9/9/21 Knoxville News article lists all the last year seemingly authoritative reasons to not trust the vaccines, many of which boil down to Trump Derangement Syndrome. “This is Trump’s witchcraft so I’m against it.” The Left needs to introspect a little and stop assuming this is all ignorant deplorables.
Throughout the summer of 2020, President Donald Trump predicted that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready by year-end. Trump’s expectation was met with a wall of skeptical political, medical, and media reaction. One wonders especially about the effect on Americans predisposed to vaccine hesitancy, regardless of race, age, gender, or political party.
For example, a Sept. 16, 2020 Associated Press story quotes then-candidate Joe Biden saying, ’I trust vaccines. I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment, the American people can’t, either.” As Trump told Americans a vaccine would be ready by year-end, Biden was telling American to not believe him – and that’s what dominated the headlines.
The publication Scientific American weighed in with a June 22, 2020, commentary headlined, “The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine, Telescoping testing time lines and approvals may expose all of us to unnecessary dangers.”
Speaking of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, his changing comments on masks and other subjects, including Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines, did little to build confidence.
An August 2020 Newsweek article on EUAs for COVID-19 vaccine began: “Dr. Anthony Fauci has said experimental coronavirus vaccines should not be given emergency use authorization (EUA) — especially if their effectiveness has not been proven — as it could undermine the development of others.” In Dec. 2020, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were issued EUAs from the Food and Drug Administration.
Every American can’t be expected to have turned on a dime when the trumpeted warnings of too-quickly created vaccines were replaced – particularly post-presidential election – with the trumpeted announcements that there was now a safe and effective vaccine.
Does this mean news outlets or officials should have self-censored any stories questioning vaccine development? No. People needed to hear the full story and its possibilities. But instead of demonization and condemnation, people reluctant to get the vaccine should be given a bit of grace. They have justifiable reasons to wonder what to believe, and when they should believe it. And the organizations that for so long warned them should spend an equivalent amount of time explaining how, and why, the stories proved inaccurate.