Tucker's Vaccine Skepticism

Following a program devoted to a discussion of the “other side” of vaccination, Tucker Carlson came in for a slew of  slams, one of which, by Brian Stelter for CNN Business, was titled  “Tucker Carlson’s Fox News colleagues call out his dangerous antivaccine rhetoric.”

Carlson’s actual program on reactions, adverse events, various complications including deaths was based on VAERS, a data reporting service. 

Trending on Twitter, 7 May, was this: 

VAERS and Yellow Card databases show unverified reports of COVID-19 vaccine-related side effects and deaths that can be submitted by anyone, according to the CDC and fact checkers. 

VAERS, a standard for doctors and organizations seeking reliable data on adverse events, including deaths, stands for Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Even though it has been jointly used for 30 years to monitor post-licensure safety of drugs by both the CDC and the FDA, is not 100% foolproof, in that some adverse events are not reported, thus not included in their database.

All reports are “passive” to the system, neutrally submitted, and are then evaluated via a variety of methodologies and measures by the CDC and the FDA after whatever drug has hit the market. The public is cautioned on relying on the data’s predictive or retrospective reliability: You still won’t know for sure that a particular set of adverse events were “caused” by a particular market entity. 

In terms of some figures that are already established, according to VAERS:  There are over 4,100 dead in the U.S. from the shots, over 8,000 dead in Europe from the same vaccines, and more than 3,300 dead in Israel contiguous to the jabs in the arm. Worldwide, the data say, there are somewhere between 30,000-35,000 dead reported from the inoculations, or shortly thereafter. To be sure, reported deaths are always far fewer than the real numbers, as there are always unreported figures, unrecognized parallels, comorbidities, and so on.

The VAERS data had been there for months. The deaths started months ago in numbers large enough to matter and be reported, frankly. (Indeed, the critics could admonish Tucker: Why wait so long and let so many innocents die before speaking up?)

That includes Anthony Fauci, he of investment himself in the Wuhan Virology Lab. He of umpteen years in AIDs research and data accumulation.  

So the public was first primed to doubt the efficacy of the wonder vaccines, as a consequence of getting it, in the unlovely formulation of President 46, “into the arms of the public.”  

Alas, the triumvirate of Fauci, Biden, and Harris did such a good preemptive job of scathing the eventual vaccines brought to birth by President Trump that now they need to expend outsize energy on reconvincing the public at large that they erred in being so negative last year. 

Harris ate her words that she  wouldn’t take any vaccine “made by Trump,” as if he were standing, pipette in one hand, microtubules in the other, one foot on the treadle to open the super-freezer to minus 90 -degrees Celsius.  

The scientific process, we know, always involves the push me-pull me of on-the-one-hand, but-on-the-other variables. No drug is perfect. Most have adverse events, which term -- you realize -- came about because “side effects” has been viewed as too negative, so the more neutral “adverse events,” less aggressive, serves. 

I think Carlson has every duty to bring up the negative potentials and/or actualities of these new entities in the drug armamentarium. It is part of his job to cover the grey, aqua, and fuchsia as well as the blue they all expect. 

Someone has to do it. Brian Stelter sure doesn’t. Even “60 Minutes” takes a roundabout approach, they being nearer the ‘power center’ of the White House than is Fox or Carlson. 

Truth is, the COVID skeptics may have a point. In Israel, we have cited VAERS reports, more than a tiny number of jabbees have come down with adverse events, from deep vein thrombosis to long-term changes in brain function, to tinnitus, even death, within a short period following their inoculations. 

Even healthy people going in, after a few days, in some instances, have reputedly died mysteriously. There is no dotted line from the syringe to the patient to the hospital bed where they may have died shortly thereafter. But it is valid to question.

Too bad the coverage of Tucker’s coverage went overboard in hyperbole. The critics, most on the blue side of the spectrum of politicking, of course, don't have much impulse control.  What's wrong with hearing a second view from over the fence?  

Are we not adult enough to weigh and sift the evidence proffered, and decide the risk-to-benefit ratio is more on the side of the yes, take the shots than the obverse? 

What do we really have to lose? Those who have decided not to take the shots have had their opinion for quite some time. Tucker didn’t singlehandedly turn the crimson tide. To give him his due, he’s pretty intrepid, yes, but he’s one guy, and there are all these pundits carrying their opinions on their sleeves, as it were. Why are they so spooked? 

It's so hammer-hard against another side of the issue to the public that it makes one queasy. 

It's like the hysterics over the Arizona ballot audit. If the vote was so all-fired whistle-clean, what matters if a few auditors do an inspection of the ballots? You’re sure the 2020 Election was 99 and 44/100ths pure, right? 

Lots of doctors and military are refusing the vaccines, we know.  I feel the results are not yet all in, as it takes years to find out the net reality that may lurk in slow cell deterioration or accumulating blood clots or progressive brain fog, and so on.  I was in charge of dealing with some reports of adverse events at Pfizer, in my department, and there were some unexpected or odd reactions to even the mildest drugs.  

One part of the public demands in these reportorial complaints was clearly aimed at the company’s “deep pockets.” But some seemed valid. We always informed the FDA of anything significant, even if it was reported by a tiny fraction of the millions of drugs sold or used as vaccines. Our reports then were entered into VAERS’ database. 

Because even the mildest drugs are heavy duty. Aspirin today would not be purchasable over the counter, if its formulators applied to the FDA today for nonemergency use. It's that powerful. 

So a few cautionary’ jabs’ in the other direction are certainly kosher. 

Image: Gage Skidmore

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