This past week President Joe Biden announced in his prime-time address that his administration wants to make all Americans eligible for the coronavirus vaccine by May 1st. As of this time 21% of the country’s population, around 107 million people, have gotten at least one vaccine dose, and 38 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
A poll released before his address shows that not everyone is lining up to get the vaccine. According to the numbers, it showed that 25% of Black respondents and 28% of white respondents said they did not plan to get a shot from the latest NPR/PBS survey.
Early findings after a massive study of doubts expressed by U.S users about vaccines in documents obtained by The Washington Post shot that most of the misinformation spread is relatively small. The numbers show that just 111 users contributed to over half of the vaccine-hesitant content.
Del Bigtree, the host of the talk show The HighWire, has been advocating against the safety of using vaccines that have not been properly tested. He has founded the nonprofit Informed Consent Action Network and has questioned the safety of vaccines for the past 5 years with a documentary film he produced called Vaxxed: from Cover-Up to Catastrophe.
Bigtree doesn’t claim to be an anti-vaxxer. He just claims to be “anti any product that has not been properly safety tested,” while being pro-science. He also claims that the government has ignored a phenomenon called “immune enhancement or antibody enhancement.”
“I have a serious problem with an issue that could kill or maim countless people, and we won’t have an answer until tens of millions of people have received this product,” says Bigtree.
He notes that researchers have been trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine for years. The current virus, known officially as SARS-CoV-2, is only the latest in a long line of coronaviruses to emerge.
“Every attempt at a coronavirus vaccine in every animal trial for the past 20 years has been catastrophic. When challenge studies were done where animals are injected with the coronavirus, what happened was shocking. Instead of antibodies protecting animals, they appeared to help the virus proliferate through cells — they spread faster and cause a cytokine storm, a complete immune system meltdown,” Bigtree says.
He mentioned research presented by Peter Hotez, MD, a professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, to a congressional committee in March 2020.
Hotez testified that “when we started developing coronavirus vaccines, we noticed in laboratory animals that they started to show some of the same immune pathology that resembled what had happened 50 years earlier, so we said, this is going to be problematic.”
But Bigtree does not mention that Hotez went on to testify that researchers figured out how to solve the problem. “So, we were really excited about that, and we proposed this to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). They funded it, and we wound up actually making and manufacturing, in collaboration with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, a first-generation SARS vaccine,” according to a congressional transcript of the hearing.
The numbers just show that this vaccine could be just as “catastrophic” as the past 20 years have shown us. According to Hotez’s statements from above, they were able to solve the problem just in the past year. With no way to study the vaccine for potential side effects, we can see why 25% of Americans agree with Bigtree against the rushed vaccine.