Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Are we still seeing anti-vax diatribes? (oh yes, X!)

I can't believe we're still doing this after all these years: dispelling and rebutting myths about vaccines by the right wing. 

As an updated, more targeted vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available, Anthony Fauci, the ex-White House chief medical advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, came out of retirement for an interview, and has been willfully misinterpreted and/or misunderstood all over again, presumably by the same bunch of ill-informed and combative yahoos who used to do it while he was gainfully employed.

Carefully cherry-picking and editing their quotes, some people picked up on Fauci saying, "There's a very, very, very low risk, particularly in young men, of getting a myocarditis". (Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by some infections. It is usually mild and self-resolves, but in a few isolated cases it can be fatal.)

Cue outrage and mass hysteria in some social media circles, particularly on Elon Musk-owned X (Twitter), which has recently become the default hang-out of the hard right. "Fauci now admits the vaccine causes myocarditis" (he has been telling that to anyone who would listen for over 2 years). "Prison now!!!" (yes, 3 exclamation points!!!) "This guy should be on trial for crimes against humanity" (I can't even think of a suitable response to that).

Did these people not even bother to listen to, or read, the very next line in Fauci's interview? "But if you look at the risk of myocarditis from COVID itself, it is greater than the risk of the vaccine". Because, as Fauci and others also pointed out in 2021, when this issue first raised its head: 1) the risk of contracting myocarditis from a vaccine (or any other source) is very, very small; 2) it is usually a very mild condition, and most people recover with no lasting damage; and 3) the risk of contracting myocarditis is much greater from a COVID infection than it is from a vaccine shot (so COVID vaccines are actually reducing the incidence of myocarditis in the general population).

I imagine, Fauci will probably creep back into the privacy of his well-earned retirement after this.

Some of the social media posters we are talking about here felt it incumbent on themselves to point out that their posts would have been banned on the old Twitter, while the new, permissive X allows such misleading and dangerous garbage to see the light of day. Quite. QED.

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