Authoritarianism and Censorship in the COVID Era, Part 2: Coercing the ‘Vaccine Hesitant’

September 1, 2021 Updated: September 6, 2021

Commentary

This is Part 2 of a multi-part series examining Authoritarianism and Censorship in the COVID Era. Click here for Part 1

Now that questioners of the U.S. government’s COVID measures have been identified by the Department of Homeland Security as the top domestic terror threat (i.e., ahead of al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban) (see part 1), President Joe Biden might be excused for his use of the word “patriotic”—though patriotism is supposedly the preserve of right-wing nativists—to describe one’s duty to get “the jab.”

Unfortunately, Biden rather undercut the urgency of his patriotic appeal when he assured us that the vaccine is “98 percent” effective at preventing severe disease, forgetting that the natural immune system has been more than 99 percent effective at preventing severe disease since inception, according to the data published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Biden’s own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Listening to the commander-in-chief of the anti-COVID battalions—the man who won the election because the American people trusted him to manage the war against the pandemic better than his predecessor—why would anyone sacrifice more than a percentage point of immunity in return for another percentage point or so of risk for “adverse events”?

But if you don’t trust Biden, listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the beloved career bureaucrat whose special talent has been to incarnate the public mood. We remember that in a fawning MSNBC interview Fauci declared himself the incarnation of truth when, affecting the sense of grievance of a prophet unheeded in his own country, he admonished that folks should stop criticizing him, since “if you are trying to, you know, get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science.” Or, to put it more succinctly, La science, c’est moi. 

If Fauci has merely been “following the science,” as he has so adamantly maintained, then by his own practice, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the science isn’t certain from one moment to the next what it thinks.

Before he changed his mind (la science a changé), in early 2020, Fauci declared “the typical mask you buy in the drug store” useless in protecting the wearer, since airborne virus particles are too small to be occluded by its material. (Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), himself a medical doctor, recently made the same empirically verified observation, but his YouTube video was taken down for “violating community standards,” i.e., questioning the government’s COVID measures. Paul is now a terrorist. Or to put it more succinctly, La science n’est pas Paul.) Around the same time as he denied the efficacy of masks, Fauci affirmed that “In all the history of respiratory viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks.” But with no countervailing evidence, he happily promoted the draconian lockdowns that were predicated on the neoteric theory of asymptomatic spread that he had so emphatically rejected.

The lockdowns themselves were first criticized as inefficacious and harmful by the WHO, before its tergiversation on the basis of no scientific evidence. Indeed, there has yet to be a single comparative geographical study (e.g., California versus Florida; Michigan versus South Dakota; the United States versus Sweden) to demonstrate that lockdowns have reduced the spread of the disease or saved a single life, though we know that they have cost innumerable lives in suicides, delayed medical diagnoses and treatments, and consigned hundreds of thousands across the globe to unemployment, bankruptcy, and penury.

The scientific pretensions of today’s medical priesthood should have induced a sense of déjà vu among a wakeful, as opposed to a woke, citizenry. Their serial revisions are reminiscent of the fudging and trimming that has been required by climate-change (formerly global-warming) scientists to explain why the planet and its flora and fauna refuse to extinguish themselves according to schedule. Climate “science,” and now medical science, have more than a little in common with “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen.” Logically, one cannot claim that today’s pronouncement is apodictic truth that must be accepted with unquestioning obedience, when it contradicts yesterday’s pronouncement that was also declared to be apodictic truth that must be accepted with unquestioning obedience. When you insist that this time we should believe you, intelligent people won’t believe you. That’s why itinerant medicine men in the past always made it a practice never to visit the same village twice, at least not without repainting their wagons.

But no true scientist has ever demanded such supine credulity, because real science is always theoretical, speculative, and self-transcending. No scientific postulate has ever proven to be eternal; eternity and immutability are the presumptions of religious dogma, or so atheist scientists are always remonstrating.

More recently Fauci expressed his indignation, automatically echoed in the mainstream media, at those who continue to dally in vaccination limbo—those who suffer, that is, from “vaccine hesitancy,” as it’s now officially called in the academic literature. (Vaccine hesitancy is the latest of the irrational phobias that afflict the un-woke, along with homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and so on, and the latest example of the regnant assumption of progressives that, if you disagree with them, it can’t be for any good reason, but only because you are malevolent, obtuse, or mentally ill.)

As the personification of science, Fauci dismissed vaccine hesitancy as merely “political”—vaccine boosterism being disinterestedly scientific—and while he didn’t explicitly identify its sufferers with Trump’s deplorables, it was clear that he had the same election-questioning “super-spreaders” in mind.  (Author’s Note: Super-spreaders are always conservative-leaning Republicans; BLM rioters and the Texas Democrats who brought a planeload of COVID to Washington recently are patriots, as are the members of the Biden administration who have ordered that the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who have tested positive for COVID be released by the border patrol to abscond into the farthest reaches of the continental United States.)

Fauci is right, ironically, when he says it’s all “political.” But in so saying he’s counting on us to have short memories: to have forgotten, that is, that when President Donald Trump was touting his administration’s success in cajoling (bribing, really) Big Pharma to produce a vaccine in record time, the Democrats and their media mouthpieces were warning gravely about its efficacy and safety, Kamala Harris strongly implying that she would never take a vaccine developed under Trump, and being feted by the beau monde for her defiance. Under Trump, the left’s vaccine hesitancy wasn’t politically motivated but the rational scepticism of the scientific mind. Now that Biden is president, anyone who mentions the vaccine’s risks and declines to take part in its human trials is “anti-science” and treated like a moral leper. Thus, Fauci’s avuncular message to them: “What is the problem? Get over it. … Just get over it.”

The ‘Problem’

Now, maybe you’ve already recovered from the infection and are a living laboratory of natural antibodies; maybe you’re healthy, younger than 65, and have calculated that the risks associated with the vaccine outweigh the benefits; maybe you’re young or old, healthy or immunocompromised, but know that the global average mortality rate for those infected with COVID is 0.15 percent (roughly the same as the seasonal flu), which means that you have a 99.85 percent likelihood of recovering from COVID even if you contract the virus (and a geometrically higher likelihood of never contracting it in the first place).

Maybe you’re mistrustful of a vaccine that was developed with unprecedented haste, only one of which has just received approval from the FDA (would “Warp Speed” be a reassuring name for a national project to develop a jumbo jet on a new, experimental, non-aerodynamic theory of lift and in half the time it normally takes to test a crop-duster, which has yet to receive NTSB authorization? Would you book a seat on the maiden flight?); maybe news has reached you of the thousands of suspected post-vaccine deaths, or the tens of thousands of cases of breakthrough infection, myocarditis, pericarditis, thrombosis, or miscarriage among those who, pre-vaccination, were pristinely healthy.

You might even suspect that such “adverse events” are more numerous than reported on the VAERS database, since reporting them is entirely voluntary, and at this point the vaccine stakeholders in government and Big Pharma, and the vaccine shills in media, the medical establishment, and Big Tech, have done everything they can to discourage, discredit, and cover them up as “conspiracy theories.”  Maybe, even if you accept the official number of suspected vaccine fatalities (more than 6,900 at the time of writing), you remember that the 1976 swine flu vaccine was pulled immediately after over 500 people developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, leading to 32 deaths.

Maybe, in spite of the ubiquitous censorship, information has leaked out from some of the hundreds of eminent physicians and virologists, including pioneers of mRNA technology Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Michael Yeadon (former vice-president and chief scientific officer at Pfizer Global R&D), and University of Guelph virologist Dr. Byram Bridle, who point out that the spike proteins produced by the genetic vaccines are able to spread, via the body’s fluids, into every organ including the brain.

Maybe you take the long view, and remember that governments have a sordid history of inducing their citizens to submit to experimental drugs and novel medical procedures in the name of the advancement of science and the good of mankind, including—but leaving aside Nazi ethnological “research” and Soviet “psychiatry” and counting only our own well-meaning democratic governments—the sterilization of “mental defectives” in the early 20th century, or the experimental Anthrax vaccine forced upon American soldiers in Iraq, who continue to suffer “adverse events.”

Or, maybe you are inclined to demur on the quaint philosophical principle that the State has no natural or even positive legal right to compel you, as a free and law-abiding citizen, to do aught against your will.

Well, it’s time to realize that the ruling elites always know what’s best for you, and to stop thinking for yourself. It’s time to accept that science is what they tell you it is, and that whoever tells you differently is not a scientist—even if they are—because, well, they disagree with the real scientists, whose opinions are, well, real science. In the words of our Scientist-in-Chief, it’s time to “get over it.”

And if you don’t, we may have to compel you for your own good. Both the Trudeau and Biden administrations are already musing openly about the need for their subjects to be vaccinated against their will and under threat of fine or imprisonment (will banishment be next?), notwithstanding that, according to the CDC, anyone under the age of 65 has a 99.95 percent COVID recovery rate, and the pandemic is in any case winding down. Once upon a time, voluntary consent was a foundational pillar of medical ethics. But as Tucker Carlson has observed, even the hallowed progressive principle of “choice” and “control over one’s own body” has apparently been repealed in this context. The head of Biden’s HHS suggested that the government will soon have no choice but to keep a database of the unvaccinated. For what purpose? To roust them from their beds at midnight, load them into box cars, and ship them off to vacci-concentration camps; or merely to send a few government agents around to their homes every once in a while, for an edifying heart-to-heart chat?

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Harley Price
Harley Price
Harley Price has taught courses in religion, philosophy, literature, and history at the University of Toronto, U of T’s School of Continuing Studies, and Tyndale University College. He blogs at Priceton.org. His upcoming book, "Give Speech a Chance: Heretical Essays on What You Can't Say, or Even Think," will be available in November.