Over the weekend, conservative United States politicians attended the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas, an annual event where conservatives reaffirm their current stances on the issues facing the country. Naturally, one of the biggest issues in the country is, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing push to utilize the US’ large supply of vaccines to battle against it. However, the predominant attitude of the conference seemed not to be how to get more people vaccinated, but how to steer Americans away from vaccination.
Alex Berenson, an infamous right-leaning pundit whom The Atlantic once branded as “the pandemic’s wrongest man” due to his penchant for misinformation, took the stage at CPAC to praise the fact that the country had missed the planned vaccination milestone. “The government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated, and it isn’t happening,” he told the crowd, which cheered and applauded in response.
Following this event, presidential chief medical adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, expressed concern over this worrying sentiment. “We’ve got to put aside this ideological difference or differences thinking that somebody is forcing you to do something,” Fauci said on CNN’s State of the Union. “The public health officials, like myself and my colleagues, are asking you to do something that will ultimately save your life, and that of your family and that of the community.”
“They are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives.” https://t.co/t41Sq52FgP
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) July 12, 2021
“It’s almost frightening to say, ‘Hey, guess what? We don’t want you to do something to save your life. Yay!’ Everybody starts screaming and clapping. I just don’t get that. I mean, and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about?”
At the moment, vaccination is still voluntary in all 50 states. However, Fauci noted that, should the pandemic become worse, vaccine mandates may need to be put in place.