Dr. Anthony Fauci (Photo by Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images)
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Dr. Anthony Fauci is at it again. After appearing on seemingly every side of every public discussion about COVID response over the last 18 months, the highest-paid bureaucrat in America is now turning his sights on alleged public "misinformation" about the coronavirus vaccines, while spreading his own brand of it in the process.
Just last weekend, Dr. Fauci said, "If we had had the pushback for vaccines the way we're seeing on certain media, I don't think it would've been possible at all to not only eradicate smallpox, we probably would still have smallpox, and we probably would still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information that's being spread now."
To be clear, I'm supportive of any American who wants to get the COVID vaccine to do so — most Americans have in fact made that decision. But I am also supportive of those who would rather wait for more information before they make a final decision. What I am not supportive of is the constant coercive bullying by the federal government to do so.
My dad had polio. I'm grateful for the Salk vaccine, and I'm grateful for the end of polio in the United States.
A little simple research shows that the polio vaccine was first administered to healthy children in 1954 with the first mass production ready in April 1955. Looking at the more vulnerable population, based on survey data and according to national participation trends, by August 1957 approximately 50% of the population under 40 years old had received at least one inoculation. Looking at just the most vulnerable population — kids — data shows that within the first year of the polio vaccine, roughly 30 million American kids had been inoculated. In 1956, there were roughly 57.5 million kids in the U.S. population. Meaning roughly 52% of kids in America were inoculated against polio in the first year.
Looking at the whole population, according to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, in the early summer 1956, it was estimated that 30 million people, mostly children, had received one or more injections of the polio vaccine. This would only be roughly 18% of the U.S. population at the time.
So, compare these numbers to today's rates for COVID vaccinations even during Fauci's world of "misinformation." Looking at the U.S. population, according to the CDC, in seven months, 56% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. This is compared to 18% who had received at least one dose of the polio vaccine in over one year. Looking at the most vulnerable age groups, in just seven months, over 89% of Americans 65 and older have received the COVID vaccine. This is compared to 52% of kids in America who received the polio vaccine in the first year.
Believe it or not, the almighty "voices of reason" in the Biden administration don't actually have all the answers. If they did, perhaps we would better understand why some are heavily campaigning to vaccinate children when data shows children are statistically unaffected as both victims and vectors of the virus. Perhaps we would have better data on innate or natural immunity due to an infection and why manufactured immunity through a vaccine is better than these natural forms? Perhaps we would even know the origin of the coronavirus.
Instead of providing robust data, statistics, and information to the American people to help those who haven't yet made a decision on the vaccine to do so — something the Biden administration says they want — they continue to throw out blanket statements, disregarding actual questions, and referring to anything else as "misinformation."
Just a few weeks ago, President Biden dumbed down "science" to this simple sentence. "So, if you're vaccinated, you're protected. But if you're unvaccinated, you're not." Seems simple enough, but this isn't true. In fact, with any logical reasoning, one could surmise this isn't true as more Americans who are fully vaccinated get the Delta variant. Meanwhile, vaccinated people can also still become infected with the original strain of the virus. One recent study out of Israel found that those with natural immunity had similar, and sometimes, higher protection than those who got vaccinated. Yet another study from the Cleveland Clinic found similar infection rates between unvaccinated people with natural immunity and vaccinated people without it. Yet, the relentless politically driven narrative pushed by the Biden administration is dangerous and leads to massive "misinformed" dramatizations. For example one doctor (Ph.D., not medical) even wrote in an article published by Forbes that people who aren't vaccinated do not value their lives and "would rather die than accept science."
Recent comments like Dr. Fauci's polio comparison is misinformation by his own standards. Scientific haste — even against deadly viruses — can lead to poor outcomes. The polio vaccine campaign was even halted at one point due to a manufacturing error. There was plenty of hesitancy toward the polio vaccine. Assuming Dr. Fauci thinks the Salk vaccine was responsible for eradicating polio, and assuming his goal is actually to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID, he would be smart to stop the leftist talking points, spend less time posing on the cover of fashion magazines, and spend more time providing Americans with the information they need in order to feel comfortable with the vaccine.
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Chip Roy represents the 21st Congressional District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.