Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control issued a statement telling states that a vaccine would be ready by early November. They later backtracked on their initial press release, stating they only wanted states to “prepare” in case a vaccine was ready by that time.
Whatever the message, the intent was obvious. Under pressure from the White House, the CDC was pressured to release the statement to support Donald Trump’s re-election bid. It is blatantly a political move when the CDC all but promised a vaccine which would conveniently be available just before Election Day.
This isn’t the first time a supposed independent agency has made an announcement after being pressured by the White House, only to later pull back, or even rescind its earlier claims, nor is the CDC the only agency being pressured. The FDA was pushed to fast track convalescent plasma after a Tweet from Trump which accused the agency of dragging its feet on a possible COVID vaccine as part of a “deep state” plot to prevent his re-election.
Medical experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, are cautioning against a rushed vaccine, saying it’s “optimistic” that a vaccine would be ready by early next year. Despite this, the White House is continuing to push for a release before Phase Three trials have been completed.
Many Americans are listening to this advice. Up to 42 percent of Americans say they will refuse to get a vaccine due to the rushed way it is being offered. While this number certainly included the anti-vaxxer movement that wouldn’t get the vaccine regardless, it includes a large enough segment of the population to make a vaccine, even if effective, functionally useless.
The issues with rushing a vaccine are fraught with dangers. In 1955, what became known as the Cutter Incident, which was the rushed release of a polio vaccine, actually resulted in 40,000 children contracting some degree of polio, leaving 200 of them with some degree of paralysis and causing 10 deaths.
In 1976, another election year, Gerald Ford ordered the fast track of a swine flu vaccine, similar to today’s Operation Warp Speed. After the swine flu vaccine was released, it became almost immediately obvious that it was a mistake. Within weeks, people began reporting cases of a paralyzing disease called Gullain-Barre’ Syndrome. It affected more than 500 people and more than 30 died from this rushed attempt at a “cure”.
So, the public has a right to be wary of taking a vaccine that has not been completely tested for safety. In many cases the risks far outweigh the benefits. While there are many taking part in several clinical trials, most of the public at large is indeed hesitant to be used as human guinea pigs to support Trump’s re-election bid.
Due to the intense pressure from the White House, makers of the potential vaccine have issued an unprecedented pledge not to seek government approval until the shots have been proven safe and effective.
There is one vaccine that does show promise. That vaccine is your vote and the disease to be eradicated is the cancer known as Donald J Trump.