Home US Election Let People Die, Just Give Me Credit for the Vaccine: The Politicization of Coronavirus Vaccine in the USA

Let People Die, Just Give Me Credit for the Vaccine: The Politicization of Coronavirus Vaccine in the USA

by Eli Mshomi
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For those great “historians,” please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!

(Donald Trump)

 

The worst example of politics over lives has been seen in recent times in the USA. With more than 15 million infections and almost 290,000 deaths, the United States is the most affected country by the novel coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic was allowed to roam freely in the country, with few steps taken by the politicians to save the people from the deadly diseases.

The preference of politics over lives was demonstrated by the incumbent president when Donald Trump refused to take additional doses of the vaccine from Pfizer earlier this year as the vaccine development was underway. 

Now, when the vaccination is developed, Trump has realized his mistake and wants to pursue his America First” policy once again. However, the vaccine company says that it cannot provide the United States with more vaccines than previously ordered due to its commitment to other countries. Now Trump is trying to get more vaccines with an executive order to “save America.”

Why did Trump refuse to accept the offer of the vaccination when he knew that America was the worst-hit country from the virus? It seems obvious that he preferred to play politics over lives by trying to play his cheap and dirty politics on coronavirus.

The government representatives, instead of public awareness, propagated unprecedented misinformation, a phenomenon called as Infodemic by the UN. The lives of the people were compromised heavily by the government, which, instead of working on the health infrastructure, continued to blame China for the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a sad state of affairs that developing countries with inadequate health facilities managed to provide an effective response. However, with all its technological development, the United States failed to save its people from destruction. 

While on the one hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the lives of the masses, on the other, it has shattered the US economic infrastructure as well. 

With closed businesses and rising unemployment, the country is facing the worst economic recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Hope emerged recently when Pfizer announced that it had developed a vaccine in collaboration with German BioNTech, but no other than the president himself also politicized the vaccine.

While announcing the development of the vaccine in a press conference, President Donald Trump mentioned that the vaccine would be distributed to the whole country except some states, including New York, a Democrats stronghold, as the New York governor expressed his concerns concerning the vaccine approval process. 

Playing politics on coronavirus in such a dangerous situation should be discouraged, considering the WHO has already called it a global health emergency. Similarly, Trump also claimed that the discovery of vaccines is a success of the Trump administration. However, Pfizer busted the claims saying that no money was taken from the US government in this regard.

The United States, the first country to develop a 95 percent effective vaccine, will have a significant role to play in the pandemic.

The vaccine politics which Trump started have now reached the different corners of the world.

How is the world facing COVID vaccine politics? What can the potential consequences be of playing dirty politics on the coronavirus and preferring politics over lives? Let’s have a look.

Denying the Availability of Vaccinations to the Americans: Trump’s Attempt to Murder Americans Systematically

The United States of America was expected to get the vaccines earlier than any other country. This actually happened when Pfizer offered to make an agreement with the Trump administration. However, the Trump administration decided to make a compromise with the lives of Americans. Had it not been for Trump’s politics on coronavirus, every American was expected to be vaccinated in early 2021. 

However, Trump denied buying more than 100 million vaccines, a dose for almost 50 million people. The US had the opportunity to take 3 billion vaccines, which the Trump administration refused. As the situation goes far worse than expected, Trump will sign an executive order to force Pfizer to prefer Americans over other countries. This flawed approach suggests that he played politics on coronavirus.

I don’t care if you die; let me take credit for the vaccine first: COVID Vaccine Politics in the US

In May 2020, the Trump Administration launched Operation Warp Speed, aiming to manufacture and deliver 300 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.

The operation was started in April when the Department of the Health and Human Service argued in the White House that a successful operation would be the only way out, amid the government’s failure.

Pharmaceutical companies burned the midnight oil, and the American company Pfizer with Germany’s BioNTech were able to make a 95 percent effective vaccine against COVID-19.

But, unfortunately, with the arrival of the vaccine, politics on the coronavirus also started. The pursuit of the vaccine was driven by nationalism, domestic politics, and pharmaceutical profits. Hence the preference of politics over lives was evident amid all the process.

The Trump Administration is currently busy complicating the transition process for President-elect Joe Biden. This is delaying the approval of the vaccine. This is not shocking news as many believe that Donald Trump wants to give a shattered America to Biden. Ignoring the health infrastructure purposefully is just one of the plans of Trump to destroy America, which he is pursuing in his last days at the office. 

In a normal transition process, the outgoing administration is responsible for informing the incoming administration about the ongoing projects. Similarly, the sitting administration also advises the upcoming administration on the further direction of the projects. However, this time, Trump has got some dangerous plans as he loses the electoral college.

Now, amid the challenging health and economic infrastructure, Trump is intentionally ignoring the Biden administration as much as possible. This denial of information is dangerous not only from the economic perspective but also to the lives of the people as Trump plays politics on coronavirus.

The Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker have decided on passing a new bill before the new administration takes over. However, President Donald Trump is expected to oppose the legislation and force a government shutdown, making it even more challenging for the upcoming Biden administration.

The budget measures will profoundly affect the COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, it will also impact Coronavirus relief packages, strangling the Biden administration right from the very beginning.

All of this suggests that Trump is playing politics over the coronavirus as he prefers politics over lives. 

In October, the FDA called for stricter guidelines on the vaccine approval process. However, the request was declined by the White House Chief of Staff to make things difficult for the Biden administration.

 The White House wanted to have a vaccine before the election to provide considerable advantage to President Trump in the November 3 elections. However, FDA sought other avenues to ensure that no vaccine could be approved before it is fully safe for use. 

There has been a constant tug of war between the White House and federal agencies. This happened as Trump wanted to announce a vaccine before the election day so that the Trump campaign could brag about it to get the edge in the election.

Americans to Embrace Scientific Research on the Virus Instead of Praising Trump:

“(We will) liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy and keep Pfizer out of politics.”

(Albert Bourla, CEO Pfizer)

Americans have shown that politically motivated vaccines will be rejected. 

  • According to a survey conducted by STAT and Harris Polls, 78 percent of Americans have concerns about political influence in the vaccine approval process. 
  • The poll also suggested that only 46 percent of Americans trust President Donald Trump or the White House to provide accurate information on the vaccine.
  • In another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open, the attitude of Americans towards the COVID vaccine was evaluated. The study concluded that vaccine-related attitudes and politics are closely associated with each other. The research paper published under the title, “Factors associated with US Adults’ Likelihood of Accepting COVID-19 Vaccination,” suggested that the public will be more willing to accept a
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    COVID-19 vaccine if health experts and scientists are involved in the process rather than the politicians.
  • A Yale University study suggested that the announcement of the vaccine one week before the election would decrease people’s willingness to get vaccinated. Although the vaccine was announced after the election, the politics on coronavirus is making the vaccine controversial.
  • Recent CNN polls show only half of Black Americans say that they will get vaccinated. A Pew research survey suggests that 71 percent of Black Americans say they know someone who has died from COVID-19. 

This is astonishing, as Black Americans are one of those groups that are found to be most affected by the pandemic. The research suggests that this rejection of the vaccine is largely due to the politics on coronavirus, which the Trump administration has been doing for a long while.

Pfizer has also reiterated to keep politics out of the vaccination process, and that’s why they have decided not to attend a vaccine summit.

“It is disappointing that the prevention for a deadly disease was discussed (in the presidential debates) in political terms rather than scientific facts.”

(Alert Bourla, CEO Pfizer)

Politics on Coronavirus Vaccine: The Dirty Game of the Anti-vaccine Groups:

The anti-vaccine groups have again emerged to spread misinformation about the vaccine through their online platforms. Such movements have been active in the United States and other parts of the world for a long time.

Many rare viruses such as measles have experienced outbreaks due to the declining vaccination rates. Such groups were already looking to sabotage the COVID-19 vaccine. As they play politics on coronavirus, the politicization of the virus by President Trump himself has even motivated them further. 

Now that the United States has a vaccine, the only thing that matters is the vaccination process. The current political infrastructure of the United States is going to influence the distribution of the vaccine heavily. 

While the Internet has made access to information easier for the world, some elements are misusing the technology to propagate their own agenda. 

Due to these elements, public health is prone to danger. The anti-vaccine groups have become a disease in the United States in a previous couple of years. 

They are providing fertile ground to the conspiracy theorists resulting in increased tensions.   This is resulting in the spread of the coronavirus at an unprecedented rate.

As soon as the Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine, these groups took to social media to turn the public against the vaccine. In fact, these groups were trying to turn people against the vaccine even before the arrival of vaccines. For instance, Bill Gates implanting trackable chips in the coronavirus vaccine is a well-known conspiracy theory related to COVID.

The politics on the coronavirus and the COVID vaccine by the Trump administration enabled these groups to propagate the vision of Trump. These groups are not new in the world. They even launched a full-fledged campaign against the polio vaccine as well when the poliovirus left the world in devastation.

However, governments worldwide are now urging social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to take action concerning the anti-vaccine rhetoric on their platforms.

The rejection of the scientific suggestions and the procedures from President Donald Trump has helped these groups to further their agenda. 

This problem is not strictly related to the United States. Rather, any country where the leaders disagree and fail to comply with the scientific standards witness such a situation. 

For instance, consider the following situations. 

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also involved in spreading misinformation about COVID-19. As a result, he ended up making India the second-worst affected country due to coronavirus.


  • A similar situation could be witnessed in Brazil, where President Jair Bolsonaro even refused to comply with the WHO’s SOPs. This resulted in an uprising in the infection rate in Brazil, making it the third-largest infected country in the world.


  • Similarly, the United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson also failed to provide an effective response and politicized the process largely.  

 

Rejecting the politics on the coronavirus: Everything you need to know about the transparent vaccine approval procedure:

Most of the misinformation spread by the anti-vaccine groups is related to the vaccine approval process. 

That is why we have decided to inform our readers of the process that the Food and Drug Administration uses to approve any vaccine.

  • The process starts with vaccine development. After a vaccine is developed, the FDA is responsible for ensuring that it complies with the standards. The clinical development of the vaccine is divided into four major phases.
  • In phase 1, a small group of people is vaccinated. If the results are fair, trials fall into the second phase. 
  • In phase 2, the volunteer group is expanded, and they are divided into certain groups based on their age and other physical characteristics. 
  • In phase 3, the vaccine is given to thousands of people suffering from the intended disease to test safety and efficacy. 
  • In phase 4, a vaccine is formally licensed and approved.

Even after approving the vaccine, the FDA continues to ensure that the vaccine complies with the previous standards. This includes constant monitoring of the manufacturing process, along with inspection of the manufacturing facilities.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting system collaborates with the FDA and ensures to report any event that occurs after a vaccine is licensed. Reports can be submitted by any individual and will be looked into with the utmost care.   

The Necessity to Get Vaccinated: Save Yourself, Save the World:

Wearing masks and observing social distancing has become a new normal in the world in recent times. People living in the pandemic have become mentally and emotionally weak.

Dr. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has largely denied the idea of herd immunity in one of his interviews. However, he suggested that herd immunity achieved through vaccination can prove to be effective.

This response came while answering a question related to the “Great Barrington Declaration,” which is an online platform spreading the idea that herd immunity will be better than vaccination. 

Dr. Fauci suggested that we need to get at least 75 percent of people to be vaccinated. Only the herd immunity generated by getting 75 percent of the people vaccinated will work; otherwise, one without vaccination is likely to be dangerous, as he termed this “nonsense” and” dangerous.”

  • A recent Oxford study suggested that even when someone is fully recovered from the COVID-19, the virus still impacts the lungs afterward.
  • Even if a small population is left without vaccination, they risk spreading the virus again due to the contagious nature of the disease. 
  • The current economic infrastructure is unable to afford another global lockdown. It will just leave more people unemployed in the times to come.
  • If the novel virus continues to spread, as usual, every individual will be infected with millions of deaths.

Due to the aforementioned facts, the necessity to take vaccines is increased significantly. Hence, by rejecting the politics on coronavirus, we must take the vaccines, when available, to save the lives in bulk.

 

Conclusion

The COVID-19 crisis has largely been subjected to politics in the United States. Politics has contributed to making the situation worse by spreading fake information for the personal gains of the political leaders. 

Now that we have the vaccine to save the world from the pandemic, politics is again sabotaging the vaccination process. It has provided a path to anti-vaccine campaigns to spread misinformation related to the vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccine goes through a whole process before its approval, and the FDA ensures that it complies with the standards of safety and efficacy. Therefore, by rejecting all the politics on coronavirus, we should not hesitate in our vaccination. This way, we can extend our contributions to a COVID-free world while the politicians who want anarchy bites the dust.

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