Monday, July 26, 2021


I don't care that Arkansas governor-to-be Sarah Huckabee Sanders refers to "the Trump vaccine" in her recent op-ed, in which she urges readers to get inoculated against COVID. And I'm not surprised that she lies in this passage:
When the Trump administration initiated Operation Warp Speed in May 2020, the president stated that a vaccine would become available by December of that year at the very latest. From the moment he made his announcement, the "expert" class tried to undermine those statements with baseless fear-mongering.

The New York Times ran an opinion piece claiming that whatever the Trump administration released would likely be a dangerous political stunt. CNN did the same. But no one did more to undercut public confidence in the vaccine than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Biden doubted that the vaccine would be "real," while Harris said in a nationally-televised debate that she would not take any vaccine the Trump administration had a hand in creating.
In fact, Biden and Harris merely expressed doubts about a vaccine approved before the election, and said they wouldn't trust a vaccine unless it had the imprimatur of the scientific community. Harris said:
If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it. Absolutely. But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.
Biden said:
And the question of whether it’s real, when it’s there, that requires enormous transparency. You’ve got to make all of it available to other experts across the nation, so they can look and see, so there’s consensus this is a safe vaccine.
The Times op-ed Sanders cites, by Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Dr. Paul A. Offit, made a similar argument:
Given how this president has behaved, this incredibly dangerous scenario is not far-fetched. In a desperate search for a political boost, he could release a coronavirus vaccine before it had been thoroughly tested and shown to be safe and effective.
I haven't found the CNN piece Sanders cites, but I'm sure it makes a similar argument.

Of course Sanders lies. Her intended Republican audience is so used to lies from its politicians that it probably wouldn't respond to rhetoric that's truthful.

What's striking about the Sanders op-ed is her conclusion: that as a result of all these denunciations of the Trump vaccine program by evil liberals, the vaccine is now being widely rejected ... by Trump fans. It's not being rejected by liberals -- people who voted for Biden and Harris, who read The New York Times, and who watch CNN. Biden, Harris, CNN, and the Times persuaded only right-wingers to be wary of the vaccines. In fact, right-wingers are so wary of the vaccines that they won't even listen to the man they believe is still the real president.

According to right-wingers, Biden and Harris didn't persuade enough people to vote for them to legitimately win the election. According to right-wingers, CNN and The New York Times are dying "legacy media" institutions that no one takes seriously. But right-wingers also believe that Biden, Harris, and these media voices are more persuasive on vaccines than The Greatest President Ever -- except in the case of their own backers. Strange how that works.

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