Dragged Through the Dirt for Big Pharma

Every story I read about Meat Loaf’s death tells readers that it is unknown whether the singer was vaccinated. This includes a slew of stories that also say he was “anti-vax.” The media is obsessed with the question. Their obsession trumps any responsible journalism or just human decency to reflect on the life of a man who provided the soundtrack for so many lives, including mine. (See Meat Loaf has Died.)

This headline from British publication Express provides a good example of the general tone the media is taking with this story: “Scared Meat Loaf dies weeks after criticising masks and Covid curbs.” As if criticizing masks and COVID curbs is somehow causally related to the man’s demise. Rarely in these stories are readers told that Meat Loaf suffered from several health conditions that put him at risk for severe COVID, including asthma. They narrowly write their stories to diminish him while conveying a false impression that the man’s fate awaits all “anti-vaxxers.”

First, refusal to take a COVID-19 vaccine is not anti-vaccination. I don’t know very many people who are opposed to vaccines as a general rule. I know a lot of people who will not take this or that vaccine. I am not opposed to vaccines, but there are vaccines I won’t take. One cannot be anti-vaccination generally if one is selective in their opposition to vaccination.

Most years of my life I have opted not to get a flu vaccine. I have only had the flu shot twice in nearly six decades of life. The first shot likely gave me the autoimmune disorder Graves disease, which I struggled with for year. The second shot, recommended by the physician who diagnosed my Graves, did not prevent me from contracting one of the worst flu cases I have ever suffered. So enough flu shots for me until I have confidence that they are safe and effective. Nobody has ever called me anti-vaccine because I made that choice. It simply doesn’t follow.

Second, the specific accusation being leveled by the establishment media is that Meat Loaf was against vaccine mandates and, while true, opposition to vaccine mandates isn’t even in the same ballpark as anti-vaccination. It’s anti-mandate. One can oppose forcing any medical treatment on people and not be anti whatever that treatment is. For instance, I might not choose chemotherapy if I have cancer, but that doesn’t make me anti-chemotherapy. I am highly critical of chemotherapy. But that is not anti-chemotherapy, either.

Screenshot of Merriam-Webster’s definition of “anti-vaxxer.”

This term “anti-vaxxer” first appeared around 2008 (derived from the must older “anti-vaccinationist”). Above you will find a screenshot of Merriam-Webster’s definition of the term which has been revised from its 2018 definition that referred to “laws” instead of “regulations,” a revision to reflects the acceptance among elites of the substitution of democratic with technocratic rule. In a December 2019 article by Nicoletta Lanese, “‘Crazymothers’ Want You to Stop Calling Them ‘Anti-Vaxxers’,” LiveScience tells its readers, “An anti-vaccine group [calling themselves Crazymothers] wants to rebrand itself as ‘vaccine risk aware.’ Here’s why they can’t.” So why can’t they? The article doesn’t tell us. It just repeats pro-industry propaganda.

1930s cartoon variation on a theme

It is easy to show how the term “anti-vaxxer” is nothing more than a smear. I have already done so above. But let me do it some more for good measure. I support the right of a person to end his life through physician-assisted suicide. A person who is suffering from a terminal illness should have the option of ending his life. There are others who don’t think a person should have that option. They are anti-euthanasia.

Let’s suppose we get to a point where the government and corporations push for the necessity of euthanasia as part of standard public health strategy. Suppose the technocrats argue that the costs of keeping a terminally ill person alive is too much of a drain on society. They will even give it a humanitarian gloss and tells us about how they are saving the ill from terrible suffering. I will oppose a mandate to euthanize sick and suffering people. That does not mean I am anti-euthanasia. My opposition is anti-mandate, a qualitatively different position.

If you can’t get the difference between what is being opposed in this example, then that probably explains why you don’t see what’s going on with language. So I will tell you. What the establishment is doing by redefining anti-vaccination to include anti-mandate, and shamelessly exploiting Meat Loaf’s death to reinforce the redefinition, is to discredit the principle of medical autonomy, shame people into taking a shot, as well as build consensus around forced vaccination.

It would be one thing if a gaggle of busybodies stood over in the corner and wagged their finger at those who consider science before making a choice. But they don’t want people being able to make choices (or even to consider science). They want the government to force people to submit to vaccines. Forced vaccination can lead nowhere good. If the government can force you to take this vaccine, then it can force you to take a flu vaccine or any other vaccine. If it can do this, it can force any medical intervention on you. You will be the pet of the corporate state. This is preparation for serfdom in the coming neo-feudalist order of things.

They’re trying to change our brains by changing our language. The epithet “anti-vaxxer” plays the same role in our society as the term “conspiracy theorist.” It’s designed to diminish an argument by diminishing the person. It’s an ad hominem attack. Those who commit this fallacy are telling us that they Don’t really have a counterargument. They also mean for you to assume as proved that which requires proving. This is why the favorite word of today’s journalist are “baseless,” “unsupported,” and (more boldly) “debunked.” All these terms are intentionally obnoxious; they mean to get a rise out of their targets. Our role a responsible citizens in preserving the rational life is to be logical and not fall for corporate state propaganda. Don’t regurgitate their nouns and adjectives. Simple lifeforms reflex. You’re evolved. Act like it.

Of course, some very smart people evolve in a regressive fashion. In a January 2016 interview with Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology, the doctor is asked, “What can you do to avoid getting colds?”

“You might be able to avoid a cold by wearing full protective equipment, but in the end the cold viruses will probably find a way to get you. There are so many viruses that have evolved to cause colds—perhaps 200 or more. It’s hard to see how we can ever defeat all of them.” (An example of one of the many cold viruses is the coronavirus family.)

“Why do kids get so many colds?”

“The immune system needs to learn: it needs to build up experience. Just like we go to school to learn facts, we also go there to pick up germs. Our immune system is very clever in that it has a built-in memory. For example, when it has come across a virus once, the immune system usually retains a ‘memory’ of how it got rid of that virus from the body. If it comes across the same virus later in life, the immune system can bring back this ‘memory’ and attack and defeat the virus before it makes you ill.”

“Does getting colds make the immune system stronger?”

“Yes, probably. Your immune system is designed to fight off infections and keep the body healthy; common infections put our immune system through its paces. In germ free environments, the immune system performs very poorly: it needs germs to keep in trim.”

“What can you do to boost the immune system?”

“If you could boost your immune system and it’s working well already, that might make you more ill. Immune overactivity is as dangerous as immune underactivity. For example, an overactive immune system (which attacks inappropriate substances such as pollen grains or your own body’s cells) causes conditions such as allergy and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Living a healthy, balanced lifestyle is the best thing you can to do make sure your immune system can function optimally.”

I then found an interview Openshaw gave in October of last year.

As I note in my tweet, it’s as if his brain has been wiped clean and a new program installed. He is now masks, vaccines, and boosters all the way. But as Lisa Boothe points out, was Openshaw is saying has been shown to be wildly off the mark.

As for the irresponsible, I am hoping the people around me soon understand what I’ve understood for a very long time, which is well stated in the tweet shared above. I hope they lose the ideology and get back to basic scientific reasoning. I have to hope because I clearly have no power to persuade. But don’t worry over my pessimism. Resistance won’t stop me from trying. So might I suggest this redefinition of the term anti-vaccine:

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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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