By Christopher Beem
Decades ago I helped organize a conference that brought together vaccine skeptics and public health officials. The debate centered on what governments can and cannot demand from citizens, and what behaviors one can rightly expect from others.
It took place many years before the current coronavirus pandemic, but many things that happened at that conference remind me of our circumstances today. Not least, as a political theorist who also studies social ethics, it reminds me that arguments grounded in self-interest can often be correct – but still deeply inadequate.
The rationality of vaccine skepticism
I recall one participant summarizing her objection to vaccines in the following way: She said that the government demanded that she allow a live biological agent to be injected into her child’s body even though it could not guarantee her child’s safety. For these reasons, she claimed, she had every right to decide that her child would not receive the vaccine.
This woman’s objection was driven by her suspicion that the MMR vaccine, for measles, mumps and rubella, caused autism. This claim has been shown, repeatedly and conclusively, to be without merit. Still, she was not entirely wrong. Many vaccines do contain live agents, though they are in a weakened or attenuated state. And while adverse and even serious reactions have been known to occur, such a risk is infinitesimally small. Indeed, the preponderance of evidence shows that the risk of harm or death to the unvaccinated child from infections such as MMR is far greater than any associated with receiving the vaccine.
But more importantly, this parent’s decision to reject the vaccine affected more than just her child. Because so many parents refuse vaccination for their children, outbreaks of measles have taken place throughout the U.S. In fact, in 2019 the United States reported its highest number of cases of measles in 25 years.
COVID and vaccine hesitancy
Many individuals are rejecting the COVID-19 vaccine for similar reasons – that is, reasons grounded in self-interest. They say that COVID vaccines are experimental, their long-term effects are unknown and that emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration was rushed.
In fact, while the vaccines were given emergency authorization to expedite their availability to the general public, they are not experimental but rather the result of years of already existing research on mRNA vaccines and coronaviruses – the family of viruses including SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. And they received authorization only after conclusive evidence showing they were indeed safe.
Those who reject the COVID vaccine also note that many receiving the vaccine have had an adverse reaction, including flu-like symptoms that are short-lived but often quite unpleasant. Cases of anaphylactic shock or blood clots have also happened, but they have been extremely rare, and safeguards on how to provide immediate care are in place for any such eventuality.
Here again the risks associated with the vaccine are extremely small, but for some people, still real. Therefore these individuals apparently decided that they would rather take their chances with the disease itself. Many are young and don’t think the disease will affect them, and many more don’t trust the doctors, scientists and politicians who they say are pushing them to take the vaccine.
One could readily dispute these claims, too. In fact, rising vaccination rates over the past few weeks show that many people have reevaluated the risks of remaining unvaccinated. Whether these people have seen evidence of the virulence of the delta variant or have seen for themselves that millions of people have taken the vaccine and are completely fine, their evaluation of their own self-interest has changed.
Nevertheless, many others remain adamant that these risks are unacceptable. Like that parent from many years ago, these individuals are not entirely wrong. There are risks associated with getting the vaccine. And knowing these risks, and knowing that they bear the costs of their decision, many Americans believe that they alone have the right to decide. What the government or anyone else wants is beside the point.
But here again, the costs of refusing the vaccine are not borne by the individual alone. Rising case numbers and hospitalizations, renewed restrictions regarding public events, even the emergence of the delta variant itself are happening largely because many millions of Americans chose not to get the vaccine. And for parents of children under 12 who cannot yet receive the vaccine – some of whom are immune compromised – the thought of returning to school this fall with infection rates again climbing no doubt fills them with dread.
Many would argue that this lack of concern for other people is immoral. The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have others do unto you — manifests that concern for the well-being of others is at the core of morality. Those who choose not to take the vaccine ignore this concern and therefore act immorally. But, I would argue that their indifference to the welfare of others is not only immoral, it is also un-American.
Democracy and concern for others
Americans are a highly individualistic nation, and the spirit of “rugged individualism,” or the idea of “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps,” runs deep in American culture and history. In fact, from the nation’s very beginning, Americans have accepted the notion that human beings care about themselves and those they love more than they do about other people.
At the time of America’s founding, many contemporaries believed that a democracy is possible only if citizens love their country more than themselves. But America’s founders rejected this idea. Human beings are not angels, James Madison said. The founders accepted the reality of human selfishness and developed institutions – especially the checks and balances among the three branches of government – whereby people’s natural selfishness could be directed toward socially useful ends.
But neither Madison nor any of the other founders believed that human beings were merely selfish. Nor did they believe that a democracy could be sustained on selfishness alone. The Federalist Papers were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in support of the U.S. Constitution drafted in 1787. In Federalist 55, Madison presents this summation of human nature:
“As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.”
Yes, Madison says, human beings are selfish, and one must not ignore that reality when one is deciding how to run a society. But people are not merely selfish. We are also capable of acting with honesty and integrity and of thinking for the good of the whole rather than merely ourselves.
More, Madison argued that this other side of human nature, this concern for others, had to be operative if democracy were to survive. In fact, he insisted that, more than any other form of government, a democracy depended on virtuous citizens. Speaking at the ratifying convention for the U.S. Constitution in his home state of Virginia, Madison said:
“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks – no forms of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.”
Mere selfishness is ‘un-American’
Madison lived through the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. He even advised President George Washington about how he might address this health emergency. But there was no vaccine, nor even an understanding of what caused the epidemic.
While we don’t know what Madison would have said about a vaccine, we do know what President Dwight D. Eisenhower said after the development of the polio vaccine. Eisenhower’s words likewise affirm the idea that our democracy requires that we show concern for one another.
“We all hope that the dread disease of poliomyelitis can be eradicated from our society. With the combined efforts of all, the Salk vaccine will be made available for our children in a manner in keeping with our highest traditions of cooperative national action,” he said.
Because of Madison and the other founders, the United States is a free and democratic society. Within very broad limits, Americans all have the right to make their own decisions. In some cases, Americans may even have the right to ignore the impact of their decision on others.
But a free society demands more of its citizens than mere selfishness. Political institutions can help direct and mitigate the effects of this natural human inclination to selfishness.
Throughout history, America’s leaders have recognized that without concern for others, without the highest tradition of cooperative national action, democracy is in peril. People who decide not to get vaccinated must understand that their actions are not just selfish, they are un-American.
Christopher Beem is Managing Director of the McCourtney Institute of Democracy and Co-host of Democracy Works Podcast at Penn State.
The Conversation arose out of deep-seated concerns for the fading quality of our public discourse and recognition of the vital role that academic experts could play in the public arena. Information has always been essential to democracy. It’s a societal good, like clean water. But many now find it difficult to put their trust in the media and experts who have spent years researching a topic. Instead, they listen to those who have the loudest voices. Those uninformed views are amplified by social media networks that reward those who spark outrage instead of insight or thoughtful discussion. The Conversation seeks to be part of the solution to this problem, to raise up the voices of true experts and to make their knowledge available to everyone. The Conversation publishes nightly at 9 p.m. on FlaglerLive.
Yep, another famous tactic. To gain compliance, play the American card, imagery of flying a flag, audio of play the National Anthem, reciting the pledge of allegiance. Do patients stand or kneel for their injection ?
Reminds me of Deny deflect Accuse Project just sayin
The dude says
“Yep, another famous tactic. To gain compliance, play the American card, imagery of flying a flag, audio of play the National Anthem, reciting the pledge of allegiance.”
Too much hypocrisy here to try and unpack this.
The Geode says
“You’re Free to Refuse the Covid Vaccine. But It’s Un-American.” Isn’t that an oxymoron? I thought America was all about “freedom”? Is it REALLY freedom or just the parts we agree with? To me, it’s VERY American to exercise your freedom by willing to die on the hill of your beliefs.
Statistics show if Americans are willfully unvaccinated and also Delta asymptomatic, they may become Pied Pipers of Delta Pathogens, leading others (whom they unintentionally infect) to either end up in the hospital or “die on the hill.”
For example, during a pandemic, the death knell risk that the unvaccinated choose for themselves in the name of individual freedom is also a deadly risk to those who are either too young, or cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons. Therefore, Americans who willfully violate our pandemic guidelines by refusing to vaccinate and wear masks put others in harm’s way. I agree with Mr. Beem; that is un-American. Conversely, good citizens who are vaccinated and masked protect, not harm, these Americans; and the unvaccinated, unmasked infringe on the rights of all good citizens who want to protect others, who want to remain healthy, and who don’t want to “die on the hill” for anyone else’s “beliefs.”
John Doe says
Lol, are you unaware of the fact that there is not a single covid vaccine out there that stops infection / spread of this virus? A vaccinated individual can spread the delta variant just like an unvaccinated individual.
Delta was pulled out to scare you into saying shit like you just typed.
This is America, no right to safety, leave everyone else alone
The dude says
In today’s Murica you got to be willing to take a few out with you as you “die on the hill of your beliefs”
The Geode says
Seeing as how the “vaccine” DON’T cure anything and you STILL can get Covid, it doesn’t matter my “beliefs” does it? Besides, everybody dies…
You know why I like jokes about “anti-vaxxers”, they never get old. Be smart, exercise your freedom, and get the vaccine.
Anthony J Czerepka says
Another article about the vaccine. No where is anything said about all of us that had Covid. Nothing is being said about the nature antibodies that our systems have produced, which is much better than the poison the government wants us to put in our bodies.
Well I for one, not like you , I’m not going to take a chance on getting or maybe dying of covid. What if you had died from Covid, those anitibodies are worth zip. Consider yourself , fortunate.
Au contraire Anthony,
“Why do you need to get the Covid vaccine if you have had covid-19? The findings suggest that among people who have had COVID-19 previously, getting fully vaccinated provides additional protection against reinfection”.
“Why get vaccinated if I have antibodies? Multiple studies have shown that even a single dose of an mRNA vaccine boosts antibody levels in recovered patients, giving them the same peak response that two shots afford people who haven’t had the disease. Today, more than 97 percent of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated.”
This from the CDC. If you want more articles regarding this, Google is your friend.
Thank you for sharing this. I would add:
“…Christopher Beem is Managing Director of the McCourtney Institute of Democracy and Co-host of Democracy Works Podcast at Penn State.” And much more:
I urge anyone whom has read this far to compare and contrast Beem with the habitual trolls. And then choose.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Concerned Citizen says
I know you all tire of hearing this but…
As someone who spent nearly 30 years serving their country. Both in the military and in Public safety. And as someone who has a wife they dearly love working as a Physicians Assistant I’m going to say this.
The only thing that’s Un American at the moment is all this damn shaming,fighting and just plain hate going on. We live in a country that is supposed to represent free choice and free will. So while I might disagree if you don’t get the shot or wear a mask that’s the choice you make. And sadly choices have consequences. But at the end of the day it’s your choice. And be greatful we have it.
I have 3 tours in the middle east. And all the attrocities you hear about or see on the news I have seen those first hand. And it makes you a changed person. In some countries if you don’t cover your face it gets you killed. Here we just fight over it and harrass folks. When really right now it’s just a choice.
Of all we are dealing with here our country is still in better shape than most. Don’t believe it? Civilians are dying in Afghanistan trying to flee what will be another repeat of an Oppressive regime.
It saddens me when I see us fight over discussing politcs,religious beliefs and health care issues. America used to unite to face common enemies. Now there is so much division. I have had friends stop talking after I got the shot and started wearing a mask. Well more power to them. I have elderly people in my life as well as a wife in the health care field I care about to protect. I have had to stop discussing topics because as soon as your opinion varies some folks get mad enough to want to put their hands on you. And for what?
All of these politicans you want to end up insulting your friends and family over and severing years of relationships or friendships guess what? They don’t give a damn about us for the most part. And at the end of the day all we will have is each other. So it’s sad really when you want to end up sitting alone after alieniating all around you.
There’s an old saying that goes kindness is free. We need to remember that. And learn to be nice to each other again.
NPA Voter says
@Concerned Citizen: You articulated my feelings in every way and I thank you for it. And thank you to your wife for her dedication. It can’t be easy any day of the week, let alone during a pandemic filled with people who would rather argue over a political agenda than absorb and analyze true scientific facts from the professionals who are on the front lines.
This country was at its best during times like post-9/11 when we all pulled together. Those who are America’s enemies must be smirking in the shadows as we tear each other apart internally. Waving a flag and being the loudest in the group does not give you the right to claim YOU are the true and only Patriot. No, Patriots come in many different forms, including the front line workers during this pandemic, risking their own lives every day.
Kindness and respect go a long way. This Nation must work on healing socially, morally, and for the good of all not just self-serving politics.
Un-American is the people who are trying to control Americans and selling them fear so they comply and get the vaccine. Not everyone can get the vaccine. Can you please show us data on the long term affects of this “vaccine”? The government doesn’t care about the people, they care about the money going into their pockets and want us to comply. Sorry, that’s not freedom.
herewegoagain . says
BEST QUESTION HERE:
Can you please show us data on the long term affects of this “vaccine”
Pierre Tristam says
For one, we know it prevents the longest term effect without it: death.
PC Mom says
It has also shown us that even vaccinated people have died. Some from the vaccine and some from covid even after having been vaccinated. You were quick to RESPOND to herewegoagain.says but not quick to ANSWER the million dollar question!
Alice Lamm says
They can try to persuade by laying on guilt trips but, in Israel 85% of the Delta victims have been vaccinated. So…I ain’t convinced. There are treatments for this man-made plague. Why aren’t they using them.
boneheads everywhere says
Actually the number is more like 60%. As far as “treatments” go, if you have received the vaccine, it’s unlikely you will need to be treated, if not, you may die. Your choice.
Just for the record, I personally know several people that have had the virus – they were not vaccinated and guess what – THEY ARE ALIVE! I will be honest and say 1 person died after being vented and two went to the hospital but are out and well. Of my vaccinated peeps – one is still in ICU, 2 went to the hospital but the rest recovered at home. Do the comment you may die, is a very harsh comment and promotes fear. Be honest – the shot could help you recover faster/easier but it is not 100%.
Ray W. says
Like many other FlaglerLive posters, it appears that Alice Lamm may be changing data from recent articles to fit her premise. Or, she is relying on source material that is inaccurate. Or, she lacks numeracy on this issue. Any one, or any two, or all three possible infirmities present to us in her post.
Two days ago, Science magazine posted an article on this subject. Instead of 85%, the percentage of fully vaccinated Israeli citizens newly infected with Covid-19 is just over 50%. However, a significant majority of those who end up hospitalized, as well as those who eventually die, come from those classified as unvaccinated. The working hypothesis is that since Israel was one of the fastest nations out of the gate to vaccinate its citizens, many of those who are newly infected received their vaccinations over five months ago, generating the question of whether vaccine efficiency wanes over time. Should this hypothesis prove true, booster shots would be one remedy.
One interesting side effect of Alice Lamm’s comment comes from the application of a simple mathematical concept. Other research reveals that Israel has administered 171.98 vaccination doses per 100 eligible people (12 and older). We have administered 108.94 doses per 100 eligible people. Thus, there is a much smaller pool of unvaccinated people in Israel, compared to our own large pool of the vaccine-resistant. Given that break-through infections occur, it makes sense that just over 50% of the newly-infected Israelis come from the ranks of the vaccinated, whereas the majority of our number of the newly infected still comes from the ranks of the unvaccinated. We have a larger pool of unvaccinated people. Israel has a much larger pool of vaccinated people.
Though I don’t know how Alice Lamm came to post the 85% number, perhaps one likely reason is bad source material. A second and similarly possible reason is her being innumerate in this area of mathematics. The third possibility is that she changed the number to fit her premise, which suggests unethical behavior.
As for Alice Lamm’s conclusion that the plague is “man-made”, while that remains outstanding as one possible explanation, and much debate exists over that possibility, the claim has not yet been scientifically proven and it remains a working theory that the disease mutated in animals and crossed over to humans. For those who are as easily convinced as Alice Lamm suggests she is by an unproven hypothesis, oh, well. Skepticism is a valuable human asset. Why throw it away so easily!
You know what Pierre. You write some good articles sometimes. But you also have a huge Neo Lib God Complex. I’m not talking about this article and the vaccine debate. I am just saying that in general. Maybe humble yourself a bit more? You seem to think you can talk down to people.
Pierre Tristam says
No argument here (except for the god part: I wouldn’t presume to impersonate the unknown) but keep in mind I’m not the author of this particular piece, much as I wish I were.
@ Alice Lamm. . . and now for some context fact checking on the social media rumors about Israel’s Covid situation:
Posts mislead on Israel vaccine data
By The Associated Press
July 22, 2021
CLAIM: The newest Israeli data on COVID-19 infections indicate a complete vaccine failure on every level. The data from Israel shows that nearly all serious cases and deaths are among the vaccinated.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. The claim ignores the fact that Israel has only a fraction of the COVID-19 cases that it had in January, before vaccines were widespread. Furthermore, the majority of adults in Israel are now vaccinated with two Pfizer shots. No vaccine is perfect at preventing breakthrough cases, but the data shows vaccines are reducing the number of people who are severely ill, hospitalized or die from the virus.
THE FACTS: Israel was one of the first countries to vaccinate a huge swath of its population against COVID-19. Health officials around the world have been watching to see how the country fares against COVID-19 variants and how effective the Pfizer vaccine works at protecting the population.
Misleading posts on social media are now twisting data from Israel to falsely claim the country’s vaccination program is a failure due to the number of breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among the vaccinated. Medical professionals say Israel’s vaccine program is making remarkable progress against the virus.
“The vaccination campaign was hugely effective,” Dr. William A Petri, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Virginia, said of Israel’s efforts. “It’s really extraordinary how well these vaccines work.”
Experts say the country’s high vaccination rates are keeping case numbers down and reducing hospitalization and deaths even as the delta variant is provoking an uptick in infections. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows Israel documented 1,118 new cases on July 21 — which is less than a tenth of the 11,934 new cases the country had at its peak on Jan. 27, before vaccines were widespread.
“It doesn’t mean vaccines don’t work,” Dr. Robert Cyril Bollinger, Johns Hopkins University professor of infectious diseases, said about Israel’s data. “They have very low rates after vaccination versus where they were before vaccination.”
The vast majority of the new cases in the past month have shown only mild symptoms, but at least 73 people have had serious cases of COVID-19, the Associated Press reported. That is well below the more than 1,000 serious cases treated each day at the height of the pandemic, but up from 19 in mid-June.
Eran Segal, a scientist at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science who tracks COVID-19 data, tweeted on July 16 that the percent of COVID-19 patients who become critically ill has now decreased to 1.6% compared to 4% during a winter spike before vaccines were available.
As of Sunday, 56.3% of new cases in Israel were among vaccinated people. But that statistic reflects the fact that the majority of the population is now fully vaccinated.
Israel has a population of approximately 9.3 million people, of which more than 60% are fully vaccinated, according toJuly 21 numbers from the online scientific publication, Our World In Data. The country has had one of the swiftest vaccine rollouts in the world. By February, 80% of those over 60 had already received shots.
Since the start of the pandemic, experts have pointed out that vaccines are not 100% effective. In a July 5 statement, Israel’s Ministry of Health addressed the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine in light of the spreading delta variant and said, “the vaccine maintains an effectiveness rate of about 93% in preventing serious illness and hospitalization cases.”
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Not getting vaccinated . . . if you are medically eligible. . . is not only Un-American it is grossly antihuman and antithesis to the freedoms allowed and created by protecting the “common good”.
Look, our constitution does not create “complete freedom” . . . especially when “endangering” others. Others have said this many times, but apparently it needs to be repeated again and again:
. Are you free to endanger others by speeding?
. Are you free to endanger others by driving drunk?
. Are you free to endanger your own children by not using a child car seat correctly?
I could go on and on listing all the ways that we as caring, law abiding citizens create the glorious freedoms we do have by first cooperating to “do no harm” to our human partners who are sharing this planet. Somehow, many have forgotten how to be good citizens, good neighbors, good humans. It all begins with “sharing”. Because we are NOT alone. . . because we “share” the space on planet earth, we have a human obligation to do so in a responsible way.
FREEDOM is not created in a vacuum, it is created by an agreement to a set of rules to PROTECT each other. True freedom is completely lost when we stop being civilized, when we become so self centered, entitled, narcissistic, greedy that we break the agreement that brought us freedom to begin with. Anarchy is not freedom. . . it is self annihilation of the human species.
Thank you Sherry for your wisdom.
Frank W says
Exercising your freedom of choice is NEVER un-American. NEVER.
Pierre Tristam says
Exercising your freedom irresponsibly? Indifferently? Unethically? Dangerously? Recklessly? Selfishly? Boorishly? Of course it is. As is any definition of freedom that makes it synonymous with narcissism, as opposed to the more respected and applicable definition in this context, that of John Stuart Mill: your freedom ends where it begins to harm another. But this is Trump’s circle of hell we’re living in, not Mill’s America anymore.
herewegoagain . says
WHAT A SAD CONCLUSION TO AN INTERESTING ARTICLE:
” People who decide not to get vaccinated must understand that their actions are not just selfish, they are un-American. ”
I RESPECT your decision
Please RESPECT mine
IF you want the injection, then take it
BUT I don’t – So please RESPECT my decision
I won’t be bullied or guilted into any other decision
than DOING WHAT I FEEL IS RIGHT FOR ME ..
STOP the HATE
Lets CONNECT as HUMANS, grow & learn, and MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE .. .. ..
World Peace . Health and Happiness to All
Spread Happiness & Kindness IN 2021
There is a S H O R T A G E of both …
Here’s a couple of novel concepts written by your revered “Founding Fathers”, for those of you who are obsessed with your personal freedom as a reflection of your patriotism: “In God WE trust” “WE the people, in order to form a more perfect UNION”
Try thinking in terms of “what is right” for US.
Just a thought says
To the anti vaxers: If all you did was die if you got the vaccine, then I wouldn’t give a crap about you. But, you are spreading it to others, including children and you are filling up hospital beds that are needed for every other medical problem. So at the very least, if you get sick, have some courtesy and stay home until you die.
@hewegoagain. . . .
Your decision to remain un-vaccinated/unmasked is “endangering” me and taking away “MY” freedom by intentionally spreading a “highly contagious” and “lethal” disease.
I am doing all in my power to protect myself, AND to protect YOU each and every day. I do things like drive safely and pay for car insurance, I make sure my home well kept and is not a hazard . . . AND, I make sure to do ALL I can not to spread any kind of illness to others.
You talk about wanting to spread happiness and kindness, right? You taking care of me the way I am taking care of you. . . by getting vaccinated. . . would most certainly be a wonderful act of kindness to us ALL.
herewegoagain . says
@ Sherry .. ..
While I respect your right to get the injection,
MY beliefs, opinions, and experiences are different than yours ..
I DO NOT feel I am putting you, or anyone else, in an “endangering situation”
nor am I taking away your “freedom” ..
I also believe I am doing what I feel as necessary to prevent spreading any kind of illness to others .
Again, what you feel and do is YOURS, what I feel and do is MINE
Sometimes there just isn’t a compromise – and I will wholeheartedly disagree with you until there is a change .
Currently, even those with the injection may be carriers .
World Peace . Health and Happiness to All
Spread Happiness & Kindness IN 2021
There is a S H O R T A G E of both …
What ever happened to “My Body, My right? These people who push the vaccine are mentally ill with the idea of controlling others … Natural Immunity works better than the covid shot.
This was in a Indiana paper (Indy Star) . July 2021
“The large majority of COVID-19 cases and deaths are occurring among unvaccinated people, per the States Chief Medical Officer, Weaver. Roughly 98% of Indiana cases this year occurred in people who are not vaccinated and 96% of Indiana COVID-19 deaths this year occurred in people who are not vaccinated. ”
“Your chances of getting infected with COVID-19 if you are vaccinated is 1 in 892. Your chances of getting infected with COVID-19 if you are not vaccinated is 1 in 14. These numbers are based on all Indiana cases since January, ”
“The chances of being hospitalized with COVID-19 if you are vaccinated is 1 in 18,795. Your chances of being hospitalized with COVID-19 if you are not vaccinated is 1 in 237. These numbers are based on all Indiana cases since January said Weaver, ”
Just another way “anti vaxers” are costing the rest of us. . . in addition to thousands of lives, pain and suffering, putting innocent little kids in the hospital, taking up all the hospital beds, using up vital water supplies, etc. This cost is in real dollars to us all:
Covid-19 hospitalizations in unvaccinated people cost the US health system $2.3 billion in June and July alone, a number which is likely an understatement, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation published Friday.
KFF looked at various sources, including CMS data and analyses of private claims, to find that the average cost of a Covid-19 hospitalization was around $20,000.
They used Health and Human Services and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data to find the number of preventable Covid-19 hospitalizations in the US in the months of June, 37,000 preventable hospitalizations, and July, 76,000 preventable hospitalizations.
In that case herewegoagain, NO it’s not as simple as we should agree to disagree. I have medical/scientific “facts” on my side. Now that we have an FDA “fully approved” vaccine, if you continue to remain unvaccinated/unmasked, you should be “required” to quarantine at home where you can freely exercise what you believe is your rights without endangering the rest of us.
Also, please cite the words in our constitution that gives you any rights to intentionally spread a serious disease.
While the conspiracy fantasies on FOX/Facebook/OAN/Newsmax etc. may have convinced you that you are not unnecessarily putting the rest of us at a higher risk of serious illness/death, “factual medical science” says they are wrong. This situation may eventually come down to “legal judgement” as federal mandates are applied and insurance companies start charging higher premiums to the unvaccinated. Logically, who do you think the legal minds will believe, scientific facts . . . or Facebook conspiracy theories? Remember what those Republican judges did with the BS (no evidence) cases presented to them about the fictitious election fraud.
Do you really want to risk your life, “and ours” by stubbornly being on the wrong side of this situation? You saying you are sorry from your hospital bed is absolutely NOT OK with me. . . not for me, AND not for you!
Also, herewegoagain. . . although words do matter, I believe we are judge by what we “do” much more than what we say. You have been saying the (empty?) words about being kind to each other. Ask yourself exactly what you are doing each and every day when you continue to refuse to do all you can to prevent spreading a terrible disease to others? Is that really what a kind and caring person would do? How is that refusal being a good neighbor, and a good American?
You do realize VACCINATED people give others covid and have injured others by giving them covid, right?
Ray W. says
Yes, they can.
Drfraudstkiller has a point, but it appears he is conflating logic with reason. Logic and reason can both be used to solve problems, but not always in the same way. Logic is designed to allow people to reach one answer to the exclusion of all other possible answers. As an obvious example, five times five is 25, to the exclusion of all other possible numbers. Reason, otherwise known as argumentation, is designed to allow us to choose the best answer among a number of good options or the least bad answer among a number of bad options.
In this way, the fact that vaccinated individuals can pass on the virus to others is and always will be a bad thing, so drfraudstikillermd has a point, but far fewer people are infected by others when the overall infection rate drops because of vaccinations, so he loses the overall argument, an argument he can never win, proving once again that people can be right and wrong at the same time.
Again, to paraphrase Wittgenstein, one of the most difficult things in life is to not fool oneself. Drfraudstikillermd appears to be wandering through life fooling himself or herself, but that can easily happen when one occupies a perfect or bad world. In a good, better, best/bad, worse, worst world, vaccinations are not perfect. In other words, it can be reasoned that Covid-19 vaccines are less bad than the alternative.
I recall to FlaglerLive readers once again my memory of standing in my elementary school cafeteria at roughly seven or eight years of age listening to a nurse explain to my mother that I could die from the vaccine I was about to receive. I recall the numbers as two in 50,000 children. But the nurse gave a much higher number if I did not receive the vaccine. My mother signed the form and I received the shot, all the while thinking: I can die from this? In this way, I suppose my mother used reason in the same way John Adams, our second president used reason before having his own children vaccinated against smallpox. My older brother remembers standing in line and receiving the shot, but he doesn’t remember hearing the disclaimer/warning from the nurse, suggesting that I was first in line among my five siblings at the time.
I suppose all vaccines carry side effects, some with the ultimate side effect, so anti-vaxxers will always have that argument. 700,000(+) dead and counting is a strong counterargument. At the core, it may very well be that anti-vaxxers place personal choice above the possibility of a greater likelihood of killing other people’s children. Pro-vaxxers place a lesser likelihood of killing other people’s children above personal choice. Oy, vey!