WASHINGTON, DC – December 2, 2022 – With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical science has been politicized and attacked by conservative Republicans and the far right. Critics have spread misinformation that the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous and ineffective in spite of strong evidence to the contrary. COVID-19 public health mandates like masking, vaccination and lockdowns have met with strong resistance and backlash about the loss of individual freedoms. On December 13th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis requested that a Grand Jury be appointed by Florida’s Supreme Court to investigate possible harms caused by the coronavirus vaccine including the incidence of sudden deaths. President’s Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on December 14th, “We have a vaccine that, unequivocally, is highly effective and safe and has saved literally millions of lives.”
VAERS is a publicly-available vaccine database, short for the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, that the anti-vaccine movement uses to spread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. This database was begun in 1990 to detect possible safety problems with vaccines. It is managed by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone who receives a vaccine can submit a report to the database, however, these submissions have not been verified and the adverse effects may not be due to the vaccine. Healthcare workers and vaccine manufacturers are required to report all adverse events that are brought to their attention by patients which may not be related to the vaccine. This information will be used by the agencies to develop scientific studies to assess the safety of the vaccine.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr. Fauci, who is about to retire from a 54-year career as a physician and scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and its director for the past 38 years, feels that misinformation and outright lies highlight a “profoundly dangerous” time for public health and science. He is a trusted voice for millions of Americans. However, Fauci has been personally attacked by former President Trump and his allies for recommending a COVID strategy based upon the best-available scientific information and which has led to death threats against him.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Fauci laments, “We’re living in a progressively anti-science era and that’s a very dangerous thing when you’re dealing with a very deadly pandemic that has already killed more than a million people in this country.”
Listen to the full report below:
Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org