Hi, Sara here again. I had posted just this last month about Covid vaccination questions and I’m here with a few more. I’ve been really challenged since just about everyone I am with on a day to day basis, including my church, is anti this vaccine.
Since the science has been real-time learning for Covid and suggestions on how to deal with the virus have changed, how can we be sure that it won’t come out later that the vaccine actually wasn’t the best way to handle this?
I feel like everything has become really politicized which has made conversations even harder, but I feel like there is so much distrust to anything that comes out from the CDC, at least to the people I am spending my life with. I feel like I can’t keep up with everything.
There was some distrust of Anthony Fauci, too, and people were saying that he didn’t lie but this morning I have read that Lawrence A. Tabak admitted that Fauci had been untruthful:
In India I had read that they have inoculated 1 billion people and I did see that their cases are down. Could someone break down for me the vaccinated deaths vs unvaccinated deaths in the US? There seems to be conflicting information about this and I’m confused.
Also, something I’ve come up against recently is that since 14 days after receiving the vaccine you are still considered unvaccinated, even after the second dose, people believe that the vaccine injuries aren’t being reported correctly because it’s being reported as Covid or covid related. Any suggestions on where to look at this information? I know VAERS isn’t completely accurate so I’m not sure if that is a good place to look.
A few people close to me keep saving articles and sharing them and it’s really difficult for me to try to debunk all of it!
Here is a good post about Israel’s vaccination. Vaccines do help reduce the load of hospitalization dramatically.
What would the alternative be? Just let everyone get sick and whoever dies, dies? (Not asked in a snarky way!) I think the effects of long-COVID and what they are seeing in terms of lasting organ damage (ie lungs), etc. is worth it to try and avoid getting any case whatsoever.
I hope others can chime in with more sources and stuff, but I’m really sorry this is what you’re up against. To me, it’s an easy sell. Do you want to avoid going to the hospital, or can you afford a hospital stay in your life? If people feel like they can budget that in, financially and time-wise (not to mention healthwise), then I guess it’s a risk they’re willing to take. But my suspicion is that nobody likes going to the hospital…seems like you should do everything in your power to prevent it. But…that’s just me.
Thank you for sharing some resources with me and taking the time to reply.
I think because we live in a less populated rural community it seems like everyone just goes off people they know that had covid and their experience. In our county there have only been 13 deaths so I feel like it doesn’t seem real to people or that there isn’t a reason to vaccinate because such a small number of deaths have occurred, if that makes sense.
I’m in Australia and one thing I’ve been learning is not to trust news outlets. They twist words like crazy to get clicks - to the point of being outright deceptive. Our premier was accused of “lying”. But when I actually read the source of the information it was ridiculous to conclude that she had been lying. They just twisted her words to make it look like a lie. It’s so wrong.
I’m not following Fauci and the Wuhan gain-of-function case, so I don’t know what has been claimed over there in the US, but it might help to have a read of the original source. Here is a link to the letter that was written by the NIH which apparently contains proof of a lie:
Often, going back to the original source gives you a whole different perspective on the issue.
My guess is that they were funding bat virus research in Wuhan, but that the virus research they were funding was not ‘dangerous’ and in fact had nothing to do with COVID (caronaviruses are being researched all the time for various purposes). If this is the case, it would not be true to say they had been funding “dangerous bat virus research”. The press would jump on it anyway just because it was a bat virus and they have no idea how to tell the different viruses apart. I could be wrong though, as I’m not really following the case, but these are just my initial thoughts considering the way our press twist people’s words over here. Let me know if the original letter gives some insight.
Sara, one takeaway for me was the realization that you can never argue this sort of mindset into agreeing with you. They will always find another question or another line of arguement to go down, and it requires 100 times the effort to disprove their statements as it takes to make them, so it is an impossible task. The key is to be convinced yourself based on the facts at hand, and if anything, ask them for evidence that the statements they are making are true and factual. The burden is not on you to disprove their assertions.
Given that, you do bring up questions that I can see are concerning, and have been considered. First, I would point out that the article you referenced is an opinion piece in a politically biased newsblog, The Washington Examiner. The wording is typical of the hyperbole and inflammatory language used in such publications. Nothing really new is in the article except the distortions. I think Fauci, like all of us, makes mistakes and was off in some of his projections, but that is the nature of projections in an unknown situation. He actually has been remarkably accurate, considering, and has done nothing but be forthright. In that article, if you cut away the rhetoric, while some of the research secondarily funded by organizations funded by the CDC or NIH might be considered gain of function, that too is somewhat semantic, and really irrelevant to vaccine usage or masking, or handling of the current situation. It is sort of like saying contributing to the Salvation Army supports homelessness and alcoholism. Basically, misdirection rather than discussion.
Regarding deaths related to Covid in vaxxed vs. unvaxxed , the CDC just started reporting them that way.CDC COVID Data Tracker
Currently, the risk of getting Covid is 6.1 times higher if unvaxxed, and the risk of dying is 11.3 times higher in unvaxxed. Pretty impressive.
I could go on, but this is getting long and I’ll let others chime in.
Thank you so much for this information! This is great. I did read the letter and I see what you mean. It does seem like the website I had shared was biased, especially after reading the letter.
How are things in Australia? I’m not sure how much contact you have with Americans here but Australia is really used here, or at least among the people I spend life with, as an example of what happens when government mandates vaccines. There was this video circulating with a child being separated from their parents because they wouldn’t get the vaccine - did you ever see that?
Is it true that Australian police are going door to door in some cases and making sure whoever lives there haven’t left recently? There was another video of a man in Australia being questioned by police about his social media. Any thoughts?
I would be extremely skeptical of such videos. It is quite possible for a troll to start with a video of a child being separated from parents who are being arrested for bank fraud. Then the troll adds a headline: “Australian police take away kids from parents who aren’t getting vaccinated!”
Second, Australia is not the USA.
Third, I have been thinking about how to get conspiracy theory fans to snap out of their enchantment. A technique that I recently started using in my IT work is to ask “how?” questions rather than “why?” questions. If you ask “Why don’t you accept the CDC conclusions?” the conspiracy theorist has a ready answer. Instead, ask a “how” question like this:
You have mentioned elevated levels of X in response to COVID vaccines as indicator of possible impairment of immunity. But we also have data that show that the unvaccinated have a risk of COVID illness 6.1 times greater than those who are vaccinated, and a risk of dying from COVID 11.3 times higher than those who are vaccinated. How do you reconcile these data?
The key is to not offer an explanation yourself. It’s obvious that the conclusion drawn from elevated levels of X is inaccurate. But let your friend/family member draw the conclusion themselves.
I am not always good at taking this approach, so I invite others to offer their insights on communication strategies.
With almost all the claims you hear, you can put them in google with the words “fact check” and get articles that sort the propaganda from reality.
In a May 11 Senate hearing, Paul raised the issue of the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and said some in the government weren’t interested in investigating the lab-leak theory. The Kentucky senator said that “government authorities, self-interested in continuing gain-of-function research say there’s nothing to see here.” He went on to assert a tie between U.S. researchers and the Wuhan Institute of Virology and accused them of “juicing up super-viruses,” asking Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, if he still supported “the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan.”
Fauci responded that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
In a subsequent interview on “Fox & Friends” on May 13, Paul said he didn’t know whether SARS-CoV-2 came from a lab. “Nobody knows,” he said. But he posited that if it did, Fauci, among others, “could be culpable for the entire pandemic,” adding, “I’m not saying that happened. I don’t know.”
Paul made the money-is-fungible argument, saying the NIH gave money to the lab, regardless of what that particular grant funded. But then asserted that NIH funding furthered risky gain-of-function research. The answer to the question of whether it did or didn’t depends on whom you ask and their definition of gain-of-function.
Hours after his May 11 exchange with Paul, Fauci said at a fact-checking conference hosted by PolitiFact.com that it would “almost be irresponsible” to not collaborate with Chinese scientists given that the 2003 SARS outbreak originated in China. “So we really had to learn a lot more about the viruses that were there, about whether or not people were getting infected with bad viruses.”
He called the EcoHealth collaboration “a very minor collaboration as part of a subcontract of a grant,” and said Paul conflated that with the claim that “therefore we were involved in creating the virus, which is the most ridiculous, majestic leap I’ve ever heard of.”
Fauci said he wasn’t convinced that the coronavirus developed naturally. “I think that we should continue to investigate what went on in China until we find out to the best of our ability exactly what happened.”
People are using “gain of function research” to mean different things.
So, did the NIH’s grant to EcoHealth fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab? There are differing opinions on that. As noted above, whether research is “likely” or “reasonably anticipated” to enhance transmissibility can be subjective.
EcoHealth and the NIH and NIAID say no. “EcoHealth Alliance has not nor does it plan to engage in gain-of-function research,” EcoHealth spokesman Robert Kessler told us in an email. Nor did the grant get an exception from the pause, as some have speculated, he said. “No dispensation was needed as no gain-of-function research was being conducted.”
The NIAID told the Wall Street Journal : “The research by EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. that NIH funded was for a project that aimed to characterize at the molecular level the function of newly discovered bat spike proteins and naturally occurring pathogens. Molecular characterization examines functions of an organism at the molecular level, in this case a virus and a spike protein, without affecting the environment or development or physiological state of the organism. At no time did NIAID fund gain-of-function research to be conducted at WIV.”
And in a May 19 statement, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said that “neither NIH nor NIAID have ever approved any grant that would have supported ‘gain-of-function’ research on coronaviruses that would have increased their transmissibility or lethality for humans.”
Thank you sincerely for your search for what is true. I just want to applaud you for trying to counter fearful slander of those who serve our country so compassionately and expertly. Just to give an example, I am a primary care doc who, through experience of their reliability, relies on CDC for resources in many areas–not just Covid. . They have wonderful resources for international and domestic illnesses, from lead poisoning and mental illness, to malaria… I just was on the phone today to ask them about a non Covid concern They helped me with compassion and obviously a great familiarity with my (to me) obscure question, to get the answer I needed. CDC is a terrific, reliable and life saving agency, full of people who work hard for all of us.
@SaraBerk , I’m from a rural community also and that is definitely the dominant perspective there. I do like this quote from @jpm because I’m struggling to with how to present this reality that health sciences (among other areas that my community of origin prefers not to validate) isn’t a good ‘ol boys’ club, but an ever changing body of knowledge through rigorous testing that results in in ever-widening applications and growing effectiveness, and that is why “the scientists keep changing their minds.” When it comes to the church community I grew up in, I think we developed a conflation that experts speaking is like God speaking (because of the perceived threats of the culture wars), yet in reality scientists share their growing body of knowledge after testing and peer review and often speak honestly of what their research doesn’t say. It will have the appearance of change and even indecisiveness. God’s wisdom is already complete, but His Word hardly goes into detail about our questions about this pandemic.
Thanks for helping me think this through, too
Happy to answer how we’re going! We do have some friends in America who sent us a video to show what they are saying about us at the moment and it was definitely a misrepresentation.
The first thing to know about Australia is we had no COVID in our country for the first half of this year. We were slowly vaccinating first priority workers and our most vulnerable - and for the most part we were all living life as normal. Midway through the year, we had one delta case in NSW and of course, it started spreading like wildfire. So what we are experiencing now is comparable to what you guys experienced last year. It’ has been the more critical time where most of our population are un-vaccinated, have no natural immunity and the virus is here to stay. So we went into pretty hard lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne where the outbreaks were. I am in Sydney, so have just come out of a 4 month lockdown where the adult population quickly got vaccinated to give our community some protection. We’re at 80% second dosed now, which was our target, so we are pretty much out of lockdown for the most part.
So with this context, yes some people were getting in trouble with the police, but no more than we usually experience when people are doing dangerous things. We had a group of people down the road with COVID having a picnic in public. The police questioned them and found out they were under strict stay-at-home orders because they were COVID positive. So obviously the police should have fined them at that point. That is just one example of why fines are being given.
Vaccines are not mandated nationally. Certain industries such as aged care, hotel quarantine and disability care are mandated (for obvious reasons). Individual business are also allowed to choose to mandate vaccines if they deem it a safety issue for their workplace. Because of this, there are people losing their jobs at the moment (some of my friends included). But there are also businesses who are very pro-choice and therefore happy to hire un-vaccinated people. It’s not all as mandated as it sounds. Though it is having some real implications.
No, I didn’t actually see it, but I highly doubt that happened. We have plenty of parents not getting vaccinated and there is no way they are going to get their children taken off them. That’s kinda ridiculous.
Yes I have a few thoughts. I know some police were going to doors to ensure people who were COVID positive were staying home and not going out into the community while infectious with COVID. It is possible that police may have been questioning someone about their social media regarding something illegal. One example is they may have been searching for evidence of illegal protests being organized. During the lockdowns we were under orders not to gather in groups - and these protests would gather in the thousands (anti-lockdown protests). The only way they could gather momentum was to use private messenger in social media apps. I haven’t heard of anything unjust happening, though. It all seems reasonable to me.
We don’t get police showing up to random doors making sure we are staying home. Under our lockdowns we didn’t have to stay home all the time if we were well. We were free to exercise in our local area (with a friend, even) as well as go to essential services (groceries, chemist, doctors etc.). I live in Greater Sydney and haven’t seen a single police in the streets where I live. They have been around more often during huge outbreaks in certain cities. But the only reason they are there is to make sure COVID wasn’t spreading too fast by people disregarding orders before everyone got the chance to get vaccinated.
It’s actually really easy-going here in that people are disregarding health orders left, right and center, mostly out of ignorance for the danger they are putting their community in, and police aren’t able to pick up the half of it. I personally know people who have done the wrong thing and they weren’t even fined. So I would say it’s really not as bad as it sounds. We’re just trying to navigate the pandemic, and things have really relaxed now since we hit our vaccination targets. We’re actually up to 92% of our adult vaccination with their first dose of vaccine (in NSW), which is awesome! We have a little more trust in our government agencies, I think, than in America. It’s mostly the evangelicals that don’t trust our government due to conspiracy theory videos coming out of America. Which is a bit ridiculous, really, because our Prime Minister is actually a sincere Christian and a really respectable man. It’s actually given me a lot of comfort knowing we have been blessed with this kind of leadership through one of the hardest things we’ve experienced as a nation.
This was really long, I hope it actually answered some of your questions. No worries if you tuned out!
Thank you so much for your response!! I’m glad to hear you are all doing well and vaccine rates are helping to ease the restrictions and things. Thank you for sharing all this with me as it does really help.
Yes, America has had some wild conspiracy theories and it’s been such a strain on an already hard situation.
This is really interesting! Here is Australia we consider people fully vaccinated the day they get their second dose. We have vaccinated most of the population within 4 months, so there are still plenty of people who are in that 14 day window after their second dose. Our health authorities give an update on COVID deaths every few days and over the past few weeks there have been many who died who are "fully vaccinated " (sometimes equal or greater numbers of death than those who are unvaccinated). This is leading some sceptical people to believe the vaccines are useless. But we know the vaccines don’t come into full effect until around 3 weeks after the second dose.
Considering people to be “unvaccinated” until vaccines come into full effect would help remove this confusion.
I wonder, why would people be concerned that vaccine injuries are reported as “COVID”? If an adverse event occurs when someone is COVID positive, isn’t it perfectly reasonable to suspect COVID was the cause? We don’t have much COVID circulating yet, I don’t personally know anyone who has had it. But most people I know have been vaccinated now and I’ve only heard of 4 people remotely known by me who had any possible adverse reactions worth noting. Only one of them was of any consequence and is still being investigated.
Does anyone here see COVID itself doing damage in people you personally know?
This is a helpful communication strategy, thanks for sharing! I know psychologists try everything to help their client come up with the correct answer themselves - because they’re more likely to trust the information if the answer seems to come from their own mind. “Asking questions” rather than providing answers is something I personally need to practice. It’s a skill!
Thanks for sharing! I am so grieved by all the slander (and gossip) being freely shared by Christians over the past few months. It is as if they are blind to the fact that slander is a sin. It’s never been so apparent to me why slander is sinful.
We also have fantastic health authorities where I live and whenever I call them with a question they are fantastic.