To borrow from the 1990s comedy “Billy Madison,” at no point in a news release Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued last Thursday was he even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought regarding COVID-19. Everyone is now dumber for having read it.
Well, maybe not dumber, but they definitely should be annoyed because Landry has routinely let fringe philosophy dictate his views when it comes to the coronavirus.
Landry announced that he and 12 other attorneys general have sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control calling for an advisory committee not to include the COVID-19 vaccination on a list of child immunizations. Signing on with him were AGs from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah.
“This action could deny many parents the freedom to determine whether to subject their kids to an experimental vaccine,” Landry said in the letter.
Where to begin?
First, the CDC can only recommend, not require, that a vaccine be added to a school’s vaccine list. Even if required, parents can still have their kids opt out taking a vaccine through an established process.
Landry would have to exist in an unprecedented realm of denial to consider the COVID-19 vaccine experimental. The Pfizer and Moderna versions gained full approval from the Food and Drug Administration in February. Several peer-reviewed scientific research efforts have confirmed its efficacy if – and it’s turned out to be a big “if” – public vaccination rates reached herd immunity status.
Former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed led to the rapid development of vaccines and their emergency use authorization. Landry and like-minded folks never challenged the process at the time Trump was being praised for it.
But now that anti-vaxxers thrive in the same far right circles Landry and others cull for support, scientific reasoning and common sense have taken an extreme back seat.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson hammered home the same lie as Landry during his Thursday night broadcast, saying that parents would be forced to have their students vaccinated based on the CDC advisory panel’s action.
Carlson’s fake news, and the tendency for the easily misled to consume it, led the CDC to issue a statement Friday correcting the Fox faux pas.
“States establish vaccine requirements,” the CDC responded.
It’s troublesome that the CDC had to counter the misinformation. It’s even more concerning that COVID-19 facts won’t sway Carlson’s clan and Landry loyalists in the least.
You are awarded zero points, and may God have mercy on your souls.
Veteran journalist Greg LaRose is the editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, which first published this commentary.