Fox News host Tucker Carlson reacted to the week’s news about the pause on the Johnson & Johnson Wuhan virus vaccine to suggest to his viewers that the government may know that they don’t work but are purposely “not telling you that.” During a general rant about vaccines, Fauci and related matters, Carlson concluded,
“Experts say it is not entirely clear when it will be considered okay for people who are fully vaccinated to stop wearing masks.At some point, no one is asking this but everyone should be, what is this about? If vaccines work, why are vaccinated people still banned from living normal lives? Honestly, what’s the answer to that, it doesn’t make any sense at all! If the vaccine is effective, there’s no reason for people who’ve received a vaccine to wear masks or avoid physical contact. So maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that. Well, you’d hate to think that especially if you’ve gotten two shots but what’s the other potential explanation? We can’t think of one.”
Tucker’s not thinking very hard. 1) The vaccines are not 100% effective. 2) New strains may not be prevented by the current vaccines. 3) If doctors could have their way, everyone would wear masks all the time anyway, because doctors don’t care about smiles, faces, and social health. The masks have essentially prevented the seasonal flu this year, so doctors think they are wonderful. “What’s the downside?,” they think. Doctors don’t think masks making life suck is a downside, you see. This is why the government should never put public policy in the hands of doctors.
It is irresponsible for the Fox News host to encourage anti-vaxxers, of whom there are too many already. Tucker is smart, but he’s smug and glib, and too many conservatives worship at his feet for him to be so reckless. In the same segment, he said, “In its story about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this morning, Axios reported the Biden administration is worried that halting distribution of the shot might encourage ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ In other words, don’t tell them it’s dangerous, they might not take it. That doesn’t reassure anyone.”
Ethics foul, again. The vaccine in question killed 6 people, and appears to have about 1 in 900,000 fatality rate at most. Using a swimming pool is more dangerous than that. Concluding that a vaccine is not 100% risk free—actually 100.0000% risk free—doesn’t mean it’s “dangerous.”
Tucker has a point, however, illustrated by the announcement by Pfizer that their vaccinations may need a booster shot in twelve months. NOW you tell us? I had my second Pfizer shot last week, and nobody mentioned this. The reason so many people don’t trust the government and the vaccination producers is because they can’t get their stories straight, and make absolute statements when they know they should be hedging.