The New York Times: Instead of Vaccine Booster Shots, Why Not Just Wear Masks Forever?
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now think that many Americans will need booster shots in the coming months, and the Biden Administration has plans to make that happen. While the vaccines still provide remarkable protection against severe disease and death, recent studies suggest that an additional shot will help decrease transmission of the more infectious delta variant and prevent breakthrough cases.
For vaccine-hesitant rightwing people—who constitute a substantial proportion of the anti-vax movement, though by no means the whole thing—the need for booster shots has been met with considerable opprobrium and even suggestions that this means the vaccines don’t work. Former President Trump called booster shots a “crazy” idea.
“The whole thing is just crazy,” he said in a recent interview on Fox News. “It doesn’t—you wouldn’t think you would need a booster.”
These comments will undoubtedly contribute to vaccine hesitancy and undermine confidence in booster shots; as such, this sort of talk is deeply irresponsible. It’s as if the former president doesn’t know any better, or just can’t help himself.
So what’s The New York Times‘ excuse?
Astonishingly, the paper of record has opted to give support to this Trumpian denial of vaccine efficacy. A recent news story by Times reporter Apoorva Mandavilli—whose articles on the pandemic have constituted some of the most fear-driven and pro-restriction writing appearing anywhere in the mainstream media—cast doubt on the need for boosters and suggested that people could “easily” obtain the same level of protection by wearing a mask instead.
Mandavilli quotes Boston University epidemiologist Ellie Murray in opposition to booster shots for the general population:
Dr. Murray said boosters would undoubtedly boost immunity in an individual, but the benefit may be minimal — and obtained just as easily by wearing a mask, o
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