These Are Poisonous Fruit Of Squandered Trust

A just-released Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey concluded that 49% of American adults believe it is likely that Wuhan virus vaccines have caused a significant number of unexplained deaths. Twenty-eight percent think it’s “Very Likely” that the side effects of the vaccine have been deadly to many  in contrast with 37% who don’t believe that a significant number of deaths have been caused by vaccine side effects. Fourteen percent are not sure, the usual group that isn’t sure of anything.

You can question the accuracy of this poll or all polls, you can believe that the vaccine skeptics are hysterics, you can believe that these numbers are in large part the result of “misinformation.” However, there is no question that even if they are inaccurate, the numbers show a shocking level of distrust in the pandemic vaccines, and, by extension, vaccines in general as well the health professionals and elected officials who have promoted them. When asked if there are legitimate safety concerns surrounding the shots, or whether doubts have been seeded by conspiracy theorists, 48% said there that concerns are valid. Only 37% indicated that false conspiracy theories were behind the public’s fears.

Glenn Reynolds, the Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law and one of the most widely read conservative blogger, has it exactly right, writing,

And it doesn’t help if you think this is all bullshit. We’ve never had a vaccine-PR failure like this, and part of the public health community’s job is to sell treatments and preventives to the public. Instead they took a condescending, authoritarian, and frequently dishonest approach, and now people don’t trust them. Earning and keeping that trust is job number one for these folks, and instead they betrayed and squandered it. The costs will be lasting and severe. But hey, at least they’re not the only institution to betray and squander the public trust lately. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.

Bingo. The distrust that U.S. health officials have engendered by their recklessness, bias, arrogance, dishonesty and hypocrisy (like endorsing mass Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the teeth of the pandemic while simultaneously telling the public not to attend weddings and funerals) reduced public trust to a dangerous level. Many people will die because of their incompetence.

Fortunately, the level of trust the public had for elected officials was already in the metaphorical toilet bowl, so the adverse consequences of that group’s idiocy was less substantial.

23 thoughts on “These Are Poisonous Fruit Of Squandered Trust

  1. When there is little to no interest in doing any studies of the claimed health risks associated with the vaccines and that people are being told to get a shot every 3 months now it stands to reason that people will become skeptical of the value of getting the injection. I relented and got the first two, but I have no intention of becoming a chronic vaccine-aholic.

    The pharmaceutical industry has negated any benefits to natural acquired immunity because that would undermine the profit potential. The medical community as a whole has put profit before common sense. How can you trust an industry that charges insured patients less for identical services than the uninsured, has embraced surgical manipulation of gender, and is the proximate cause of the current opioid crisis in America?

    We have to wean ourselves off the notion that doctors are above reproach. Some are excellent practitioners, and some are simply assembly line workers. We all need to take control of our own medical decisions by not relying 100% on so-called authorities. Do the research.

    • Same here.

      I was vaccinated and boostered twice. A day after coming home from a massive comic convention (and mere days before my next booster shot would have been due under the previously-recommended six month time period), we got sick. It was probably COVID. I didn’t bother to test myself. Essentially, I had a cough and cold, no more serious than any other cough or cold I’ve ever had and not even the worst in my history of coughs/colds.

      I’m not sure how long we should be expected to keep up with endless booster shots that really don’t seem to prevent transmission anyway.

      • A M Golden wrote, “I’m not sure how long we should be expected to keep up with endless booster shots that really don’t seem to prevent transmission anyway.”

        I don’t know if you remember this; it was not stated by anyone to my knowledge that the COVID vaccines were to “prevent transmission” of the virus, the stated that the vaccine would reduce the severity of the virus if you go it.

        The COVID vaccines were, and basically still are, a medical experiment and a psychological manipulation of the masses. You can bet the bank that totalitarian political manipulators learned how to manipulate the public using a massive fear campaign, they now know that fear works in the USA and we will see this kind of fear campaign over and over again from this point on. Fear Is A Hammer & We’re Nails.

        • I remember some of that. And I am willing to allow that the vaccine and boosters may have prevented hospitalization or other severe consequences. However, there was so much information tossed back and forth about the vaccine and what it was or was not able to do (and, of course, questioning any aspect of the vaccine or its abilities was verboten) that one could be forgiven for believing that, at some point, the ability to prevent transmission would have been believed by many people.

          Which rather proves our host’s point that it’s hard to trust the experts.

        • > … not stated by anyone to my knowledge that the COVID vaccines were to “prevent transmission.”

          It’s still currently being stated. A Google search for ‘Vaccine protect others’ pulls up pages from HHS and ‘fact checks’ that list herd immunity among the community benefits. Most are dated 2021, the CDC result might have been scrubbed of benefits to unvaccinated, but the John Hopkins result still lists benefits to others on an article dated this recent November.

          • WallPhone,
            Maybe I missed it in the things you mentioned. I know there’s a lot of implications surrounding the COVID vaccines out there but where have medical professionals (you know the medical “settled science” scientists), or the vaccine manufacturers stated that the COVID vaccine will “prevent transmission”? Preventing transmission is very specific, it’s not an implication.

            It’s really quite simple, if any of the COVID vaccines could actually prevent the transmission of the virus it would be plastered in our faces in very clear terms and not implied by extrapolating what other vaccines have done in the past.

            • The USA today article dated August 2021 has this paragraph:

              ”Getting vaccinated reduces individuals’ risk of both getting COVID-19 and giving it to someone else, said Emily R. Smith, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at The George Washington University’s Milkin Institute School of Public Health. ”

              I believe this recent dodge to “it actually was meant to only reduce symptoms” is institutional gaslighting from the medical community. No different than “Two weeks to stop the spread”.

              • I know this might seem a bit nit picky; but, …

                “Getting vaccinated reduces individuals’ risk of both getting COVID-19 and giving it to someone else, said Emily R. Smith, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at The George Washington University’s Milkin Institute School of Public Health.”

                …that’s really not stating that the COVID vaccines prevent transmission, it’s stating that it could reduce risk and that really is stating something different. It’s really not worthy perusing this any longer, it’s clear that we’re not going to agree, so I’m dropping it.

                WallPhone wrote, “I believe this recent dodge to ‘it actually was meant to only reduce symptoms’ is institutional gaslighting from the medical community.”

                You’re welcome to your own opinion on that but I don’t think this is a “recent dodge” at all, I truly do recall that reducing the severity of the symptoms was clearly stated over and over again from way back when the vaccines were first released.

                • Transmission is “passing it along to someone else”. Radio transmits signals, passes them along to a receiver; your utility transmits electricity to your home or business. In some cases “distribution” could be the equivalent. So “not passing it to someone else” in the context of disease control can and most likely has been understood as blocking transmission.

                  And there are those who have evidence that the vaccinations do not seem to block transmission, in either direction. This also appears to be the case with masks.

        • The “vaccines” for Wuhan are NOT vaccines. A real vaccine prevents me from getting the malady. These have never done that and they’ve never claimed it…NEVER. There has been a (largely successful, especially on the Left) push to change the definition of “vaccine” to something that it’s not.

          We are being conditioned, not vaccinated.

  2. I see two main problems with our current approach to public health policy. First, we really, really need to stop pretending that science gives you policy. It doesn’t. At best, it gives you facts (with error bars attached) and theoretical frameworks around those facts with explanatory and predictive power. But turning those facts and theories into policy requires value judgements, so you can know what goals to pursue, what risks to take, and what costs to pay. When you hide your value judgements behind “The Science”, you ruin the credibility of the actual science.

    Second, when dealing with risks, we need to quantify. Nothing is perfectly safe, including doing nothing. In order to judge between risks, we need numbers. I know, I know, most Americans would rather eat broken glass than do math in their spare time. However, to be a free person, you really do need to do your own thinking, and that includes quantitative thinking. When somebody starts talking of safety in absolutes (and this is directed to the anti-vaxxers as much as the Public Health establishment), it’s a good sign they’re trying to pull one over on you.

    • I agree. Relative risk is so very important to understand.

      I actually ran the numbers from the John Hopkins data on COVID during the time when I was really being pushed to get a vaccine by friend and family. I took all the data on women in my age group who had similar risk factors, as could be found on the site. My annualized risk (based on what data I had readily available, which was not quite a full year, but close) was that of death at 1:167. To put that in perspective, my annualized risk, with the data easily available for driving my car is 1:106. My car is more dangerous to me than COVID by those numbers.

      Vaccination, at that point, had little data to avail itself to me and too many questions unanswered. I decided to remain unvaccinated for COVID due to the relative risk.

      Today, the numbers are better than previously known for COVID and less favorable for vaccination, which has me even less concerned about COVID and getting vaccinated than I was.

      I like math though, so running the numbers was fun.

    • DaveL wrote, “When somebody starts talking of safety in absolutes (and this is directed to the anti-vaxxers as much as the Public Health establishment), it’s a good sign they’re trying to pull one over on you.”

      Either they’re trying to pull one over on you or they could be showing off how the Dunning–Kruger Effect (a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area) works in a real world application.

  3. The vaccine was touted as being safe and effective- and it is neither. It is that simple. And many of us were forced to take it or lose or jobs, and those who refused were demonized. There is ample reason to be furious.

  4. However, there is no question that even if they are inaccurate, the numbers show a shocking [emphasis added] level of distrust in the pandemic vaccines, and, by extension, vaccines in general as well the health professionals and elected officials who have promoted them… The distrust that U.S. health officials have engendered by their recklessness, bias, arrogance, dishonesty and hypocrisy (like endorsing mass Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the teeth of the pandemic while simultaneously telling the public not to attend weddings and funerals) reduced public trust to a dangerous [emphasis added] level. Many people will die because of their incompetence. Fortunately, the level of trust the public had for elected officials was already in the metaphorical toilet bowl, so the adverse [emphasis added] consequences of that group’s idiocy was less substantial.

    What “shocking”? What “dangerous”? What “adverse”? I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again, so I’ll quote myself from another post:-

    You’ve taken your eye off the ball and fallen into a common error of marketing oriented people, assessing things according to the perceived experience of them rather than their actual reality and substance. It is right and proper that there should be public trust in the government when it is trustworthy, and right and proper that there should not be when it is not. Anyone whose response to such a right and proper erosion of trust is first to rebuild trust rather than trustworthiness has lost the plot. Rebuilding trust should only be a response as, when and if it is deserved. Unless and until that applies, only a reckless fool or a deliberate deceiver would want anything else than low trust. For what it’s worth, the best and perhaps only sound way to earn trust is to extend it (a limited hang out is designed to fake this).

    To answer my own questions just above, it would have been shocking, dangerous and adverse had there been greater levels of trust, in the face of spurious outpourings like that. When values have been inverted in this antinomian fashion, it is right, not wrong, to trust less. And if you wish merely that there be more trust, you wish to further the wrong just as much as any pill pusher prescribing pain relief rather than effective treatment for an illness.

    From the title of this post, I thought it might be going to be about the late Roy Cohn. It might just as well have been.

    • But trust doesn’t work like that. PM. It’s like religious faith. You either trust an institution because it shows good faith and general reliability, or you don’t. “Trust but verify” was a Reagan’s joke: if you really trust, you don’t verify. If we can’t trust health officials and medical experts, then we are screwed. We don’t have the training and expertise to figure this stuff out on our own, and there are no alternatives.

  5. (like endorsing mass Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the teeth of the pandemic while simultaneously telling the public not to attend weddings and funerals)

    It is important to emphasize what a game changer this was.

    There is no reason to trust public health. They can not be trusted.

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