I hate seeing all this misinformation being published, so I have decided to do my part to stand against it. This letter, “Mandates?”, written by Dee Cruz-Murphy, made numerous nonsensical and false claims, repeatedly employing the logical fallacy of non sequitur. Here is my rebuttal and answers to the questions posed in that letter to the editor:
“Question 1: Where exactly did those people go?”
No one is saying to not question the science. It is not only acceptable, but also expected to question scientific results; this is how science advances. You may be confusing this with the use of acceptable sources. A tweet from a conspiracy theorist is not equivalent to a peer-reviewed Nature paper. A major portion of research is evaluating how trustworthy a source is and this has been the reality for all of human history.
“2) If one is not willing to take medications … then why and how exactly do you think you can mandate a vaccine?”
Vaccine mandates have existed since 1809, when a law was passed mandating the smallpox vaccine. The Supreme Court upheld one of these mandates in 1905, in the case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts. This was reaffirmed in the 1992 case of Zucht v. King. Living in New Mexico, you have experienced vaccine mandates; to enroll a child in kindergarten, they must be vaccinated for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, chicken pox, measles, mumps, and rubella. Starting in 7th grade, the meningococcal vaccine is also required. My answer to this question is that we can mandate a vaccine the same way we have been for 212 years.
“3) If you start mandating vaccines now, what are you gonna mandate later after you have already set the precedent for medical mandates?”
See question 2.
“4) If Israel is leading the world in COVID vaccinations, then how is it the COVID capital of the world?”
As of September 4, 2021, Israel is at #27 in the world for vaccines. I would not describe that as “leading the world”. Countries that are at the top, including the UAE, Portugal, Qatar, Uruguay, and Denmark, have case rates (per 100,000) of 10, 16, 6, 4, and 13, respectively. Compare that to South Carolina, which is only 44% vaccinated, but has a case rate of 106. If you want to read more about Israel in particular, here is an article: (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/08/20/1029628471/highly-vaccinated-israel-is-seeing-a-dramatic-surge-in-new-covid-cases-heres-why).
“5) What science data points are you using to mandate vaccinations, and why ignore Israel (that’s a significant data point)?”
See question 4: UAE, Portugal, Qatar, Uruguay, and Denmark all have vaccination rates above 70%. Israel is at 61%. You can read a US-level analysis here: (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.05.21252946v1.full.pdf).
“6) Why Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, what about people who have AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Sinopharm, or people who want the US based Novavax vaccinations which are supposed to drop in the 4th Quarter 2021?”
I am not entirely sure what this is asking. People are focused on the Pfizer vaccine because it is FDA approved.
“7) IF a vaccination is supposed to build up your immunity so you DO NOT acquire the disease, THEN why is it again are we mandating these particular vaccines that don’t stop/neutralize the disease?”
Consider the Polio vaccine. Two doses of IPV have a 90% effectiveness. Four doses (or one vaccine and three boosters, if you prefer) have essentially a 100% effectiveness. One dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective and two are 97% effective. Four doses of DTP are 70-90% effective against diphtheria. Notice that not a single one of these is 100% effective with one dose and only the polio vaccine reaches 100% with four doses. As you know, the COVID vaccines are not 100% effective, just as these other vaccines are not. The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective against the alpha variant and 78%-90% effective against the delta variant, depending on timing (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02261-8). Additionally, it is 96% effective against hospitalization (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/vaccines-highly-effective-against-hospitalisation-from-delta-variant). I am not sure why you consider this ineffective since it is still up there with four doses of the diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccine.
“8) IF vaccinated are silent carriers, having no symptoms but can still spread the disease then does it really matter if someone is vaccinated or not?”
It is true that vaccinated people can be carriers, but vaccination decreases the severity and spread nonetheless. As discussed in question 7, the Pfizer vaccine can be up to 96% effective in preventing hospitalization. In this AP analysis (https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-941fcf43d9731c76c16e7354f5d5e187), 1.1% of total hospitalizations and 0.8% of deaths in May were in vaccinated people. Another study (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7034e5.htm?s_cid=mm7034e5_w) found that unvaccinated people were five times more likely to contract the virus and 29 tiimes more likely to be hospitalized. The R0, or average number of people one infected individual passes the virus onto, of the delta variant is 8.5. Though I was unable to find any studies on what the R0 changes to with a vaccine, studies repeatedly show the effectiveness of each vaccine against the delta variant (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2108891). You can read more about the delta variant on the CDC’s website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html).
I am not saying you should blindly believe science, but please do your research in peer-reviewed journals instead of conspiracy websites and comment sections.