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Don't ignore sound reasons that some have vaccine skepticism

Hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccination is becoming resistance and even hostility in Connecticut and throughout the country, news reports say. Blame is cast on former President Donald Trump, though he began and touted the vaccine development program. Also blamed are some crazy Republican officials for spreading misinformation.

But few in authority and journalism seem able to acknowledge the sound reasons for vaccine hesitancy if not resistance and hostility.

For starters, misinformation about the vaccines has come from the top of government, President Biden himself. Last week on national television the president falsely declared: "You're not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations."

Yet the world is full of acknowledged cases of vaccinated people contracting the virus anyway. Connecticut's health department reported Friday that it has logged 938 cases among people who had been vaccinated, 160 of them having been hospitalized and 20 dying. There is at least one "breakthrough" virus case on His Incoherency's own staff at the White House.

The government and the medical establishment proclaim that the vaccines are safe. But that is misleading. In fact, the vaccines have been authorized by the government only for "emergency" use precisely because they have not been tested enough as traditional vaccines have been and so cannot be deemed safe in the usual sense.

All vaccines carry risks and cause adverse reactions in some people. Typically these are rare and the risk is considered worthwhile to both individuals and society. But there are already tens of thousands of adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines, and governments have acknowledged them, requiring the vaccines to carry warnings of the risk of specific hurtful and even dangerous side-effects, including blood clots, myocarditis, pericarditis, and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

That is, everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine is essentially participating in a worldwide medical experiment. That requires respect for individual choice, not the ridicule, disparagement, and threats of compulsion coming from government and medical officials and news organizations.

Meanwhile some people complaining about vaccine hesitancy, resistance, and hostility are impugning themselves. The White House admits urging social media organizations to censor virus "misinformation" and has even specified internet postings it wants removed. It is fascism when the government decides what can be published, a repudiation of the First Amendment, which in guaranteeing freedom of expression guarantees the right to be wrong.

No government that resorts to censorship like this can be trusted.

Confidence in the response to the epidemic is also diminished by government conduct elsewhere.

The Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is blocking a Republican bill to require disclosure of intelligence about the virus epidemic at its point of origin, Wuhan, China, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, continues to dissemble about the virus research undertaken at the Wuhan institute by a contractor for his agency. Even if that research was innocent and did not involve, as it seems to have involved, "gain of function," why should the U.S. government have been subsidizing virus research under the control of the world's worst totalitarian regime?

Then there is the indifference shown by the government and mainstream journalism to the growing evidence that the inexpensive anti-parasite drug ivermectin, classified by the World Health Organization as an "essential medicine" and established as safe by 40 years of use, successfully treats and prevents COVID-19 infection. Indeed, India, the Czech Republic, South Africa, and some Latin American countries have already authorized ivermectin's use against the virus.

Last week researchers at Hebrew University in Jerusalem said they had identified 18 drugs effective against the coronavirus in laboratory tests.

So no one needs any help from Trump and Republican crazies to be skeptical of government's enthusiasm for experimental vaccines and indifference to potentially safer treatments.

Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester.



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