Pointing out lies from public health experts makes Ron DeSantis a bad guy

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Washington Post had a very odd piece published on Saturday. I couldn’t decide if it was only biased or totally ridiculous.

It was actually a bit of both. The  biased part was the substance of the piece; the totally ridiculous part was the headline, which gave away the media’s game.


The basic point of the piece was as you would expect, save for the fact that the author Faye Flam of Bloomberg actually admitted that the public health authorities made some mistakes. She downplays them as relatively minor, but she at least admits that “The Science™” was not as settled as was asserted.

She admits that part to make a broader, and rather stupid claim: Ron DeSantis is using the imperfections of the public health system in a demagogic crusade against vaccines and other pandemic responses.

Earlier this week, medical website STATnews reported on data that showed Covid vaccines have saved 3 million lives in the US. That’s about three times as many Americans as have died from the virus. Even if you quibble with the exact figure, these vaccines have been a momentous achievement.

But the same day, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis petitioned the state Supreme Court to start a grand jury investigation into the safety and efficacy claims behind mRNA vaccines — the dominant kind used in this country.

Despite the success of these vaccines, misleading messaging from public health experts and from the White House has created confusion that’s left fertile ground for DeSantis’s disingenuous and self-serving maneuvers.

It’s well past time to talk honestly about the downsides of the Covid-19 vaccines. They don’t do much to prevent people from getting mild cases of the current variants. They don’t do much to stem community transmission. And like all pharmaceuticals, they’re not perfectly safe. Booster mandates for young people amount to safety theater (free rapid tests would do a lot more to keep college students from infecting their grandparents or professors).

Papering over or ignoring those minor problems has eroded public trust and created an opening for DeSantis to sow discord and confusion.


This is quite an opening, if you think about it. On the one hand, she repeats a talking point from the public health experts to back up the claim that vaccines have saved 3 million lives. Perhaps this is so, perhaps not.

Then she implies Ron DeSantis is attacking these life-saving vaccines for political purposes by requesting an investigation into their safety and effectiveness, calling him self-serving and disingenuous. Those are pretty strong words, and implies that he is indifferent to the 3 million lives saved by the vaccines.

But wait! There’s more!

Yes, but…DeSantis can get away with this because the public health establishment have been misleading us all along. They haven’t merely made mistakes–they have been lying. In this claim she is right, but it also undercuts points 1 and 2. If the public health establishment has been misleading people, why are you taking them at their word that 3 million lives were saved?

And why are you objecting to a 3rd party investigating the facts, since the current crop of “investigators” are known liars?

You see why I called the argument ridiculous? All the points made in the 4th paragraph, which are true and demonstrably so, contradict what we are even now being told by the public health establishment. They are liars, and somebody should hold them to account. And we know the MSM is not going to do it. Flim Flam…ooops, Faye Flam calls these problems minor. I call them outright lies.

Since we can’t trust the Establishment or their stenographers, somebody has to step up. Ron DeSantis is. There is plenty of data already out there that demonstrates that we haven’t gotten the full story on COVID’s origins, the real number of people who have died, the genuine levels of “Long COVID” and how it compares to other viral infections, or on the potential dangers of the vaccines.


The point of the piece is to undermine DeSantis as a political opportunist playing with lives, but Flam’s own points make clear that this accusation fits the public health establishment more than he. If the only costs involved were that trust in public health figures has been damaged, that would be enough. But after 3 years of economy and life-destroying COVID “emergency” measures, the costs have in fact been incalculable.

The elderly died alone, or were trapped in their homes for months to years. Children were unnecessarily masked and set back immeasurably in both academic and social development. Suicides occurred, businesses lost, social divisions widened, lives destroyed…. There was nothing minor about any of the effects of the massive deceptions perpetrated by politicians and public health figures.

Not to mention the likely deaths that resulted. There needs to be a reckoning, not more coverups. Perhaps a governor is not the best to provide it, but who else has the intestinal fortitude to do it? Nobody, it seems.

Again, Flim Flam admits that there is a problem:

But there’s a false narrative from the left as well, which was parroted in a Politico piece about the DeSantis grand jury stunt: “Most of the medical community, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA and Johns Hopkins, have emphasized that the Covid vaccine is safe and effective in preventing the virus and protecting against serious symptoms.”

Science no longer backs the notion that the vaccine prevents the virus from infecting people. “The benefit of the vaccine in the omicron era isn’t protection against infection the way it was earlier. It’s protection against what matters most: severe disease, hospitalization and death,” said Johns Hopkins University senior scholar and physician Amesh Adalja. 


No longer backs? It never backed it. The COVID vaccine may have been a net positive for society, but that isn’t how it was or is sold. We were and remain lied to. Especially about the safety of the vaccine in the young, for whom the public health officials in much of Europe the vaccine is not even made available due to safety concerns. The White House wants to vaccinate infants, while in some European countries it is mostly restricted to people over 50.

It seems to me that the people politicizing the vaccine and COVID are now and always have been the Democrats. They saw it as a way to discredit Republicans and seize power, and still do. To this day we are in a state of emergency that allows Biden to decree many things and spend money without approval. That is absurd if this was ever about public health, and has nothing to do with public health.

It is a power grab.

Flam’s piece is an attempt to smear DeSantis while appearing fair. Most Americans know, at some level, that they have been had. So admit “small” things (as minor problems) to justify a large lie–that DeSantis is a ghoul.

It is more of the same. A big lie. And when DeSantis reveals many of the other big lies as the grand jury gets going you can rest assured that the pile on will start in earnest.

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