Trying to speed up the FDA approval process for a COVID vaccine is like watching a giant tortoise slog through the Galapagos Islands’ lava fields. Even at Warp Speed, the Food and Drug Administration has its way of doing things, and it’s plain to all that this starship was not built for maximum velocity. For many, this government agency’s deliberative process is just peachy, but the FDA’s layers of bureaucracy are maddening for others.
For example, President Trump sounds a tad frustrated: “Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn,” he tweeted on Friday, December 11. However, a case can be made that Americans may have needed this time to consider what they want to do when it does arrive at their doorstep. Perhaps, the timing for a COVID vaccine deliverable in the U.S. is neither too early nor too late, but right on time.
Everybody’s Got An Opinion
Some people are virulently opposed to vaccinations – even ones that have been on the market for ages. Thus, the thought of a “rushed” vaccine sends them into orbit. Liberty Nation’s Pennel Bird has written copiously on this subject. He makes some very salient points about the COVID-19 vaccine; that it is experimental, that it will not stop transmission of the disease, and there have been zero long-term safety trials. These are all valid points.
Others are chomping at the bit to get the jab. “Just give it to me, baby,” appears to be their mantra. They’ve had enough of this masking and shucking and jiving by a politically charged medical community. These folks want their COVID fix, and they want it now.
Then there are the vaxx-shamers. People who don’t want to take a needle might be described by them – to borrow from former FBI agent Peter Strzok – as “ignorant” hillbillies who shop at Walmart. A tweet from Hillary Clinton perfectly frames this imperious attitude: “The science is clear. The earth is round, the sky is blue, and vaccines work.” In other words, only idiots would avoid such a lifesaving (?) jab.
Perhaps the most loathsome group of people that lie within the vaccination nation are the “pushers.” Theirs is an increasingly disturbing position. “If you don’t get the approved COVID fix, you are endangering the planet,” they thunder. It is a classic “us” versus “them” set up meant to drive the vaxx narrative toward forced vaccinations. The COVID vaccine should be mandatory for all. “You will take it, and you will like it.”
Way back when – 1737, to be exact – English author Thomas Paine wrote: “The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” It does seem as though it is time for some common sense – for which Paine is most famous.
Every society is made up of vastly different individuals — a continuum that goes from one end of the species to the other. So if your Aunt Thelma, who is going on 96, wants the vaccination, it would seem wise to let her get it. However, if you have a son age 30 with epilepsy and his neurologist thinks it’s not such a good idea, he should be allowed to forego the jab.
Of course, millions of people existing between these two extremes must choose what is best for their needs. Taking sides, name-calling, public shaming, and – worst of all – making such a personal choice a national mandate are not useful tools in this situation. If it takes the process moving at one-quarter impulse to give us time to decide, then so be it. To be truly free, a society must permit its people to make choices.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.