finding ways to get fake passes.
  3. All this combines with a lack of trust in the authorities, who have been lying continuously about many things for a very long time now, combined with the ugly and totalitarian nature of what vaccines have come to represent.

What should the people who had bad reactions to their last shot do now? There’s no medical exemptions, doctors don’t want to know and they’re being forced into taking it again. They’re scared, feel utterly oppressed and it’s just horrible to witness.
And all this for a disease that was already (in our age group) incredibly mild, is now getting even more so, and which vaccines don’t stop you getting anyway. So it’s all for nothing in the end.
All these are extremely rational reasons to say “no”. Any more questions, Rasmus?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

If it happens to yourself or someone close to you, I sympathise with the reaction. Let us say that if I saw a UFO I might well believe it; if I read that someone else has seen it I will not be convinced. When it happens to you, it is hard to convince yourself that statistically unlikely bad effects have to happen to somebody, even if in the abstract you believe it is true.
I’d suspect, though, that most of the negationists have not had any close personal encounters with negative vaccine effects. For those I suspect it is a matter of a built-in lack of trust in the authorities and political objection to state intervention that just finds a handy hook to lock on to.

Let me put it this way: Fairly regularly the media bring you stories about people who demonstrated against vaccines and who are now in intensive care with COVID and regretting their former opinions. Presumably this kind of cherry-picked anecdote does not do much to convince you – and quite rightly too! So why would people be convinced that vaccines are so dangerous on mere hearsay – unless they had their own reasons to want to believe it?

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

What we don’t believe is that these events are statistically unlikely. Me and my girl can handle statistics fine, but the risk of COVID is by now well characterised and extremely low for our age group, even ignoring the general inflation caused by COVID deaths/hospitalizations being a giant correlation=causation fallacy.
But the risk from the vaccines is simply a giant question mark. The authorities claim it’s low, but we see evidence with our own eyes that maybe it’s not. Most people here have taken Moderna and that’s already been banned or discouraged by many countries for the under 30s. Yeah well it’s not like turning 30 is a magic line in the sand, is it? Governments are clearly not receiving reports of injuries: we don’t know a single person who has reported their problem to the database, or been acknowledged as a vaccine injury by doctors. Plus even for those who were only temporarily sick and now seem to have fully recovered, we hear them saying the experience was horrible and some who took it already – so definitely not anti-vaxxers – are looking for ways to get fake passes as a consequence.
None of these people have had any obvious political ideology before, and in fact most are politically entirely passive as far as I know. The reason given for taking the vaccine is always that they just wanted life to go back to normal. The girl who now seems to be infertile (six months+ without periods, not pregnant, starting immediately after vaccination) only took it so she could still afford going to the gym 🙁 We really hope that her body spontaneously heals itself because for sure, the medical system isn’t helping her and it’d be a tragedy if she lost the ability to start a family simply so she could go exercise without having to pay for constant testing … 🙁
The final paragraph you added makes no sense to me. People are unconvinced by anecdotes reported by the press because the press have a track record of gross dishonesty about COVID, and they’re all obsessed with getting everyone to take the jab. Anecdotes they hear from their own friends who aren’t pressuring anyone to do anything, are a different matter entirely. And to be clear I’m not asking you to change your views about what you should do yourself – only explaining why there are actually plenty of rational reasons to refuse the shot.

Last edited 2 years ago by Norman Powers
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Well, again, I’ll admit it makes a difference what you hear from the people around you. Personally neither I nor any of our friends (all vaccinated, Pfizer and/or Moderna, teenage to old) had anything worse than a sore arm or a day or two of feeling bad. That is bound to colour my reaction. In the general case I still do not think it makes sense to believe that COVID is no danger for your age group but that vaccines are – based solely on the available evidence. But as you describe your personal; situation I’ll admit that avoiding vaccination is not an irrational choice for you, or your girl.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Thank you. I also understand why you take the position you do, given your experiences. I’d probably have the same view in your shoes.
But as I get older and my list of mistakes slowly racks up, I’ve come to learn that reality is enormously complex and what’s best for me isn’t always best for everyone regardless of how obvious it may seem. Working in an international company with customers in many countries was especially eye-opening in this regard, w.r.t. the importance of local differences.
So although you’re wrong about politics for my girl and our friends, you’re right about me: I’ve become more libertarian over time partly due to experiences like this. I thought something seemed simple, supported an “extreme” solution (not that they seemed so extreme at the time) and then years later heard the other side of the story. I’ve even switched “sides” in some matters over time, and been vilified for it by former allies. Well, so be it. Sometimes I’m still tempted to support ‘extreme’ solutions when upset, and I still struggle with whether there’s such a thing as ‘extreme non-interventionism’ for example, but from these experiences I concluded that it’s best to let people make their own calls, and to let ideas/experiences/intuitions compete freely with each other. I wish it were the case now, with vaccines.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Being able to switch sides over time is a strong positive. I’m giving you an uptick just for that

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Seeing that you are not persuaded by data evidence to the contrary, we rely on anecdotal accounts. My neighbour over the road has been severely injured by the vaccine – according to him life changing as he can’t work effectively and is mostly confined to his house. He was very pro vaccination. He is in his 40s – maybe 50 tops.
Despite the current data (which you are ignoring) and despite anecdotal accounts which are kind of here and there, fact remains that long term safety of the vaccines is not proven and people involved in the development of mRNA technology specifically, are speaking out against its safety.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper has provided quite a lot of data that I found persuasive. Those are ‘the current data’, AFAIAC. Did they persuade you? I do actually read and consider data, but you have yet to come up with anything that I think can stand against that.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Elaine would then also be ignoring VAERs data and eminent scientists and doctors actually on the ground fighting Covid? One thing I can be sure of, she does not know long term safety, because none of us do.
Face it, your head is so firmly in the sand that it doesn’t matter what evidence is given you, or what nefarious issues are exposed. Or maybe you have realized and you cannot climb down?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

That is the dividing line between us, then. All references to VAERS data I have seen in this debate so far have been not just unprofessional but totally misguided and lacking in understanding. No matter how many titles people claimed. Do you understand where we are disagreeing, scientifically? Can you give me an argument how you can draw conclusions from health data for hundreds of millions of people, without even considering how many of those outcomes are likely to come about by chance? Or can you point to a professional-quality study that finds these huge numbers of side effects?
Blood clots? Established as a problem by proper analysis. Myocarditis? Established as a problem by proper analysis. Anything beyond that? No reliable evidence whatsoever – yet. And no sign of any such evidence from any of the debaters here.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

Ah you lost the argument right there, accusing Rasmus of being ignorant when he(?) clearly isn’t . Lost all credibility with me in that one sentence.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Thanks for the support, but it is OK. I really think that my arguments hold, and hers do not, but she is an honest debater, we just disagree. She does not pull her punches, but sticks and stones, you know. I am not mild-mannered myself either.

*) Yes, it is ‘he’. Scandinavian first name. And I am binary, not hexadecimal, FWIW.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago

The VAERS and the Yellow card systems are, as Rasmus has pointed out, signal generating mechanisms.
As far as the Yellow Card scheme is concerned, how this data is reviewed and dealt with is explained in detail here:
“Report of the Commission on Human Medicines Expert Working Group on COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance”
Personally I am pretty happy with this sytem because in the UK the MHRA have access to such huge amounts of data as do ordinary researchers as exemplified by this breathtaking study published in Nature 7 days ago, looking at 38.6 million vaxxed people in the UK and 2.3 million unvaxxed to try and tease out more solid information about the age related myocarditis / pericarditis risks :
“Risks of myocarditis, pericarditis, and cardiac arrhythmias associated with COVID-19 vaccination or SARS-CoV-2 infection”
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01630-0
This is a Desert Island paper for me.
You are correct that we don’t know for sure what long term effects there will be with any of the vaccines, nor with Covid itself.
Individuals are free to examine the data and make up their own minds.
Unfortunately, right now, I think that there are very few good science communicaors around who are given enough prominence to explain for instance, what is a good and what is a badly designed study for answering a specific question; why conscious and unconscious bias is such a pernicious problem and why people doing clinical trials spend so much time trying to eliminate it; what are kosher and non kosher ways of displaying results; what stats to use when, where and how ….. and so on.
I set very little store by surgeons with “magic hands” or physicians who say “and in my experience” why ? because of the bias problem which is all pervasive and largely unconscious. If a clinician isn’t interested in counting then I am not interested in listening to them. If a clinician I talk to doesn’t know who Sackett and Strauss were (the Mum and Dad of Evidence Based Medicine) then all my alarm bells go off.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

why conscious and unconscious bias is such a pernicious problem and why people doing clinical trials spend so much time trying to eliminate it;”
This!

John Montague
John Montague
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

now correct me if i am wrong but the actual official medical clinical trials for all the vaccines are still on going and do not complete until at least mid 2022 – so I would say it’s factually, “scientifically” – even by Fauci, and literally impossible to state the case for or against the jabs (which of course aren’t actually vaccines as we would call them previously) until these trails are over. I am double and booster jabbed now in the UK – but only because I have to in order for travel etc… I don’t think I need it, I don’t want it and if I had a choice I would not have it. There is categorically no way my 12 year old daughter is getting it as she absolutley does not need it, medically or in any other way.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  John Montague

Not impossible to state, no, but OK, not nearly as well supported as we would normally require. But then, We are all likely to get COVID some time, so the choice is between getting it vaccinated or unvaccinated. And we already have much more data than you would normally have for regulatory approval. I would say that there is a good case that the vaccine is not significantly worse than COVID itself, and as you get older it becomes ever more a no-brainer.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Regulators don’t accept random experiments on e.g. third world populations as evidence in lieu of trial data because it’s too heavily confounded. That’s the reason they insist on RCTs. “Real world data” here is by no means an acceptable substitute as you have no idea if it’s even being collected correctly, and from what I’ve seen it’s definitely not. Quite the opposite.
Good news: RCTs were done. Bad news: it’s easy to have doubts about these specific trials, especially when you learn about cases of people who were very badly injured and yet that information didn’t turn up in the final trial reports. Things like smartphone apps that don’t let you type in freeform descriptions of what’s going wrong with you just shouldn’t be happening. It suggests a severe case of regulatory capture and maybe worse.
And for example in the case of our friends, well a lot of the problems are related to periods. Guess what, all the women in the trials were on birth control. Trials have nothing to say, and researchers have mysteriously concluded that the databases specifically set up to let people detect side effects post-trial are suddenly, after decades of use, no longer acceptable for that task.

Last edited 2 years ago by Norman Powers
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

I do not know enough to judge about smartphone apps etc., but it does sound like a potential problem. Underreporting, in general, is surely real, and has to be dealt with.

But as for “researchers have mysteriously concluded” etc. what are we talking about? I suspect it is the question I have been arguing with Lesley van R and Johan Strauss: The databases have been set up to count everything that happens (and is recorded), so they let you find out easily ‘what happened’. They do *not* let you find out easily if ‘what happened’ was caused by the vaccine. For that you need a fairly complex calculation to check how likely it is that the events would have happened by chance in this population. So you can easily find out how many died from traffic accidents or gunshot wounds or pneumonia shortly after the vaccination – I am not being facetious here, those data are recorded. But before you can conclude that the vaccination causes car crashes, gunshot wounds, or pneumonia, you need to check how likely it is that this could have happened for other reasons, and whether it might be just coincidence that it happened after the vaccination. That is how they noted the blood clots – they realised some severe types of blood clot, while still quite rare, were much more common than they should have been. And that is what is – very obviously – missing for those people who count how many deaths are registered in the database and quote them as caused by the vaccine. The problem is not in the databases, even pocket calculators (if you remember those) will not give the right answer if you push the wrong buttons.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes, data from AEDBs need to be treated carefully. Nonetheless that can be done, and has been done in the past. That’s what the databases are for.
What we’re seeing at the moment is papers being retracted or refused publication simply because they used AE data at all, with the reason being words to the effect of “correlation isn’t causation lol”. Even in cases where they’ve tried to control for increased reporting it’s deemed unacceptable and blocked.
Fundamentally, either post-trial surveillance is uselessly confounded and always has been – major safety concern right there – or usage of the data by researchers is being blocked for COVID specifically for ideological reasons. Neither is OK.
The official explanation is that the near-vertical increase in reports isn’t a “safety signal”, despite these vaccines yielding more AERs than all other vaccines combined in the history of the system and despite woeful levels of under-reporting. I also find this difficult to accept.
Basically, there doesn’t seem to be any functioning, conflict-of-interest free safety system despite that the entire world is being forced to take an experimental substance using brand new tech. The same people who are tasked with driving vaccine adoption as high as possible are also tasked with evaluating safety. You couldn’t have a riskier more accident-prone setup if you tried. That is a major, obvious, glaring error in institutional design. Nobody should have much confidence in the system whilst the gatekeepers of the data have a huge interest in it being used only in certain ways.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

As you say, it can be done. Both to do the analysis, and to get the results out. If people have a good, reliable paper that cannot make it through peer review, I would recommend a preprint server. The article on the Wuhan laboratory origin had a huge effect, even if it only got on to the ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’. It certainly convinced me. If the arguments are good, enough people will be convinced. If nobody is convinced, maybe the arguments are not that good.

One would have to note that rolling out a controversial vaccine for a new disease to the entire adult population of the world at once is bound to generate a huge spike in reports. It would be extraordinarily difficult to work out how the number of reports correlate with what you would have had for a more classical situation.

If you know of a reliable paper that is being suppressed, could you provide a link? It might be convincing.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

“What we’re seeing at the moment is papers being retracted or refused publication simply because they used AE data at all, with the reason being words to the effect of “correlation isn’t causation lol”
Are you referencing the Hoeg and Krug paper ? You should read the first 3 (of 109) comments on the pre print page to get a flavour of why this might not have been published yet.
You know of course that myocarditis was a bit of a feature of smallpox vaccinations ? (58 / 100,000 in 2003) but then in those days there was no internet, no FB, no Twitter, no incontinent MSM, no UnHerd.
As for the Yellow Card system, personally I feel pretty reassured by the data that the MHRA can lay their hands on (not just the cards, fortunately) and how they deal with it. See :
“Report of the Commission on Human Medicines Expert Working Group on COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance”
for all the details.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Again, thanks. You are surely the best informed contributor on this forum. Hoeg and Krug is beyond me to comment on, but happy to trust your judgement.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Thanks. I shall need to read that. If COVID was a fairly rare or innocuous disease I would not take those vaccines either. But it looks like most of us will get that COVID DNA inside one way or the other. So I cannot but start out wondering how it could be more dangerous to get it through a vaccine that to get it through an infection.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Ah, but we have to distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and COVID. The virus may go many places but it doesn’t always lead to “severe COVID”, in fact often it doesn’t seem to lead to much in the way of disease at all.
The inability/refusal to distinguish between cause and effect is rampant in the medical literature. Not everyone will get SARS-CoV-2 (I never seem to have done even when my fiancé was sick with it and we were quarantined in the same small apartment) and of those who do, many will not develop COVID. Unfortunately public health defines COVID as “presence of RNA fragments that might or might not be SARS-CoV-2 but we’ll assume it is”, which isn’t a useful definition of disease.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

You have the disease if you have the virus multiplying inside you. We think you have the disease if we find evidence of the virus being inside you. If you want to argue that detection methods are not good or that not all cases are serious by all means do so. But please, stop playing word games with the definitions.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You do not have the disease if you have the virus inside you, that’s the exact confusion I’m criticizing. Disease is defined by having symptoms. It isn’t (meant to be) defined by presence of a virus; this is the whole reason COVID and SARS-CoV-2 have different names. An asymptomatic person cannot be said to have a disease by definition, yet public health idiots routinely make this claim. Far from me playing word games here I’m trying to stop other people playing word games.
Do I care if I get SARS-CoV-2 inside me? No, not unless it makes me sick and even then, it’d have to make me actually pretty sick to care. Same for anyone else. If you get it and the only evidence is testing positive then you don’t have any disease by the very definition of what disease is, it’s as simple as that.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago

I note that the IJVTPR is a new journal (Vol 2 No 1 2021 for this particular article)
I also note that the first author works in a Computer Science and AI laboratory and the second author in Naturopathic Oncology.
The first red flag for me was this statement :
“the absolute risk reduction is a more appropriate metric for a member of the general public to determine whether a vaccination provides a meaningful risk reduction personally.” – only if the AR is age stratified because of the 10,000 fold difference in risk for catching and dying of Covid between the ages of 1 and 95 – disingeneously, they don’t provide this information.
Then :
“The spike protein alone failed to initiate a T cell response in animal studies, whereas the formulation with all three proteins did (Corbett et al., 2020). ”
So I went to the Corbett Nature paper and noted that :
“Both immunogens elicited S-binding antibodies in the IgG2a and IgG1 subclasses, indicating a balanced TH1–TH2 response”
AND there was no reference at all to a formulation with all 3 proteins in the Corbett paper.

If Seneff and Nigh can’t be bothered to read their referenced papers then I am certainly not going to waste my time reading theirs.

Last edited 2 years ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

I went through the first 20 pages. Points noted:

  • A lot ‘we do not know if’. True, if you give a new vaccine, drug, or treatment you do not know what might happen, which is why the first trials include few people who do take some risk. Fortunately the risk is generally manageable – since the only alternative is to never try anything new.
  • Almost all of this is speculation. There is ‘One might speculate’ or similar in maybe half of the paragraphs. So, no evidence, let alone proof, just imagination.
  • Lots of his warnings come from effects observed in *COVID patients*. He then ‘speculates’ that the same or worse ‘might’ happen after vaccination. My best guess remains that actual COVID is likely to be worse, since you get the same proteins etc. but more of them. It would undoubtedly be better to avoid both vaccination and disease and simply be healthy without either. But unless you happen to be a naturopath there is absolutely no reason to believe that significant numbers of people can just avoid the disease completely.

I remain interested in anything with actual relevant evidence, but this is not it.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Antibody titres after vaccination are supposedly much higher than after natural infection. I read this on a blog of a guy who does a lot of data analysis of ONS statistics so don’t have a citation right now, I’d have to go searching, but the vaccines don’t seem to have been calibrated to induce a response similar in scale to infection. Rather they seem to have simply started with a value known to be “OK” from animals and then increased it until the side effects became intolerable. But it’s all pretty much proprietary and hard to find information on.
At any rate I’d suggest being very careful with the assumption that the vaccine yields a weaker or equal level of spike proteins to actual infection. There isn’t any way to do that comparison except via proxies like antibodies and nobody has tried.

John Waldsax
John Waldsax
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

When the anecdotes are subject to to the discipline of a full clinical trial with multiple independent referees checking the results, I will believe them.
I may share you views about the press (but they want to sell papers, not persuade you to vaccinate), but the gold standard of scientific proof is clinical trials. If you refuse to trust personally liable scientists’ conclusions, then you really do need medical treatment!

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  John Waldsax

Scientists aren’t personally liable. Even the companies they work for aren’t liable, for anything at all. They’ve been given complete immunity from liability of any kind as part of the contracts governments signed to get the vaccines. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Of course, the fact that they absolutely insist on this protection for themselves whilst also insisting the vaccines are perfectly safe is a rather huge contradiction.
Also, unfortunately the trials didn’t do a good job of establishing safety. People who took part were given an app to report side effects, but it had a hard-coded list of effects you were allowed to choose with no way to report anything else that they didn’t already “let” you report. In one case a girl in the children’s trials was so badly injured she was left in a wheelchair for life – this showed up in the trial data as she suffered “abdominal pain”.
At any rate, to make this point ultra clear, I do not trust scientists at this point. I do not trust public health officials. I do not even trust doctors. I do not trust governments or the press. Why not, because I can see them engaging in grotesque dishonesty and denial about what’s been happening with people we actually know. They’re all hopelessly conflicted by their own prior advice and ideologies.

Last edited 2 years ago by Norman Powers
David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  John Waldsax

then look at the clinical trials of Pfizer et al and you’ll see!

Liz DeLiso
Liz DeLiso
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

“the risk of COVID is by now well characterised and extremely low for our age group”; That’s great for you, but unless you only frequent people in your age group without pre-existing conditions, your choice not to be vaccinated means that you could well be spreading an extremely transmissible disease to others who are more vulnerable. I don’t understand why this is so hard to understand. 

John Montague
John Montague
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz DeLiso

The vaccines – which are not vaccines, unless you plump for the new and updated meaning of the word – do not stop you transmitting anything. They stop you undergoing the worst effects of the virus. You can happily be double or triple jabbed, run around the shops and be transmitting away more than the MSM – and not know anything about it. That is not hard to understand at all.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  John Montague

That is why those of us who have had 3 shots still wear masks and have been up close and personal for longer than 15 minutes, with just 2 people in the last fortnight.
Incidentally there is evidence that being vaxed reduces onward transmission – from studies done in Israel, the Netherlands and the UK

John Montague
John Montague
2 years ago

CDC current best estimates. Infection Fatality Ratio (chances of dying from an infection) 0-17 years:0.002% 18-49 years:0.05% 50-64 years:0.6% 65+ years:9% So you are saying that we should close down large sections of our economy with attendant extremely negative medical, economic and physiological effects on millions of people, reduce social contact, wear masks (which are debatable in efficacy and use), entirely change the structure of our laws, society, way of living etc… for a virus which can be nasty to some, and sadly lethal for a small percentage (average age of death in the UK still higher for covid patients than actual average age of passing – 82 for covid vs 81 in normality). for something which we have no actual real data or knowledge of? I don’t know what our irresilient world will do if anything truly bad comes along. Life is risky – we have to live with it, or it is no life at all.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
2 years ago
Reply to  John Montague

In the UK it has never been all about the death and dying.
It has always been about a lean and mean NHS trying to cope with an extra unprecedented work load and not having enough spare capacity to get on with its usual work.
The UK is an unhealthy population (old and obese with lots of comorbidty) and unfortunately with unrealistically high expectations regarding 21st century health care.
There are no government approved guidelines in the UK for end of life care in a situation where a hospital runs out of staffed critical care beds. In Italy they simply triaged by age in hospital corridors and ambulances – really bad optics all round. In the UK, initially, I think they probably did the triage in the care homes from the few anecdotes I have heard. Out of sight.
Moral to this tale ? make sure your advanced directives are up to date so there is no unnecessary care dished out to you in extremis. Makes life heaps easier for the clinicians and frees up beds.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz DeLiso

In fact we both live in different countries to our parents. Of the people we socialize with, they’re all roughly in our age range except one, and he doesn’t want to take it.
At any rate, we don’t “understand” your point because it’s wrong.
Vaccines are meant to protect the people who take them. They weren’t designed to stop transmission and don’t do so. So says Clive Dix, former head of the UK Vaccine task force. Or you could ask scientists who testified to Parliament or you could just observe that despite vaccination levels well beyond what was claimed to be the herd immunity threshold, COVID hasn’t gone away.
Actually effect on transmission wasn’t even measured during the trials, because it was regarded as irrelevant (nor was impact on hospitalization or death for that matter, only impact on numbers of people testing positive).
So the vulnerable should take the vaccine. Maybe for them it’s worth it (I honestly don’t know, because I don’t trust the data, but if they do and want to take it have at it). But having taken the vaccine they don’t then get to argue that it doesn’t actually work and therefore it’s the fault of people who didn’t take it. Sorry, that’s not only illogical but a morally bankrupt argument. If it doesn’t do what it was meant to do, and also doesn’t do things it wasn’t meant to do, but can definitely cause nasty side effects of the type I’ve described then why should we risk losing our chance to start a family by taking it? Just to make you feel better for five minutes until the government tells you to panic again?! That seems like a bad deal. You go booster up and leave the rest of us well alone.

J Hop
J Hop
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz DeLiso

I don’t know why it’s so hard for you to understand that the vaccines do not prevent transmission of the virus. The vaxxed are spreading it just as easily which is why highly vaxxed countries are seeing record cases. Your ignorance is astounding.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

It would be statistically weird if a number of people didn’t have medical problems immediately after taking a vaccine. This is simply because people have medical issues all the time.

If no-one had problems, scientists could rightly claim that they had developed wonder drugs, with universal protective properties

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Exactly!

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

Weirdly enough, we’re not idiots and can tell the difference between the type and frequency of medical problems people experience in normal times vs now. Here’s a hint: the problems are strange, doctors don’t know how to diagnose them and they are occurring in young previously healthy people in near-immediate proximity to taking the vaccine. Additionally, the second time our friend went back to a gynecologist the doctor blew her off with a blood test and sent her home, but not before mentioning that girls were now coming in with similar problems “nearly every day”. Gulp.
But yes yes, we know, it’s all just a weird set of coincidences nobody ever noticed before, just like the sudden epidemic of athletes grabbing their hearts and collapsing on live TV. Nothing to see here.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

If I was in your situation I might think the same (as I said), but it is really very easy to get 100% convinced on partial evidence. As E G-L points out, bias, unconscious and otherwise, is a vampire that always lies in wait, and in science you always need to be on guard against it. Remember Andrew Wakefield and the so-called link between the MMR vaccine and autism? I do not doubt that many of those parents were convinced, sincere – and wrong. Even very strange coincidences are sometimes just coincidences. Of course, sometimes they are something else, too, but it takes a lot of care to prove it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

At PMQ’s about three weeks ago the Prime Minister was asked if there would be compensation for those who had had a bad reaction to the vaccinations and the answer was “Yes”. So it is accepted that some people have ill-effects even life-threatening ones and yet those who do not want to get a booster for good reasons are discriminated against. It is immoral!

ken wilsher
ken wilsher
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Everyone I know is vaccinated and none of them had any bad effects at all.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Infertile? That’s new. please explain the mechanism.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus, this discussion has been done to death, with detailed explanations why.
Maybe I should feel flattered that you are stalking me. Cheers – I left out the glass of wine and gathering of friends 🙂

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Well, that chips-and-biltong post surprised me – seeing as I had you down as a serious and decent person.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago

Yeah you lost.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Absolutely agreed. The problem is that when you try to get into a reasonable discussion online about why these people mistrust the vaccine, they come back with links to discredited ‘experts’ and charlatans and expect to be taken seriously. They end up with statements like ‘I’ve studied the science’ when they don’t have even a basic understanding of how vaccines work. They constantly mistake coincidence for causation and have no concept of risk assessment in the real World. What’s troubling me is how so many of them are so vocal and so immune to reason.

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Not so irrational when you consider that many people felt it was all rather rushed. The race to get a vaccine was underpinned by the desire to be the first to do so. Initially, there did not appear to be enough information as to just how safe the vaccine was, side effects, whether due process had been observed, and therefore lots of misinformation got broadcast at first.
As far as I am aware, most people were free to choose whether they had the jabs or not.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
2 years ago

This interview on the Dark Horse podcast has a fair summary: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7sINwJG5RY0DLZQxsPnnmw?si=e3eacb3148df4bbd

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

It is funny. People just create a caricature in their head of somebody who won’t take it. They don’t even bother talking to anybody who won’t take it. It is like they really don’t want to know why they won’t take it.

Michael Richardson
Michael Richardson
2 years ago

I think that by this stage of the game there are very few people who are vaccine hesitant. They have all decided, one way or the other.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
2 years ago

The Nazis were convinced of their righteousness, no matter what evil they committed/tolerated, and that’s for many years before the final solution. COVIDNazis are no different, which is why I keep predicting this will only end with violence. The Nazis weren’t reasoned/talked out of their evil, they were only defeated by superior levels of Allied violence in WWII. The UK might avoid falling into complete evil but we already see Austria, Germany, Dutch, Italians continuing to go full COVIDNazi, so the Continental Europeans will be worst offenders as they were before. Kate Wand’s work is vital in providing a visceral reflection of what the COVIDNazis are, and Unherd really should be interviewing her and promoting her videos.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeffrey Chongsathien
Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
2 years ago

Comparing the need to get people vaccinated to the Nazi’s who gassed 6 million Jews is utterly ridiculous. The vaccine is there to prevent death not cause it. The damage done to society and the NHS across the UK by those refusing the vaccine is obscene. The majority of beds are now being clogged up by the unvaccinated.

Last edited 2 years ago by Milos Bingles
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

The majority of beds are clogged up by the over 70s. And for them (or those with risk conditions) it makes sense to have the vaccine.

For a 10, 20, 50 year old the risk of severe symptoms is low, and the side effects unknown.

This wonderful vaccine of yours – where are the extensive studies proving safety? Why was liability waived for the manufacturers if it’s so safe? And how can we trust the likes of Pfizer who are greedy firms fined heavily in the past for lying?

And for people like you so keen on forcing mandates for a vaccine with inadequate testing, uncertain lasting benefits and no manufacturer liability, on those who don’t need it….

What else should we target? Obese, those who drink too much, cyclists, rock climbers…..the list of “selfish” people is endless

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

“The damage done to society and the NHS across the UK by those refusing the vaccine is obscene.”

Evidence? You have no idea how the disease really spreads, and nor does anyone else. As I say above, as a lefty (well, you sound like one) you require human sacrifice to assuage your own fears.
Scientific disease-spread modelling is the employment of theoretical numeric abstractions. It has no contact at all with reality. It cannot, unlike real practical science (e.g. physics), be tested. No-one can point to any individual and say ‘I got infected by him/her.’ It’s impossible to make or prove the truth of such judgments.

Last edited 2 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

“The damage done to society and across the UK by the NHS is obscene.”

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

How do you know the majority of beds are being “clogged up by the unvaccinated?” You’ve been watching Lorraine, Jeremy Vine, Martin Krmo or Dr Hillary, haven’t you?

You do know that 90% figure they were putting out was completely dismissed by Ofcom after thousands of complaints were made.

https://www.charitytoday.co.uk/full-fact-doctor-hillary-jones-claim-90-of-people-in-hospital-are-unvaccinated-is-wrong-its-36/

Or if you want the figures close to you just send a FOI request to the hospital. You’ll be shocked how much lying and fear-mongering is going on, and unfortunately many people, like yourself, are then spreading those lies because you believe them to be true.

I don’t blame you you should be able to trust thr TV and newspapers, but sadly that is no longer the case.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

I didn’t actually see/hear these people and would never take what any TV pundit says without checking it out, however, I do look at the ONS statistics and these are interesting. I confess my main concern is death and “long COVID”, and the statistics seem to indicate that these are both reduced quite dramatically by vaccines.
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsinvolvingcovid19byvaccinationstatusengland/deathsoccurringbetween2januaryand24september2021
These don’t contain data on the Omicron variant yet, so we will have to see what comes of that.
People are still free to decline if they wish, but I still have problems understaning why in most cases. I know that it’s only anecdotal, but of the two people that I know who have died of COVID one was a 34 years old man of normal weight with no (known) underlying conditions and was unvaccinated.

Last edited 2 years ago by Linda Hutchinson
Milos Bingles
Milos Bingles
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

I actually get a lot of my information from Dr. John Cambpell who examines all the data from across the globe and offers an in-depth analysis of the situation. He’s very good. He thinks people refusing the vaccine are irresponsible. Most of society do I’d imagine. It’s only the hardline libertarians that get on their high horse and start wanging on about Nazis and Hitler. The misery of the concentration camps is a million times worse than being asked to get a vaccine. Honestly. give your head a wobble. .

J Hop
J Hop
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

It’s not a vaccine. It’s experimental short term gene therapy with no manufacturer liability for an illness that poses little risk to more than 75% of the population. We are all jabbed for meales, mumps, and rubella. We are not partaking in the covid jabs. We actually got covid before the jabs were available. Mild cough for a few days. As expected. My 18 year old cousin died of a heart attack a day after the jab. Doctor said it must have been from an unknown condition. Right.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
2 years ago
Reply to  J Hop

If that’s true, it should be have been put on the yellow card system (UK equivalent of VAERS)? If not, you should be pushing for it.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

The majority of COVID beds in the UK are currently taken by the vaccinated. Refresh your statistics. The situation is fast changing and the people telling you otherwise have been quoting a very out of date figure from July (because the wonderful NHS refused to publish figures after that date up until very recently).
Also consider that Omicron apparently doesn’t care about vaccines at all. Denmark has started publishing very detailed data which shows that the rate at which people get infected is equal to the vaccination rate, or actually higher i.e. negative vaccine effectiveness. Not that it really matters much given the cold-like nature of the symptoms, but, Omicron appears to render vaccine irrelevant. It’s too mutated.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

they didn’t wake up one morning and gas Jews, they built up…check the timeline and what they did…scarily ACCURATE to how this is starting.
“The damage done to society and the NHS across the UK by those refusing the vaccine is obscene.”
This language, also employed by the current government is VERY sinister as totally untrue.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Owsley
Philip L
Philip L
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

The majority of beds are now being clogged up by the unvaccinated.

Yeesh. Someone watches too much daytime TV.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
2 years ago
Reply to  Milos Bingles

They didn’t start by gassing them, things developed as time went by. The first people in the camps were political prisoners, but now they deploy Cancel Culture, heck, why go to the expense of building a camp.
I would recommend reading a book by Christopher Robert Browning called Ordinary Men.

Dean Cochrane
Dean Cochrane
2 years ago

I know people who express that dark and malicious glee. I try to tell them that they should be worried about the state of their souls, but most of them take my criticism as evidence that I, too, am suspect. You can be vaccinated and be an anti-vaxxer, after all.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago

The logic of left-wing thinking demands scapegoats. It’s an impulse as old as man.

Adriana L
Adriana L
2 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

spot on.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

The only surprise is that the writer is surprised. The ‘left’ has thrown in its lot with the technocratic oligarchy which promises them something the vanguard of the proletariat never manged: control. Previous ‘left’ support for ‘rights’ was always contigent upon ideological ends. Those ends converge on state control. The left love the granular control of people’s lives this pandemic has allowed. We are only allowed the life the state permits, and that can be amended at the flick of a switch. That’s what ‘the left’ has always wanted. Sadly for them, like Iran’s socialists in 1979, they will be first to the camps after the fight is won.

Andrzej Wasniewski
Andrzej Wasniewski
2 years ago

Unvaccinated are just a temporary scapegoat for the governments. In Ontario Canada last weekend the number of positive tests (what the dumb people call cases) of vaxed and unvaxed was 71% vaxed, 29% unvaxed.
The public attitude towards unvaxed, In Canada at least, is the most disgusting display of wannabe fascist crawling out of their dark places. And Canada is not an exception.
Original ghettos were created mostly by claiming that Jews were spreading the disease. That is happening in Europe now, distributed ghettos.
In the meantime the people who tested positive do not receive any pre-hospital treatment. If the doctors in the Naval Hospital followed the CDC guidelines, Trump, old obese guy, would be dead by now. And thousands are dead because of withholding treatment.
And the underlying reason for that was neatly summarized by the tweet from Black in the Empire @blackintheempir:
“the agencies funded by Big Pharma, and politicians funded by Big Pharma, are on the News networks funded by Big Pharma, giving you the information why you should trust Big Pharma”
The most horrible thing is that a lot of of people, the dumbest, the most scared and therefore the most submissive among us, are very receptive to this tactics.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrzej Wasniewski
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

“Barack Obama summed it up best when he said, “In the United States of America, health care is not a privilege for the fortunate few — it is a right.””

Yea, a right… sure, like everything is. Housing, food, clothing, education, a phone, ….. sky’s the limit when saying what is someone’s right to goods and services when another pays for it…. But Rights are not stuff and services – they are the personal freedoms which are inherent in being a human. Freedom. The rights to speak, to assemble, to peruse happiness, religion, Habeas Corpus, to not be forced to self incriminate, to be charged, and then tried according to law, and I believe the right of self defense (the second amendment), and basically The Bill Of Rights.

Anyway – this is a fallacious line you throw in to muddy the waters. it is not about the right to healthcare at all, it is about the right of Government to coerce citizens into actions the Nurmberg Trials showed are a crime against humans; forced medical experiments – it is not about rights – it is about Removing Rights.

I remember once getting all upset because some cops had given me a beating and I was all going on about my rights, My Rights?? What About My Rights?? and someone who was not so silly as I was back then told me to STFU… He told me something I will never forget (and he told me by grabbing my shirt and putting his face in mine in a very annoyed manner that I was being such a Pu**y)

“You have two rights, the right to Die, and the right to Live till you Die. Everything else is a privilege society has granted you”

He told me to stop whining, grow up, and not resist next time and maybe they would not have beaten me up so much. And he was right, I saw it immediately. I had had a bad attitude, and the cops had given me an attitude adjustment, and so what? I was a young punk who needed it. And I had seen life in the real world where in other countries where things are really- really bad. And from it I learned to love America that much more, because we still (although Biden is trying to reverse them) do have ‘Rights’ (Privileges granted to us by Society, like the ones I mentioned at the top)

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Down Arrowed? Well, maybe you had to be there…..

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Obviously you are more sanguine than I. If some police officers had given me a beating I would not be just going on about my rights I would have gone to every authority I know and spoken to a lawyer – I would have wanted justice done. They would have violated my rights, the rights given to me by statute and by Common Law.

I half agree with you about what “rights” actually are; I believe that “rights” can encompass goods. Any society can agree, through whatever means they use to reach agreements, that everyone has the right to a rose-garden, and if it does so then this has to be supplied, but it needs an agreement and can only applied within the society that agrees this. “Rights” are not something handed down from above to be accepted by everyone anywhere in the world, they are fought for and agreed by the people within any society, and, they can be negative as well as positive e.g.“ No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.“ (Clause 39 Magna Carta). Too often a court or group of people decide to enlarge the concept of “rights” to include their own concerns or the latest fad, without recourse to other people or factors,

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

you of all people might have phrased it better – the right to life and liberty

Last edited 2 years ago by hugh bennett
Glyn Reed
Glyn Reed
2 years ago

Truly evil especially given the fact that these vaccines do not offer immunity or prevent transmission. It also appears that they are negatively impacting the immune system of the vaccinated making them prone to infection from mutations of the virus.

Julie Blinde
Julie Blinde
2 years ago
Reply to  Glyn Reed

Whoop.. whoop !!
Swivel-eyed cretin alert !!

David Slade
David Slade
2 years ago
Reply to  Julie Blinde

Don’t be so hard on yourself!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Julie Blinde

Whilst I don’t condone your words I do condone your sentiment; especially when it comes to the last sentence. But do remember, sometimes you just have to roll your eyes and shrug, after all we get plenty of practise when dealing with leftish “progressives”, the same goes for those on the right – reason is not always sufficient.

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Glyn Reed

OMG! It must be very dark at the bottom of that rabbit hole.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Glyn Reed

Excellent precis of Why an Educated Health Professional might decline the Rona Jabs. The benefits they confer are relatively fleeting, the possible damage to an immune system could well be permanent.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

Sarah Palin’s accurate characterization of “death panels” was based on Barack Obama’s matter-of-fact admission: a woman in an audience asked him about treatment for her elderly mother under his health plan. He said she would be given painkillers to essentially help ease her on her way out of the ultimate exit door. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of Obama’s top advisor, Rahm Emanuel, made the case that no one should live past 70. There is an all-out war on proven, inexpensive oral treatments waged by governments, pharmaceutical companies, tech giants, etc., against medical pros who are asking what on earth is happening (60,000 have signed a letter demanding answers). No, Palin’s statement wasn’t hysteria. She knew – they all knew – what she said was true. The media is a flawless gauge for knowing what is and isn’t true: whatever they’re hysterical about is a lie.

PB Storyman
PB Storyman
2 years ago

There is further irony in the ethnicity of some of those who refuse vaccines. Black Americans have been and continue to be more averse to jabs than whites. At first, this was quickly deemed to be due to system racism that kept blacks from access to vaccines, particularly in poor urban and remote rural areas. However, that easy and politically expedient explanation quickly gave way to the facts of a long-standing cultural reticence which our leftist cultural elites can neither understand nor empathize with. So, they now attack those on whom they rely for ongoing political loyalty (this despite the growing chasm between the modern American left and what one might call “mainstream black American” ideologies). Of course, the left doesn’t call black Americans out by race or age and prefers to stereotype right-wing whites on the fringes of religious and political spectrums. But, if the left continues to beat the “Please just die!” drum, they may find a tad less black loyalty at the ballot box next year.

Last edited 2 years ago by PB Storyman
Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

The American Left should be deeply worried about the state of its soul.”
The American left, nor any other left, no longer has a soul.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

. . . and the right do?

Ken Charman
Ken Charman
2 years ago

Far from it. In the UK academic expert and media based liberal-left have invented the idea that nobody is allowed to die. Suggest that we compare the cost of “saving a life” with Covid lockdowns versus any other way of saving any other life and the entire mob calls you a murderer and writes an open letter to the Times

Raoul Antelme
Raoul Antelme
2 years ago

If there are going to be two tribes, vaxxed and unvaxxed, then I’m interested to know what counts as ‘vaxxed’? One jab? Two jabs? Three jabs? Third jab in the last 3 months? Nth jab last week?
If the definition is 3 jabs, then at present only approximately 15 million people in the UK are vaccinated. A whole lot of curves potentially permanently flattened. Nice work Boris and the Christmas Party.
How would children under the age of 12 currently be classified? Would the under-age inherit the status of their parents? What about unvaccinated youngsters who were treated, but then didn’t go on to get vaccinated – could we levy an after-the-fact charge? Parents who don’t get their 3rd/4th/5th jab? Would current under-age patients with unclean parents be grandfathered in? What a mess. Much easier to exclude them all. Run along home little man, time heals all wounds. Even leukemia. Maybe.
How will the un-jabbed and Covid-recovered be classified? Seems a little heartless to be shafting folk for selflessly and bravely facing down Sars-Cov-2 in the interest of developing a community-spirited sterilizing immunity (that is also long-lived). But they did likely ignore all the scaremongering which is a concern. Maybe we should duff them up a bit.
Finally (and just a little worryingly) can we really rely on the excluded to happily keep on paying their full whack in tax?? Seems unlikely and even a minor tax revolt could be awkward. But – silly me – I’m forgetting the Magic Money Tree. Problem solved!

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

The hysteria over Covid and the vitriol aimed at those who don’t toe the line – is disgusting. In fact I don’t think fascistic us too strong a word. Nor Orwellian. Nor sinister. Is it a coincidence that the word ‘sinister’ sounds a lot like like the Italian word ‘sinistra’ meaning ‘left’?

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

No it’s not a coincidence it comes from the Latin. And that O Level is at last useful for something.

Paul K
Paul K
2 years ago

‘It’s reasonable enough under these circumstances to be frustrated when certain people won’t do their part, won’t sacrifice for the greater good, won’t get their damn jab because it violates some abstract principle of bodily autonomy they’ve never before expressed much interest in.’
You got close! But this part needs work.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
2 years ago

This article makes both the American left and the American right sound insufferably self-righteous.

James Watson
James Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Sorry, might have to flag you for actually mentioning the article. If you haven’t noticed that’s not what this thread is addressing!

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
2 years ago

Given the ever increasing issues found with those who have been vaccinated it is not outwith the realms of possibility that unvaccinated blood will be sought after since it is uncontaminated with the spike protein. Given how that spike protein binds to some key organs I can see how folks having operations cannot be given vaccinated blood. Especially the organ transplants.
I wonder what the bribe will be to get us unvaccinated to donate blood?
I wonder if those currently calling for us to be untreated or put in camps or locked in our homes forever will ever get on their hands and knees and apologise should the above come about?. If they approach me they better be on their hands and knees.
Angry does not come close to how feel about all the Jab Nazis out there. I certainly have a vastly increased appreciation of how the two words “National” and “Socialist” can link to become so authoritarian instead of compassionate. I am no longer a socialist in the traditional sense I am one of the many people on the left who have distanced themselves from the traditional centralised thinking “for the good of all” and now see that our only future is in de-centralisation and the freedom of the individual being an absolute rule number 1.

cjrhaslehurst
cjrhaslehurst
2 years ago

I read about the Austrian lockdown of the unvaccinated a few weeks ago, followed by the mandating of vaccines over there. Reading that made my stomach flip – it is scary really. I remember telling one of my friends about it, expecting a similar reaction to mine, but all he said was, “Good!”

The unvaxxed have definitely become scapegoats for this pandemic and all it ensues.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago

Lost in all of this is the fact that those who suffered from COVID and recovered have no need of vaccination, exhibiting immune responses at least as robust as those offered by a full course of any of the Western anti-COVID jabs (or the Russian one, if we trust their data), and better than that offered by any of the Chinese jabs.
Distinctions between the fully rational refusal to take a COVID jab when one has already suffered from the disease, the arguably rational refusal when one is in a low risk group, and the irrational refusal to take any of the jabs when, actuarially, taking them poses far less risk than contracting COVID are completely glossed over by both sides in this debate.
The notion that the (not previously infected and recovered) unvaccinated are somehow a risk to the vaccinated is exactly backwards. In terms of onward transmission, the vaccinated are more likely to be asymptomatic carriers and thus circulating and potentially spreading the disease, while the unvaccinated who contract an infection with some variant of SarsCov-2 are more likely to be laid up and not out and about. In terms of contracting disease, the vaccinated are more likely to contract a mild or even asymptomatic infection, while the unvaccinated are more likely to contract serious disease (or at least were until omicron become dominant, it’s not clear anyone is getting serious disease from omicron). I for one am sick to death of having to wear a mask to coddle the irrationally unvaccinated.

Dan Croitoru
Dan Croitoru
2 years ago

There’s no point to rationalize endlessly about morality. It is immoral to coerce people into taking the vaccine even if it was 100% safe and the virus 100 percent lethal. History is made for man not man is made for history.

Art C
Art C
2 years ago

No surprises here. Once the left bought into the covid drama, their obsessive zeal was always going to manifest itself in behaviour not dissimilar to that of a religious fundamentalist movement. All that was needed before ramping up attacks was a clearly defined “enemy”. Identify, isolate, demonize, ostracise. It’s the classic pattern. Phase 1, identifying “the unvaccinated” as the primary enemy, was accomplished around a year ago. And since then, the attacks on this segment of the population have been relentless. In several countries the demonization phase is now complete: the unvaccinated are presented regularly by the political class as “unclean”, selfish & a dangerous threat to society; enemies of the people! Goldstein followers all! And the idea is being pushed that they need to be excluded from all areas of society. There is even talk of isolation camps. There is rich irony here. First, the same people on the left who have in the past campaigned so vigorously against the excesses of ‘Big Pharma’ are now acting as handmaidens to that industry’s profiteering. Secondly, a very large proportion of people who do not wish to be vaccinated are immigrants and people belonging to the same religious and ethnic minorities so often championed by the left. Another angle is public opinion. It’s quite clear now that the vaccines are woefully ineffective (medically worthless it seems). And, most inconveniently, the unvaccinated are not dying in large numbers as predicted. It’s quite possible that the whole Covid drama will fizzle out sooner rather than later. And the population will then look for scapegoats to explain the massive social & economic costs incurred over the last 2 years; fingers will be pointed at those who supported this charade. But public opinion, common sense and decency have never mattered much to the left. Their standard reaction is to double down. There is a battle to be fought, and principles matter not. All that matters is power. And the conviction that they are right.

Last edited 2 years ago by Art C
Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago

The discussion on these matters will never end until we accept that health and disease is far more complicated than vaccines or not, far far more complicated.
The issues of cost of health, medicine that makes people healthy (rather than fix their problems like in a garage), a medicine that can cater for each individual etc etc will only come about if we change the narrative in medicine.
I will quote a part of the introduction of a book that explains what needs changing in our world views for this to be possible:(https://assets.cambridge.org/97811070/11366/frontmatter/9781107011366_frontmatter.pdf)
”Over the past thirty years it has become clear that a full understanding of these issues requires nothing less than a radically new conception of life. And indeed, such a new understanding of life is now emerging. At the forefront of contemporary science, we no longer see the universe as a machine composed of elementary building blocks. We have discovered that the material world, ultimately, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships; that the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system. The view of the human body as a machine and of the mind as a separate entity is being replaced by one that sees not only the brain, but also the immune system, the bodily tissues, and even each cell as a living, cognitive system. Evolution is no longer seen as a competitive struggle for existence, but rather as a cooperative dance in which creativity and the constant emergence of novelty are the driving forces. And with the new emphasis on complexity, networks, and patterns of organization, a new science of qualities is slowly emerging…..”

will_crozier
will_crozier
2 years ago

Loved reading this! I’m glad I travelled down this particular rabbit hole of Unherd comments. God bless you sir

Will Cummings
Will Cummings
2 years ago

In the United States the vaccines confer complete immunity, not from COVID but rather from any liability for the pharmaceutical companies. Currently this immunity is set to expire on October 1, 2024. (I’m not sure why that particular date was chosen. It seems rather arbitrary.)

Vaccine hesitancy might be better understood from a consumer’s point of view. By way of analogy, I would be hesitant to purchase and deploy snow tires on my automobile if I knew that the tire companies were absolved of all responsibility for the safety of their products. I would remain hesitant even though I had no solid evidence that faulty snow tires were causing fatal accidents. And when politicians and learned academics with advanced degrees in Automotive Engineering began angrily declaring they’d lost patience with my foolhardy reticence, I just might begin to resent it a bit.