Salvo 01.20.2022 5 minutes

“Experts” are a Threat to Public Health


The number one obstacle to vaccine uptake is vaccine propaganda.

The columnist Katharine Whitehorn was apparently fond of saying: “you can recognize the people who live for others by the haunted look on the faces of the others.” I remembered this as I listened to Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, describe his plans to “make sure that people get their vaccine” at a panel hosted this week by the World Economic Forum.

Bancel wants to make regular COVID-19 booster shots more attractive by bundling them with vaccines against other, more familiar ailments. “Our goal is to have a single annual booster, so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two to three shots a winter, but they get one dose where they get you know, a booster for corona, and a booster for flu and RSV [respiratory syncytial virus].” Skeptics, Bancel reasons, will be more willing to take a COVID shot if it comes conveniently packaged with other shots they might get anyway.

This strategy seems perfectly designed to have the opposite of its intended effect. When surveyed last September, 88% of those who remain unvaccinated against COVID said that that “there’s too much pressure on Americans to get a COVID-19 vaccine.” Almost as many (80%) suspect that “public health officials are not telling us everything they know about COVID-19 vaccines.” If those same public health officials, demonstrating their characteristic humility, now proceed to make second-class citizens out of anyone who resists their new omni-vax—what is likely to be the result?

Surely yoking COVID vaccination to flu vaccination will make people more distrustful of flu vaccines, not less distrustful of COVID vaccines. It is a sure-fire way to turn caution about one new drug into outright loathing for a whole range of previously commonplace inoculations. At which point, COVID truthers will turn into full-flown anti-vaxxers, and understandably so. If your perception is that imperious bureaucrats are trying to blackmail you (and they are), it will not bring you comfort when those very bureaucrats roll out one shot to rule them all.

Of course the panel also featured Dr. Anthony Fauci, who cannot understand why his constant revisionism and avowed lies about masks, vaccines, and social distancing have led to “disturbing pushback” against these “regular, normal, easy-to-understand” measures. Likewise Professor Annelies Wilder-Smith of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine stressed that “we need to educate a lot of doctors and medical students, and the scientific community because they are part of the conspiracy theories.” Which makes it sound as if any dissent at all—even if it comes in good faith from people with actual medical degrees—will be designated misinformation.

That would explain why “the global and scientific medical communities”—i.e., 270 or so people who consider themselves entitled to speak for all doctors and scientists—are trying to pressure Spotify into interfering with the Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan hosts a range of guests on his podcast, including one pretty intense doctor who strenuously advises against using mRNA technology (which he, the doctor, helped develop).

According to the experts this is “medically and culturally dangerous.” And so in order to refute “an unfounded theory that societal leaders have ‘hypnotized’ the public,” societal leaders must condition the public to hear and accept only pre-approved opinions—which is definitely not a form of hypnosis.

Whatever you may think of Rogan, or his guests, or vaccines, people who constantly resort to threats and censorship are sketchy as hell. Of course Americans are suspicious of public health officials—they have every reason to be. This is the kind of thing that makes people iffy about the vax, not the fact that it doesn’t currently come with bonus immunities to other diseases thrown in.

If Bancel and Fauci and the “expert community” really want to alleviate people’s concerns, my advice would be: stop helping. Stop devising clever schemes to manipulate people, stop trying to drown out every voice but your own, stop ruthlessly maligning anyone who even mildly questions you. You are well and truly, one hundred percent, making things worse.

If these chuckleheads would lay off of us for five seconds, I bet vaccine uptake would skyrocket. That’s what they say they want. Do they really? They have a funny way of showing it. People who say they want one thing, but act to bring about the opposite, are either liars or madmen. I’m not convinced our “experts” aren’t both.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

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