By Dr. Peter W. Dunn, PhD
COVID 19 propaganda has led to a level of hatred and prejudice that is unprecedented in my lifetime. That is hardly surprising since the real message of COVID 19 protocols is loneliness, alienation, and fear. People think that the message is, “My mask protects you, your mask protects me.” But the real message is “My mask projects my hatred and fear of you, your mask projects your hatred and fear of me.” It’s the universal destruction of community that I call the New Xenophobia. But no one receives more disgust than the so-called “anti-vaxxers”.
But when you ask people who the anti-vaxxers are, they may say the unvaccinated. In the province of Ontario, children under 12 are all unvaccinated from COVID 19—are they and their parents anti-vaxxers? Well, no they aren’t since they haven’t been given the opportunity for the vaccine yet, but soon. I asked also if people with medical exemptions are anti-vaxxers and some haters would exclude them, because they have a “legitimate” reason not to get the vaccine. But when I point out that anyone who declines the vaccine has a legitimate reason, the argument is lost on them. Legitimate suggests lawful, and in Ontario it is your lawful right to decline any medical treatment, preventative, or diagnostic. Thus, everyone who declines a vaccine has a legitimate reason.
Etymologically anti-vaxxer comes from two words, “anti-” and “vaccine”, which would thus lead to the conclusion that the person opposes vaccines, and indeed that is the main definition of the term. But the term has no nuance in the mouth of fearful haters. A pediatrician who vaccinates children in his clinic, like Dr. Paul Thomas of the Vaccine Friendly Plan, will be called an anti-vaxxer because he disagrees with the hyper-vaccine schedule of the CDC. But he’s had much better results with his children–for example, fewer children under his plan end up with autism (see image). There are also many MDs who have vaccinated children and adults in their clinics for years, but have deep reservations about the way the COVID 19 vaccines have been brought to market, or who have seen side effects that would cause them to balk—these MDs are also getting labelled “anti-vaxxers”.
It is therefore much more subtle and precise to refer to people as vaccine hesitant. They hesitate regarding one or all vaccines; or they hesitate about getting it for themselves and their children—they may be worried about you and your children, but they aren’t actively trying to stand in your way of getting a vaccine. But to label every level of vaccine hesitant people as anti-vaxxers is hate rhetoric. It corresponds neither with reality nor with neighborliness, and that means the rhetoric will necessarily lead to human rights abuses and crimes against humanity, if it continues unabated. Anti-vaxxer rhetoric is a hate crime; it is demagoguery because governments and the mainstream news often are blaming the vaccine hesitant for killing people with COVID 19, when the fault lies elsewhere. This anti-vaxx hate speech is an expression of the worst tendencies in humanity and is similar to the racism and other forms of hate which have lead to historical crimes against humanity.
In this speech, I’d like to deal with myths about anti-vaxxers, as the term is used by the haters.
- Anti-vaxxers are anti-vaxx. A I have pointed out, this is incorrect because there is a spectrum of vaccine hesitancy. I’ve seen people and health care workers who oppose COVID 19 but not opposed to other better-tested vaccines. I’ve seen some who are vaccine injured who oppose all vaccines for themselves but won’t stand in the way of you getting one. I’ve also seen people who think that all vaccines are inherently dangerous but are still not trying to prevent others from getting vaccines. What all vaccine hesitant people want is vaccine choice—and that is their right in Ontario under laws that protect informed consent.
- Anti-vaxxers are stupid or crazy. My experience shows that the vaccine hesitant are hardly stupid. They are forced to do their research because they have taken a very unpopular position. It is wrong to say that they have cognitive bias—let’s reserve that for those who are on the payroll of big vaccine companies whose bias is evidently geared towards making big profits. Financial incentive is a big reason for cognitive bias. I have PhD in an unrelated field—but I am trained and quite capable in research. Some of my other vaccine hesitant facebook friends have PhDs in related fields. These are not stupid people. Calling the vaccine hesitant “stupid” or “crazy” is just simply a case of pure prejudice and it is very dangerous rhetoric which can lead to violence. It must stop.
- Anti-vaxxers will win the Darwin awards. The idea is that less intelligent people will die early deaths because they do stupid things. But this is a misuse of the doctrine of evolution. The Survival of the Fittest would suggest perhaps that the vaccinated are even arguably the weaker people because they need a immune crutch to survive COVID 19; while the vaccine hesitant are happy in many cases to depend on their innate immunity to protect them from COVID 19 and any other viral threat to their health. I would argue that the doctrines of Darwin works in precisely the opposite way that these people contend.
- The anti-vaxxers are now 90% of “cases” or “hospitalizations”. The problem with this notion is that there are now fully vaccinated people in heavily vaccinated countries that are dying or hospitalized with COVID 19. These include countries like Iceland, Israel, and Seychelles are experiencing “waves” despite the high vaccination rate. Sure in Ontario, it could be for the moment that most of the hospitalizations are of people not yet fully vaccinated. I’ve seen it reported as 90% sick people are unvaccinated. But even if that is the case, the number of total hospitalizations is so small that it presents a risk of about 1 in 40,000 or .003%! Saying that 90% of cases are unvaccinated is an example of lying with statistics by using relative risk instead of absolute risk. Your relative risk of hospitalization with COVID 19 as an unvaccinated person is 90%, a big number. But your absolute risk is less than .003%, a very small number.
- Anti-vaxxers are causing Delta and other variants. This view is refuted by none other than some of the top virologists in the world, such as Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier and Geert vanden Bossche. Vaccine resistant strains of viruses are made in people that have had the vaccine, not in those who haven’t had them. From an evolutionary point of view it is comparable to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria that are bred in the bodies of those people and animals who have had the antibiotic, not in those who have never taken them.
- Anti-vaxxers are evil people, essentially murderers. With not even the slightest proof the mainstream media has again and again accused anti-vaxxers of being the reason for new waves and cases. But on the other side of their mouths, they have warned that vaccinated people can both contract and pass on the coronavirus. Thus, to blame the unvaccinated and thus “anti-vaxxers” for the deaths is pure demagoguery and it is dangerous rhetoric that will lead to violence against innocent people. Furthermore, they undermine their own argument for getting the vaccine. Why get a vaccine if the unvaccinated are going to kill you anyways? Doesn’t your vaccine save you? Then what are you worried about?
Here then are six myths about anti-vaxxers that are a dangerous form of hate rhetoric. These myths are unscientific rubbish but will likely lead to serious crimes against humanity by people driven by fear and hatred. Many people in the media, government, and even neighbors on social media are treating the vaccine hesitant as less than human; it is always dehumanizing to be subject to this kind of hate. It needs to stop, but I have no idea how to stop it except to call it what it is: A HATE CRIME.
(This speech was delivered at Bathurst and Rutherford Roads on August 8, 2021, at the Vaughan anti-lockdown protest).