It was all the more disappointing, then, that Gupta was unable to successfully answer the risk/benefit questions. Is the risk of getting COVID worse for kids than the risk of vaccination? The answer should have been a resounding yes. Flip that around: Do the benefits of vaccination for kids outweigh the risks of getting COVID? Again, absolutely, yes. Rogan asked if the risk for adults of getting the vaccine is lower than the risk of going without it: The answer is yes. Gupta seemed to have difficulty in making this clear in a way that Rogan would find persuasive.
But this is not to pile on Gupta. The medical profession as a whole simply has not been able to explain the risk/benefit calculus to a segment of the population resistant to the vaccine. Many hear Anthony Fauci as talking down to them, whether on masks or gatherings or vaccines. Biden called people’s questioning of the value of masks “Neanderthal thinking.” Is it any wonder that people aren’t going to listen to him on matters related to their health?
This is where Gupta and Rogan did the country a true service: They had a two-hour discussion representing our greater debate over COVID in civil and respectful terms. Maybe Sanjay Gupta persuaded some people at least to take a second look at the data, and that in itself would make this a worthwhile endeavor. The true hope is that instead of the silly demagoguery that has dominated much of the discussion during the pandemic era, more discussion like this can occur, for the benefit of everyone.