Patterico’s already said everything that needs saying about Carlson’s show last night, so if you want to read him instead of me, hop to it. I’m eager to see how Tucker plays the victim on tonight’s program after taking tons of heat today over his comments. My guess is a pinch of “just asking questions,” a dollop of “you’re taking me out of context,” and a heaping scoop of theatrical populist indignation at having been criticized by Fauci himself.
Tucker says that he can't think of another explanation as to why COVID precautions remain in place besides that "maybe [the vaccine] doesn't work and they're simply not telling you that" pic.twitter.com/LmU0oXNAR7
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) April 14, 2021
He starts out reasonably enough, seemingly making a rhetorical point we’ve made here many times: If the vaccines dramatically reduce your risk of infection, why are experts like Fauci constantly urging vaccinated people to keep taking precautions? The point of that criticism isn’t that the vaccines don’t work, though. It’s that the public-health bureaucracy is being absurdly overcautious because the vaccines do work. If we left it up to Fauci, the theory goes, we’d be in lockdown forever even after vaccinations have made socializing safe.
It sounds like that’s where Tucker’s going initially, the common (and correct) critique that Fauci is underselling the vaccine. But it isn’t. Quote:
“So maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that. Well you hate to think that, especially if you’ve gotten two shots. But what’s the other potential explanation? We can’t think of one. We know the Prime Minister of Canada has decided, after thinking about it a lot, that vaccines just don’t work — and we know that, because he said it out loud.”
Trudeau said no such thing, as Patterico demonstrates. He’s simply of the Faucian mindset that vaccines alone aren’t enough to keep everyone safe at a moment when a country has yet to reach herd immunity. Even after herd immunity, some low level of spread will happen. That doesn’t mean the efficacy of the vaccines is in doubt, it means they can’t keep the population perfectly safe — especially if a meaningful share refuse to get immunized.
I wonder why they’d do that:
the #1 post on @Facebook about vaccines today is Tucker Carlson suggesting they don't work.
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) April 14, 2021
A new poll from Monmouth today shows vaccine refusal is down slightly among Democrats since March, down meaningfully among independents, and up among Republicans, no doubt partly due to anti-vax propaganda being mainstreamed in some righty media outlets:
NATIONAL POLL: When Americans plan to get #Covid vaccine:
51% already got it (16% in March)
14% as soon as allowed (38%)
12% wait and see (21%)
21% likely never (24%)
LIKELY NEVER by PARTY:
43% REP (36% in March)
22% IND (31%)
5% DEM (6%)https://t.co/22KUAWnj1m
— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) April 14, 2021
Some Republicans are going to die because partisan media figures whom they trust are leading them to doubt the safety and efficacy of the vaccines without reason. When “the pandemic’s wrongest man,” Alex Berenson, was recently scrutinized by The Atlantic for his populist-pleasing vaccine alarmism and COVID skepticism, guess whose TV show he went running to in order to defend himself. The upshot from all this may be “islands” of infection in right-leaning rural areas later this year even after most of the population has been vaccinated. The more rural people agree are convinced the vaccines don’t work or are dangerous, the greater the odds of further outbreaks ravaging their communities and potentially breeding variants that’ll threaten even people who’ve had their shots.
Fauci was asked about Carlson’s segment this morning by CNN and said the only thing he could say: It’s crank stuff.
Fauci on Tucker Carlson's vaccine comments: That's just a typical crazy conspiracy theory … I don't have any idea what he's talking about
Berman: How dangerous is it for him to speculate like that?
Fauci: It's counter to protecting the safety and health of the American public pic.twitter.com/kiWKUdOlFA
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) April 14, 2021
I’ll leave you with this, from an Israeli scientist who periodically posts updates on his country’s progress. Bear in mind that Israel reopened businesses a month ago to vaccinated people and that the very contagious British variant of the virus is/was common there, all of which should logically mean lots of infection. As it is, they’re down to 200 cases a day, their lowest daily count since mid-June of last year. Again: I wonder why.
Israel's 73rd independence day also marks its exit from COVID-19, at least for now
Since mid-Jan. peak:
98% fewer cases
93% fewer critically ill
87% fewer deaths
85% of 16 y/o & above vaccinated/infected
Life is close to pre-covid
Remaining restrictions can probably be lifted pic.twitter.com/vBfUhmbfFt
— Eran Segal (@segal_eran) April 14, 2021