The Folly of Rushing Vaccines and the Dangers of Scientism

Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a man who has in the past argued for blowing up the regulatory process surrounding bringing new drugs to market, announced that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available before its effectiveness is confirmed. The first human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine, which is being conducted in Washington State, began back in March.

“We would start manufacturing vaccines before we know that it even works or not,” Fauci said. Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association that a third trial phase will involve 30,000 subjects. “I would not be surprised if we have more than one season of (coronavirus), with the likelihood that the second season will be much milder than the first,” Fauci told Newsweek. “Particularly if we have a vaccine.” I understand that more than 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines are working their way through the system.

The danger of rushing vaccines to market must not be downplayed. I remember the swine flu pandemic and swine flu vaccine scandals, as I am sure many of my older friends do, as well. It was rediscovering the video I share below during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic that got me interested in influenza pandemics and vaccine efficacy, benefit, and safety.

The 1976 Swine Flu Pandemic Hoax

In reviewing meta-analyses of industry versus independent research, one finds that the efficacy of flu vaccines is variable from year to year. In many years it is quite poor. This information is hidden in plain sight on the CDC web page. You have time to dig around in there. But it’s worth the effort. Also of note is that vaccine companies are given immunity from prosecution and billions of dollars has been received by the scores of people injured by vaccines through a vaccine compensation fund paid for by a tax on vaccines.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), which is discussed in the video, is, at least symptomatically, highly similar to consequences of a tiny minority (0.1–0.5%) of polio infections, what’s called paralytic poliomyelitis. GBS is a serious condition that continues to affect people. The 1976 swine flu scare is Exhibit A in why a rational person is skeptical of claims made by governments, public health services, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies. If you trust the medical-industrial complex, you’re naive.

In my experience, there are two types of advocates of science. We might call these standpoints. There are those who treat science like a new religion and scientists like new priesthood—i.e., who have the faith-based attitude that scientific reasoning is meant to circumvent. And there are those who look at and weigh the evidence in light of reason and interest—i.e., those who treat science and scientists for what and who they are, namely tentative attempts to grasp the world and men and women who are subject to all the same pressures as any other professional but who are not always cautious or objective, and who often cloak their ideology in the rhetoric of neutrality.

The first standpoint is scientism. It’s a faith-based exercise. The second one is science. It is the standpoint of the skeptic.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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