Writing for the Washington Post Tuesday, conservative Marc Thiessen complained that anti-vaxxers shouldn't be shamed or harassed for endangering the lives of those around them.
The claims of harassment and persecution are an increasingly popular among conservatives who are painting themselves as the latest victims of a kind of pro-science mafia.
Erring on the side of belief over information, anti-vaccine people are doubling down and putting their communities in danger of a virus that has so far killed more than 600,000 Americans
While the Delta variant is leading to "breakthrough" infections among those vaccinated, thus far it hasn't managed to kill nearly as many people as the unvaccinated.
Thiessen's column was immediately called out by Truth or Fiction's managing editor Brooke Binkowski as "irresponsible" and "whiny garbage."
@PostOpinions @marcthiessen This is an incredibly irresponsible, poorly written, whiny garbage take that has no bus… https://t.co/SzAoegchmM— Brooke Binkowski (@Brooke Binkowski) 1628025509.0
Just four paragraphs in, Thiessen claims, "the unvaccinated minority do not pose a serious threat to the rest of us." Already, the unvaccinated are accounting for a massive increase in virus cases across states with large populations of unvaccinated people.
He goes on to claim, "This means 192 million in total now have vaccinated immunity."
The assumption is that people are immune to COVID-19 with the vaccine, which isn't the case either. The breakthrough infections are killing vaccinated people and the vaccinated are still getting covid, albeit not as badly.
The vaccines were never to create total immunity, it was to lessen the severity of the disease when and if one gets it. The vaccine isn't a cure and it certainly won't stop infections, but will instead only make them less frequent and far less severe.
"Unvaccinated children are at similarly low risk for serious outcomes as vaccinated adults. CDC data show that just 406 people under 18 have died with a covid-19 diagnosis code in their record — and the CDC has no idea whether covid-19 was incidental or causal in their death," Thiessen also wrote.
Taking the number of deaths into account isn't the way one calculates risk for children. The numbers he's citing are from a year when people were in lockdown, children weren't in school and mask mandates were in place.
Now that all of those things are being eliminated the cases of hospitalization, infection and death among children is increasing, as the New York Times reported just days prior to Thiessen's column.
By July 2020, Reuters cited a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association that calculated "more than 338,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the U.S. epidemic" even with the mandates and home-schooling in place. Today, pediatric cases accounted for 43,033 new cases in July 2021 alone, and children aren't even back in school yet.
As Binkowski explained, the column is an "incredibly irresponsible, poorly written, [and] whiney garbage take that has no business in the venerable Washington Post."