Is that the problem with Covid-19 vaccines, that they are saving lives?
During a Newsmax show, host Rob Schmitt had an “unnatural” take on vaccination: “Obviously, I’m not a doctor but I’ve always thought about vaccines, and I always think about just nature, and the way everything works, and I feel like a vaccination in a weird way is just generally kind of going against nature.”
OK, maybe vaccines and nature are flattered that Schmitt is thinking about them. Perhaps he can send them a card or a “you are on my mind” emoji. But what exactly did Schmitt mean by “going against nature?”
He continued with “Like, I mean, if there is some disease out there, maybe there’s just an ebb and flow to life where something’s supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people, and that’s just kind of the way evolution goes.”
Oh, Schmitt, did he really just say that? Like, did he suggest that vaccines are keeping people alive who should naturally be killed?
Schmitt’s next line was: “Vaccines kind of stand in the way of that.” This was a Newsmax host saying this and not Thanos or some other infinity gauntlet-wearing being. Is it time to call Captain America and Captain Marvel?
You can see what he said in the video accompanying the following tweet:
This was on Newsmax, not to be confused with Newsweek, T.J.Maxx, or even Maxi Pads. Bloomberg.com describes Newmax, Inc., as an alternative news and opinion content publisher. It maintains a Newsmax website and cable TV network. Reporting for NPR, Bente Birkland has described Newsmax as a “right-wing media outlet” that “amplified former President Donald Trump’s false allegations of election rigging and widespread voter fraud.” So Newsmax is also not exactly Nature, the science magazine.
Speaking of nature, the Twittersphere responded to Schmitt’s assertion by naming a lot of every day things that would then qualify as “going against nature.” For example, @JonahDispatch mentioned various medical interventions, air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and clothes:
So Schmitt was really going against nature during his appearance on TV, although no one seemed to be clamoring for him to go au naturel. A number of other people also called whatever may be in Schmitt’s hair as “going against nature,” whether it’s hair spray, hair gel, Nutella, or whatever may be keeping it in place.
Others on Twitter wondered whether Schmitt was suggesting that those considered by some to be weaker should just be allowed to die. For example, the following tweet thread mentioned the word “eugenics,” which is selective breeding for particular “desirable” traits:
As you can see in the video, his guest Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH, who is a cardiologist, did not clearly dispute Schmitt’s statements. Instead, McCullough went on to say some things that raised eyebrows as well. For example, McCullough seemed to suggest that variants of the Covid-19 coronavirus get weaker over time. Yet, as I have covered recently for Forbes, the new variants such as the Delta variant actually appear to be getting stronger, more transmissible and contagious than earlier versions. Plus, McCullough argued that Covid-19 vaccines should just be “targeted to protect the highest-risk individuals.” The cardiologist told Schmitt that since he’s a “young person” and natural immunity is “superior,” he needn’t be worried about Covid-19. Again, McCullough is a cardiologist and not an acknowledged infectious disease, vaccine, or public health expert. Take a look at what Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, who is an established infectious disease and vaccine expert as well as Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, had to say about the Newsmax segment in the following tweet:
Additionally, McCullough overlooked a big reason for vaccinating younger people: to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Unvaccinated young people can readily carry and transmit the virus to others. Remember your protection against Covid-19 depends not only on whether you get fully vaccinated but also on what percentage of people around you are fully vaccinated.
Maybe Schmitt should visit the healthcare professionals who have been trying to fight this virus, the family members of people who have died from the virus, or the people currently suffering from the virus. Then he can present his “supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people” argument directly to their faces. How do you think that would go? Of course, he might have to leave his unnatural TV studio to do that.