Ben Shapiro has long been a strong advocate for the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, believing that taking them was a socially responsible measure that might save someone's grandma and even slow or prevent the spread of the virus. On Tuesday, Shapiro stated that, like many others, he had been deceived about the efficacy of the vaccines, particularly with regard to their ability to prevent viral transmission.
Shapiro's admission about transmission
On Tuesday's episode of "The Ben Shapiro Show," Shapiro stated, "It is now perfectly clear that we were lied to. And we were lied to at a very high level and from very, very early on by both the vaccine companies, in terms of the ability of the vaccine to prevent transmission, and ... by our politicians who apparently knew better."
Shapiro's admission and sense of betrayal comes, in part, after Pfizer executive Janine Small stated on Oct. 10 that the company did not know if the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine it had developed with BioNTech would prevent viral transmission before the drug went on the market.
In addition to being enraged by Small's admission, Shapiro took issue with the possibility that the Biden administration knew as much over a year ago, but had nevertheless stood by its original narrative. "It turns out the Biden White House knew this and promoted the lie anyway," said Shapiro. "This is truly amazing stuff."
President Joe Biden said with confidence in 2021, "You're not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations."
Despite his public confidence, an article cited by Shapiro and published in the Washington Post on Oct. 22 suggested that the Biden administration knew as of summer 2021 that the vaccines "did a far worse job of blocking infection than originally expected, as potency waned ... Still, the political imperative remained."
In July, former White House COVID response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx admitted she too had known the COVID-19 vaccines "were not going to protect against infection," adding that "we overplayed the vaccines."
While elements of the government and the scientific establishment knew the truth, they weren't keen on intervening when others were castigated for saying it out loud.
The Washington Post, which just reported that the vaccines had proven ineffective at blocking transmission, previously stated that the "most pernicious anti-vaccine talking point," especially when voiced by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), was the claim that the vaccines "are not preventing infection."
Shapiro stressed that false narratives such as those carefully maintained and advanced by the Biden administration stand to undermine faith in American institutions and experts. When a scientific institution alleges something in concert with the government that "is issuing laws to get you to do a thing, and it turns out these thing are lies ... people's distrust in the institution is going to skyrocket."
Road to revulsion
In his Tuesday podcast, Shapiro noted that the vaccination rollout initially relied upon a narrative buttressed by two major claims.
The first was that there was "robust data on the lowering of the risk of death — particularly if you were old and vulnerable — from baseline COVID." Shapiro suggested this was a "fairly strong" case since a large percentage of the population is obese and there are plenty of geriatrics.
The second rationale made the case, "largely on the basis of Pfizer claims and Moderna claims," that taking the vaccines would lower transmission rates. Accordingly, it would be necessary to get vaccinated to bring an end to the pandemic and slow or curb the spread of the virus.
Shapiro noted that the media seized upon the big pharmaceutical companies' claims in the fall and winter of 2020. "That was the data that most of us used ... because that was the available data," he said.
That was the data Shapiro relied upon when he decided to get double-vaccinated, as well as when he subsequently advised others to follow suit.
On Aug. 2, 2021, he claimed, "Getting vaxxed essentially protects you from the virus. Remaining unvaxxed makes you vulnerable. Make your choice."
Shapiro tweeted on July 20, 2021, "Get vaxxed. I did. My wife did. My parents did." He went on to write, "If you're not vaxxed and you get sick, that's on you."
Months later, he said that in order to end the pandemic, those who are "vulnerable" should "get vaxxed."
On Sep. 2, 2021, he suggested that the "only people ... [who are] worried, unfortunately, are people who are vaxxed and shouldn't be worried; the unvaxxed are generally unworried, which is why they are unvaxxed."
In February, he boasted, "Double-vaxxed. My wife is triple. My parents are triple."
Although he advocated for vaccination, Shapiro noted in October 2021 that parents' reluctance to give COVID-19 shots to their children was "entirely justified," granted "Covid risks to children are extraordinarily low."
Pricked, prodded, and angry
Shapiro concluded, "We were lied to by everyone. We were lied to by the scientists. We were lied to by Pfizer. We were lied to by the government. We were lied to by the Biden administration ... I don't like being lied to."
Beside questioning his ability to trust so-called experts moving forward, Shapiro demanded that corrective action be taken, starting with having "everybody who's involved in this sort of stuff" thrown out of office. Those in the private sector "need to be fired."
Shapiro, who is also a lawyer by training, suggested that "there may need to be actual criminal prosecutions if you are disseminating false health information to people on the basis of zero evidence."
Knowing what he knows now, Shapiro, who is double-vaccinated, said he is not sure whether he would have taken the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, but said, "maybe not."