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Jab Me If You Can: How Political Endorsements Defeat Vaccinations

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Jab Me If You Can: How Political Endorsements Defeat Vaccinations

IMAGE: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Submitted by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Will they ever learn?  When former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton announced that they would publicly take a vaccine against COVID-19, National Public Radio seemed impressed.  “Who better to promote a product than a former president?  How about three?”

On SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show, Obama held up his hand.  “I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it.  I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people show that I trust this science.”  Clinton did the same, albeit through the medium of spokesman Angel Ureña, who stated on December 3 that he would do so “based on the priorities determined by public health officials.  He would also “do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.”

Bush’s chief of staff, Freddy Ford, informed CNN that his boss had been in touch with the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, letting them “know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated.”  The vaccines would first “need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations”.  Once done, Bush would “get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”

Enlisting politicians and leaders into the role of product promotion, especially in the field of vaccines, is goggling in its daftness.  In the United States, the brand label of the presidential endorsement is hardly glorious.  Those with longer collective memory would remember the efforts of the Ford administration in 1976 to promote a mass vaccination programme against swine flu.  It was nothing short of a calamity: the flu pandemic never eventuated and the vaccine led to cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome.  In December 1976, President Gerald Ford’s vaccination programme was suspended, having reached only 20% of the population.  “The danger now,” concluded the New York Times, “is that he whole idea of preventive medicine may be discredited.”

Trust of citizens and their political representatives is already at drought stricken levels.  Now, politicians are hoping to convince citizens that being publicly vaccinated in an effort to return to “COVID normalcy” will somehow restore confidence long shattered.  The business of capitalism and trade can return.  Travel can resume.  Lockdowns, if they are applied, will be rarer than ever.

In due course, the vaccines in question might well work.  Credibility, however, is hardly going to return before the spectacle of former presidents keen to turn vaccine taking into a celluloid spectacle.  While margins of error in public health responses can, on some level, be understood, notably against an evolving contagion, the global mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis amongst political leaders has left a profound and disturbing impression.

The speed with which such vaccines as Pfizer and Moderna have been developed, not least their astonishingly high levels of effectiveness (95%), have done little to provide reassurance.  Governments, notably those from countries facing another vicious surge of infections, are keeling over in desperation to get the vaccines into circulation.

The rapid approval by Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine brought the sceptics to the fore.  It was enough for Fauci to suggest that the MHRA had been too hasty, though he qualified his statements in a BBC interview so as not to imply any “sloppiness” on the part of his British colleagues.  “I meant that in the US, where there is a lot of scepticism over vaccines, it would not have been good to rush to approve the vaccine.”  Despite his collegial qualification, Fauci had made a telling point to CBS: the MHRA had simply taken the data provided by Pfizer at face value “and instead of scrutinising it really, really carefully, they said OK, let’s approve it”.

To this can be added the pull of vaccine opponents, who have become adept at colonising social media and muddying the waters of debate.  In a study analysing Facebook page content on vaccination discussions published in Nature this year, the authors were alarmed.  Lead author on the study and data scientist Neil Johnson, went so far as to express his shock.  124 pro-vaccine pages were found, all sporting a total of 6.9 million followers.  The anti-vaccine pages came to 317 and 4.2 million followers.  The undecided field was the largest: 885 pages with 74.1 million followers.  “Although smaller in overall size, anti-vaccination clusters manage to become highly entangled with undecided clusters in the main online network, whereas pro-vaccination clusters are more peripheral.”  The pro-vaccination discussants, for the most part, soothed themselves in an echo chamber of reassurance.

Anthropologist Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is adamant about the trends.  The anti-vaccination movement “was winning” and “covering a lot more ground with fewer of them.”

A suggestion – sensible enough – is that politicians ought to retreat from the show.  When they drop their oar in, notably on the issue of vaccination matters, support for taking vaccines can decline. This is especially so in the American context.  The results of a survey published in October in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open was revealing in how poorly political endorsements of vaccines can fare.  As the authors note of a sample of 2,000 participants, “The probability of choosing a vaccine was lowest when the vaccine was recommended by President Trump (the baseline category), although the probability was not significantly higher when the vaccine was recommended by former Vice President Biden”.

Sarah Kreps and Douglas L. Kriner suggest a simple formula for political representatives: “Keep mum, and let the scientists and public-health experts share the facts with the American people.”  Hard to disagree but for the fact that sharing accurate data in a transparent fashion can be compromised by public health agencies that are politicised.

While the full US presidential jab show risk doing a disservice to vaccine promotion, a sadistic streak can also be found in some populations.  In Britain, a Daily Mail poll (make of that what you will) in November found that 74% would take the COVID-19 vaccine.  Of those surveyed, four in ten were very selective about who should take it first to prove its safety: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet colleagues.  Even taking vaccines can constitute a form of pornography.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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62 comments

  1. Lone Ranger says:

    Vaccines are soft kill bioweapons for population control.
    Fact.
    They not only shorten your life but are also causing sterility.
    Why do you think third would countries have the highest number of children.
    They dont get vaccines, dont have access to abortion, no contraceptives.

    1. Lone Ranger says:

      Funny that the higher the livingstandards, tech level the more the Globalists want to kill you…

      1. Lone Ranger says:

        Hunger Games and the Mazerunner werent movies but predictive programming.
        Same as the book 1984.

        1. Lone Ranger says:

          You better wake up…

          1. Lone Ranger says:

            Resistance is Victory.

      2. Tommy Jensen says:

        Its because high living standards have more money high pensions. Europe + USA!
        Thats why!
        Why should they kill third world who have no money and pick the food from the palms .
        They only kill third world’ers if they have gold/oil and a wrong government.
        Its amazing western people, especially those without weapons, think they are exempted from being robbed and killed by the Bankers.

    2. occupybacon says:

      How about the Russian vaccine?

      1. Lone Ranger says:

        That too probably.

        1. occupybacon says:

          Why is Putin promoting it?

          1. Free man says:

            You’re really cruel to the poor soul. Do you want loony’s head to explode from a surplus of nonsense?

          2. occupybacon says:

            Read the rest of his comments, dude. The Russian vaccine is killing the bad people))

          3. Free man says:

            LOL.

          4. Tommy Jensen says:

            To be equal partner.
            You thought he was on the little man’s side………………………………LOL.

          5. occupybacon says:

            He is the little man.

        2. occupybacon says:

          Why is Putin promoting it?

          1. Lone Ranger says:

            PR.
            Im not sure if it has the same objective tho.
            Hope they will only target double agents, traitors, terrorists and ETs.

          2. occupybacon says:

            With millions of doses?

          3. Lone Ranger says:

            Who is counting it…?

          4. occupybacon says:

            Russian MSM.

          5. Lone Ranger says:

            Indeed.
            Numbers are fake both in the west and Russia.

          6. occupybacon says:

            So what is your thought about the Russian vaccine, it works well, it does nothing or it’s meant to reduce population?

          7. Lone Ranger says:

            If I had to take a guess I would say it does nothing except if you are a bad guy.
            Population control is not the objective.
            In the west its mostly population control especially against old and sick people.
            So there are minor differences, of course Im only guessing, but Im sure most the info we have about covid is fake.
            According to the CDCs own website more people died in total in 2018 than this year.
            So how is that possible…?

          8. FlorianGeyer says:

            Any political leaders or celebrities who say they will publicly take a Covid vaccine should only be given a dose from a large random batch of vaccine that has been witnessed by the populace.

          9. Lone Ranger says:

            Agreed.

          10. Tommy Jensen says:

            Come on. So you guys take all this serious?
            There is only one answer to everything related to Covid. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e8ca710f10f7d7005e5fa051fb2485e98b78924bdc94e3147ff1ae0d81961e0.jpg

          11. FlorianGeyer says:

            LOL

          12. occupybacon says:

            So how the vaccine decides if you are a bad guy?

          13. Lone Ranger says:

            If I had to make another guess, I would say the vaccine doesnt, the people who give it to you does.
            Did you notice that they talk about setting up vaccination centers all over the planet run by the military…?
            They will probably have a placebo and another batch of real deal.
            But Im only guessing…

          14. occupybacon says:

            So what is the criteria for someone to be classed as bad so the Russian nurses to administrate the harmful vaxx?

          15. Lone Ranger says:

            I dunno.
            And I dont think it will be nurses either.

          16. occupybacon says:

            So millions of people will be vaxxed by secret agents trained to identify the bad ones?

          17. Free man says:

            I will put it simply.
            Conspiracy theories apply only to “bad people”.
            When you try to challenge this theory, overload can cause a short circuit in the brain.

          18. occupybacon says:

            Letting Looney alone, and the other inpaired minded Putin cheerleaders, between us: how come the first batch of voluntary exposed people to vaccine, is still in project for January 2021 in UK, with young people around the world, and the success rate of vaccines are 95-98.5%? That means at least 1.5% got corona after vaccine, just doing what everybody else does… I’m not about population reduction, I’m about huge corruption here.

          19. Free man says:

            I see it as a psychological and economic matter. Human need for certainty. Certainty reduces fears and drives the economy.
            In any case, if the numbers are correct, it will reduce the number of infections to 1.5%. And only a few percent of those infected will die. This is something humanity can live with.

          20. occupybacon says:

            Sorry I think you didn’t understand what I mean. That would be the case only if 100% of the vaccinated subjects were exposed to the virus. But they weren’t :)

          21. Free man says:

            I think I understand what you’re aiming for.
            I’m talking about the worst case scenario as the leaders see it.
            The real question to me is, whether the vaccines will really achieve what we are told/promised ? I’m not so sure.

          22. occupybacon says:

            I’m not aiming at something man, just this morning figurd out. 1.5-5 per 100 volunteers get covid one month after vaccine, while the rate of infection for non-vaccinated is 3-4 per 1000.

          23. Free man says:

            “1.5-5 per 100 volunteers get covid one month after vaccine”- If that’s what will happen, it’s going to be a catastrophe.
            Soon vaccinations in the UK and other countries will start, after that we will be smarter.

          24. roland says:

            I’ve got a theory for you a large percentage of people calling themselves Jews are psycopaths which enables them to be very adept at lying stealing and blackmailing which is how they got into such a powerful position in this world.

          25. Free man says:

            Or these are people who have studied and worked very hard all their lives and achieved things that others, who are not willing to go out of their comfort zone, have not achieved.
            Americans say – there are no free lunches.

          26. roland says:

            Your Jewish right well I have a question for you why do you either stay silent or support what the Israeli government is doing to the palastinians that is organised mass cruelty against your fellow human beings that’s not normal dude and while humans can at times be savage and barbaric especially when angered we don’t normally practice such calculated cruelty on such a massive scale. And why did you guys decide to leave Europe and make your homeland in the middle east? as I personally would avoid the middle east at all costs as it seems to be full of nutcases.

          27. Free man says:

            My family has lived in the Azeri region of Iran for many generations. They moved to the West due to insecurity in this area.
            I have never written here what my religion is and it is irrelevant to you.
            In my opinion, Israel is a miracle, a country that started from scratch and has become one of the most advanced in the world in almost every field. On the one hand I don’t like the current government and on the other hand I feel sorry for the Arabs who have to deal with a European country as a neighbor. The Arabs don’t have the tools to deal with Israel.

          28. roland says:

            Thankyou for the polite response (considering I’ve been a bit rude )but I have to disagree with you when you say Israel is some kind of miracle the modern state of Israel was funded and created by the wealthiest people on earth so it’s hardly a suprise it has survived.

          29. Tommy Jensen says:

            Making you dependent. Enslaving and controlling.

          30. Free man says:

            “If I had to take a guess I would say it does nothing except if you are a bad guy.” – The best comedians in the world are Jews . Respect for the creativity (-;

          31. roland says:

            Jews can be funny but they also seem to produce the most uninspiring ugly minded slobs like Arial sharon.

          32. Free man says:

            Loony ranger is the funniest.

          33. roland says:

            I have to agree with you there.

          34. Tommy Jensen says:

            How can you forget the dollares as the reason, when you are among gangsters?

          35. Jim Allen says:

            What in Hell is wrong with you today ?
            You’re making actual sense.

          36. roland says:

            Why would Putin promote a vaccine that would kill him.

          37. Lone Ranger says:

            Why would it kill him?

          38. roland says:

            Because you said it gets bad guys and Putin is a bad guy.

          39. Lone Ranger says:

            According to the CIA and soros and ukropnazis…
            For the rest of the World he is a good guy and the Leader of the Free World ?

          40. roland says:

            Leader of the free world ? tell that to the Jehovah’s witnesses who have been imprisoned by putin.

          41. Lone Ranger says:

            Soros propaganda.

          42. Jim Allen says:

            Israel ordered 1.5 million doses of the Russian “Sputnik V”(5) vaccine last week. After having rejected Western vaccines outright from the beginning of development.
            Mexico also ordered a large quantity as well.
            This is probably the best indicator of safety in the Russian vaccines.
            Western vaccines are developed by Globalist owned corporations, when the Globalist mascot State rejects a Globalist made product, and instead purchases the product made by it’s chosen enemy, it say’s something.

          43. Ronald says:

            Mexico, also banned GMO foods.

          44. roland says:

            You have got blinkers on and israeI and Russia are not enemies they are best of friends in fact. And I’d say Israel developed the vaccine with Russia.

  2. cechas vodobenikov says:

    some vaccines are effective, some not. polio, yellow fever are 2 proven examples
    we will know more about Covid soon

  3. Amarka says:

    Full footage of ‘first shot’ flu vaccine, Qld Premier FAKE

    https://www.facebook.com/192230154853836/videos/2851686601625933/

  4. Amarka says:

    Queensland MP Annastacia Palaszczuk Gets FAKE Vaccine Shot?

    Best Supporting Act: the “nurse”!
    Plunger not pressed (syringe still full of liquid) and safety cap still on.
    (No mask and no gloves of course).

    Queensland MP Annastacia Palaszczuk MP gets fake shot.
    How sad!

    If they are really “safe and effective” why pretend?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sFI6aCjRdQ

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