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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Harms

Science vs. Freedom

There used to be a time in this country where certain topics were not spoken about in open forums. People did not sit around dinner parties and discuss their religious views. Present opening by the Christmas tree was not filled with rhetoric about which political candidate to endorse and why. Our personal medical preferences and histories, outside of maybe the new diet fad, were not on open display by the media.

What the hell happened? There are probably too many factors to list. Social media is near the top of that list. The decline in journalistic values of independently reporting the news without slanting it for a particular viewership or sponsorship base ranks right up there. Also, thanks to Google and the internet at large every single person who has never done so much as a high school level research paper on their own now believes they have a doctorate level degree in whatever the topic of conversation is after a few clicks of the mouse.

At the end of the day, the why is almost irrelevant. It is the cumulative effect of these factors that leads us as a society down a dangerous path where everything is outwardly contentious. This piece wasn’t written when the nation was divided over politics because, at the end of the day, personal liberty was never in true danger. No one can (at least not yet) force someone to vote for someone they don’t want to. It wasn’t written about the discussion of gun control because we, while not on a great path, are nowhere near the actual violation of a Constitutional right. But what we are experiencing now in the age of Covid is something else entirely.

Yes, that is the vaccination fervor sweeping the nation (and the world, but abuse of civil liberties in other countries is not protected by our Constitution). Whether someone chooses to vaccinate or not is their personal choice, and that goes both ways. If you choose to take the shot for your or safety or that of a loved one, to travel more freely, or simply for one of the many incentives being pushed down our throats by the government – great! But if you choose not to take it because you do not believe in any vaccines, feel that Covid is not dangerous enough to take a drug that was rushed through testing and approval, or are just plain scared of needles – that is great too!

Nowhere in the Constitution does it allow for the government to mandate any citizen, or human being living on American soil for that matter, to do anything to their body they don’t want to do. On the conservative side of the coin, this invokes the argument of a woman’s right to choose an abortion, which last time I checked is still upheld (minus the new ruling in Texas that is as concerning as the vaccine topic). On the more aggressive side, we can look at chemical castration for sex offenders and lethal injection for murders. Both crimes are equally heinous, yet most states afford these convicted criminals more rights to avoid the needle than we as a free population are being provided to opt out of taking the vaccine.

There is the low level, bordering on simpleton argument that we have been carrying around vaccine cards since birth. But the truth is, this argument is only partially correct. Every vaccine we receive from birth is still optional. No, this is not an anti-vaccine statement it is pro-thought. None of those vaccines are actually mandatory in any way, shape, or form. Yes, they are required to attend school, play sports, and work in certain professions. But this so-called vaccine card we have all had since birth is not in our wallets and is not required to get on an airplane, go to the gym, or even walk into the local pizzeria.

In addition to what the vaccine cards of old do not restrict, there is another underlying piece of the puzzle the media, big pharma, and our government would like to hide from us. Most, if not all of the vaccines we have been receiving from birth, have mortality rates that dwarf those of Covid. While it is still difficult to independently verify the exact numbers due to a campaign of misinformation where Covid deaths have been overinflated for the last 18 months and cases of the seasonal flu have all but vanished, we will look at the range for transparency.

Mortality Rates by Disease

Polio 2% - 5% (children) 15% – 30% (adults)

Small Pox: 30%

Flu: .4% (5-17) 1.8% (18-49) 9% (50-64) 48.7% (65+)

Covid: less than 1%*

There is an (*) next to the Covid numbers because of the conflicting argument that many scientists continue to make about its validity. That 1% reflects the population health level, meaning that less than 1% (far less by most estimates) will die from Covid. The scare tactic, or disclaimer to be more proper, is that we cannot look at a population level because everyone’s body is different and can be more or less likely to succumb to the illness. No way! Isn’t that part of the reason the flu numbers are at least broken up by age group and that each season we urge our seniors to get their shots?

Why then is the Covid vaccine being forced upon every single person in the country? If the likelihood of dying is calculated at a personal health level, should the individual person not have the right to decide whether or not to take precautions? Well, then there is the argument you are selfish and not doing your part for society if not vaccinated because you can get someone else sick. Does this mean that every able-bodied young person needs to take a flu shot to help avoid passing the flu to the older population or else be considered selfish? If that is the case, the argument sure hasn’t been anywhere in the mainstream media for the last century. Why? Because it is the duty of the person in the “at-risk” category to make medical choices best suited for them, not for everyone around them to compromise their own beliefs for their well-being.

The other thing we can learn from these numbers, if not obvious enough, is that the Covid mortality rates, no matter how you calculate them, are by far the lowest on the list. When Polio hit epidemic status in 1916 there was fear and panic much like today. Scientists injected themselves, staff members, and thousands of children with experimental vaccines that did not work. An effective vaccine was not discovered until the 1940s. Even with this extensive timeline where all precautions should have been taken, 10% - 30% of the vaccines from 1955 – 1963 were found contaminated with simian virus 40 (SV40).

Trust the science is the main rallying cry for those who feel the need to push their vaccination agenda onto others. And while science is great, undoubtedly helping to extend our average life span, it doesn’t always hit the mark. There was a time where cocaine was a routine ingredient on soft drinks, heroin was a breakthrough ingredient for cough suppressants, and DDT was a household chemical for bug repellants.

But this is 2021. Our medical technology is far more advanced than it was then. We have better quality control and approval procedures in place than we did then. Right? Well, for the most part as we are about to see. Not sure what the general consensus would be on getting something right most of the time, but maybe some specific examples will shed some light on that.

In 1997, Bayer, a fairly reputable pharmaceutical company launched their drug Cerivastatin (Baycol) to help treat high cholesterol. It was recalled 4 years later after research proved it was connected to a severe muscle disorder known as rhabdomyolysis, which clogs the kidneys with protein from dying muscle tissue. This recall was prompted by over 100,000 deaths. Deaths caused by an FDA approved drug.

In 1999, Merck, a titan in the pharmaceutical industry, came out with a revolutionary treatment for arthritis named Vioxx. Having been prescribed to over 20 million people as a pain reliever, its recall in 2004 elicited one of the largest public outcries against an FDA approved drug’s failure. While fatality numbers are not widely published, its use has been linked to approximately 140,000 cases of coronary disease and stroke.

With less than one year on the market as an FDA approved drug, Pfizer, yes the same Pfizer that created our Covid vaccine, had their drug Bextra recalled. This was another medicine used to treat arthritis that was uncannily similar to Vioxx. Having received FDA approval four years into the widespread distribution of Vioxx, which as we now know had severe faults, one has to wonder how approval was even issued. After all, the FDA was only a year away from recalling Vioxx. So why grant approval to a similar drug? This alone should prompt questions to the approval process for the Covid vaccines created by Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna.

There are so many other instances of FDA approved drugs and vaccinations getting recalled after the true side effects came to light it would be impossible to list them all. And those are just the ones that have been pulled off the shelves. How many television advertisements are there for FDA approved drugs where the list of potential side effects far outweighs the benefit of taking it in the first place? Cure your migraine at the expense of rectal bleeding and death, ease your allergies if you can handle extreme fatigue and increased heart rates. Examples like this go on and on, but no one ever questions it.

In closing, it doesn’t matter if you are for or against the vaccine. The information contained in this piece was not intended to sway anyone’s belief or conviction. It was simply meant to illustrate that there are varying viewpoints regarding personal decisions and people should be allowed to use whatever research they subscribe to choose what is best for them and their families. Once we as a people collectively decide that the group opinion should become edict, we are opening the door further to government overreach and tyranny. Today it may just be the needle in your arm, but tomorrow it might be the AR-15, right to vote, or ability to openly dissent to policies you don’t agree with.

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