Enough With the Variant Fear-Mongering
Franklin Delano Roosevelt once famously said that “the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.” It was intended to urge Americans to not be afraid, but the current Democrat in the White House seems to read it as a suggestion for a way to keep the masses in line.
Frequent readers of my Morning Briefing (subscribe here — it’s free!) know that I have been decrying the Democrats’ fear-mongering over the variants for a while now. At the beginning of the week, I took President Alleged to task for droning on about the Delta variant in his Independence Day speech.
Dr. Monica Gandhi — a physician and professor at the University of California San Francisco — has written an op-ed with one of her students cautioning against the overhyping of the fear of the Delta variant.
Dr. Gandhi is using California numbers to illustrate her point, but it’s still one worth noting: This variant’s appearance comes after many Americans have been vaccinated, and that makes a difference.
New fear-based headlines are popping up every day about the SARS-COV-2 delta variant, now the dominant strain in the U.S., with the focus on evidence of its increased transmissibility, questions about its particular ability to “break through” vaccine protection and the impact that the variant may have on a return to school.
The recent divergence of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance around mask-wearing has contributed to confusion, as have recent recommendations by Los Angeles County for fully vaccinated individuals to mask indoors. Although it might feel like we’ve been here before with other variants, the situation in the context of high vaccination rates is totally different.
The article goes into great detail about the effectiveness of the vaccines and the fact that those most vulnerable to the Delta variant are those who are unvaccinated. Team Biden has been using that last point to convince people who haven’t been vaccinated that they need to be. They’ve also occasionally implored vaccinated people to wear masks because of the variant. Dr. Ghandi notes that this approach could backfire:
Messaging heightened anxiety and new masking guidelines around the delta variant also sends a confusing message about vaccines and their effectiveness.
This should be obvious, but the Biden administration doesn’t seem to get it. They’re married to a muddled message that essentially says “Vaccines work! Until they don’t.”
The reality is that those who still aren’t vaccinated will probably never be. I am, but I have several close friends who refuse to get the vaccine. It isn’t as if it’s not available. I was on a couple of alert lists before I got my shots and I keep getting emails and texts about new vaccine sites. Availability isn’t a problem.
What might work is a lot less browbeating from the administration. Team Biden is moving in the opposite direction, however, having just announced that the federal government will now engage in door-to-door vaccine harassment.
Apologies to the memory of FDR — it looks like fear itself may win this one.