Laura Ainsworth, Staff writer
Several days ago, I related a story about my personal experience with someone who exhibited blind, irrational fear of a non-vaccinated person (me), even though the non-vaccinated person had already had COVID-19 and as a result possessed natural immunity that studies increasingly suggest surpasses the protection provided by vaccines.
The reason for telling this story in the first place was to show that we really are living in a time of mass hysteria --- a time when facts don’t much matter because everyone believes he HAS the facts and “the science is settled” –- and that in many cases our fears are being exploited to achieve desired behavior. How does the government get everyone to do what it wants them to do? By scaring them half to death.
We received numerous reader comments, a few of which we highlighted. One we did not include but that I’d like to address now came from a reader named Chris who identifies himself/herself as a “pediatric technician.” Chris is about to become famous as “Exhibit A” in my case that logic flies right out the door when fear climbs in the window. Here’s the letter, with slight editing...
You and the Christian Broadcasting Network are totally immoral and irresponsible. You all claim to be "Pro-Life" and you are all miserable hypocrites in the eyes of the world. You don't follow scripture or read your own revised Bible.
Kids are dying daily by the thousands in America and the Pediatric wards are packed with kids who have COVID. YOU ARE KID - KILLERS AND THAT IS HOW YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED. Infants are dying. Toddlers are dying. Small children are dying. You are not pro-life. You are anti-science and anti-fact. You are ignorant and stupid! You can't fix stupid. Too much inbreeding in your own family.
COVID is preventable by a simple vaccine but because you want money from the Trump base, you keep quiet while many children are being killed by their parents and their miserable stupidity. Pure GREED. This is not your finest moment. Maybe your grandchildren will be waiting on a ventilator soon....possible, because of the stupidity that runs in your family.
By remaining quiet you are executing children......you are kid - murderers and kid - killers. No different than serial killers and rapists but you all claim to speak the "truth" and follow Jesus. What a joke.
You are weak and cowardly and you will be judged on this by the big guy in the sky. BURN IN HELL.
You can take that banjo and Bible of yours and shove it up your a--.
Okay, where to start? Do you sense the terror that has transported this person to Crazy Town? First of all, in his (her?) rage, Chris directed this abuse at “all” of us “miserable hypocrites,” including Gov. Huckabee, when I’m the person who wrote the piece. I guess if anyone is going to be judged by “the big guy in the sky” and “burn in hell,” it is me. Though I’m tempted to say this person is not guilty by reason of insanity, I think he or she or xi owes the Gov. an apology. The individual who wrote this also owes the “Christian Broadcasting Network” --- does he mean Trinity Broadcasting Network? --- an apology. Gov. Huckabee, CBN/TBN, the pro-life movement, Christian believers in general, and the version of the Bible the Gov. prefers to read (I have no idea) have absolutely nothing to do with the commentary on vaccines and virus-fear, which I wrote, would write again, and proudly put my name on.
So, Chris, let’s talk about what has inflamed you so and how much truth there is to it. As you are an irrational person, this analysis will not change your mind at all --- probably just anger you more, if that’s possible --- but there are other, sane readers who might benefit from the discussion. Let’s look at a few things you claimed in your letter:
1. “Children are dying daily by the thousands in America and the pediatric wards are packed with children who have COVID.” This is wildly incorrect. Can you even imagine what it would be like in our country if this were actually happening to our children? The total number of children who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. since the pandemic began is just over 400. Of course, that’s a terrible tragedy, but it’s not thousands of deaths a day. A Johns Hopkins research team looked at records from 48,000 cases in young people under 18 from April to August of 2020. At that time, they found zero deaths that didn’t involve a serious comorbidity such as leukemia. More here…
So, who fed you that lie about thousands of children dying every day? Someone has an interest in making you believe this. And if you’re really a “pediatric technician,” it stands to reason that you would know it’s false. You certainly haven’t witnessed it on your job, because it isn’t happening.
2. “You are not pro-life. You are anti-science and anti-fact.” Chris, you are stating opinions that are not based in any fact at all. To say Gov. Huckabee is not pro-life is like saying Dr. Kevorkian was not pro-death. And nothing makes a real scientist cringe like the phrase “follow the science.” That is a talking point; you do not understand how science works. Instead of discussing the research, you stoop to crass personal insults.
3. “COVID is preventable by a simple vaccine but because you want money from the Trump base, you keep quiet while many children are being killed...” Chris, the vaccine can provide a lot of protection and lessen the severity of symptoms but it does not PREVENT infection. Gov. Huckabee has said numerous times that he personally has been vaccinated, and he advises everyone to seek their doctor's advice. He would never tell someone not to get vaccinated, and neither would I.
Again, though every death from this virus is tragic, it’s not true that “many children are being killed.” This is true though vaccines weren’t even approved for children until very recently, and then only for kids 12 and older.
Ah, and we see from your reference to “the Trump base” that it really does come down to politics. Chris, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Trump or his base. You are off-base. But I would say the current administration has worked hard to make you believe it does, so that you'll associate your fear with Trump, and they have succeeded.
4. “Maybe your grandchildren will be waiting on a ventilator soon.” Chris, I can tell from this remark that you are one of those compassionate liberals I’ve heard so much about.
Finally, what was that banjo remark? The Gov. plays bass. Facts matter!
Chris, your letter is so out-there that at first I thought it might even be an attempt at satire. Satire is very challenging to do well –- and even to recognize in this age when real stories can be as crazy as made-up ones. If you were just impersonating a crazy person, you succeeded. Be well.