During an interview on Tuesday with former President Donald Trump, conservative commentator and activist Candace Owens questioned the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Oh no, the vaccines work,” Trump said. “The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine. But it’s still their choice. And if you take the vaccine, you’re protected.”
“Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form. People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,” he told Owens.
Trump’s reply showed he was oblivious to the growing number of frightening reactions to the vaccines being reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. The conservative media has covered these stories, but the legacy media has largely ignored them.
Delighted over Trump’s remarks to Owens, who is well-known for her anti-vax views, Meghan McCain took to Twitter: “Trump schooling Candace Owens with facts and logic regarding getting the vaccine is really a sight to behold. Credit where credit is due and I hate the guy.”
McCain’s post wasn’t received well by Owens who saw that it was trending and responded in a very thoughtful, thorough Instagram video.
WARNING: The following post contains vulgar language some viewers may find offensive.
Hey Meghan— did you know that the overwhelming majority of people dying and/or being hospitalized from Covid-19 are clinically obese?
People like you love the vaccine because it allows you to pretend that you care about health.
People like me see right through that bullshit. https://t.co/fbtt2OVCJj
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) December 24, 2021
She began by pointing out that McCain has never been concerned about health issues, herself being clinically obese.
Owens chalked up Trump’s support of the vaccines to his age.
“People oftentimes forget, like, how old Trump is,” she told her Instagram followers. “They came from a time before TV, before internet, before being able to conduct their independent research.”
“Everything that [Trump’s generation] read in a newspaper, that was pitched to them, that they believed that that was a reality,” Owens said. “And one of those things was, you know, this push for vaccines and believing that people were going to die without vaccines. And so, I believe that his support of the vaccine is genuine, and it’s not based on any corruption at all.”
Additionally, Owens said that Trump gets his news from the mainstream media rather than seeking alternative sources of information.
“Believe it or not, I do not believe that Trump reads or partakes in any other news sources. I don’t believe that Trump is on the internet or that he necessarily uses the web to try to find obscure websites. I think that he just relies on typical mainstream sources. So, I don’t think that there’s anything evil going on there.”
“But he needs to have a larger conversation to really understand what’s going on and why so many people are just horrified.”
Owens is basically correct although she may be overgeneralizing her argument.
Although I’m not quite as old as Trump, I still remember when computers used to fill an oversized room. We did not grow up with the internet, but we did have TV. And we had libraries and research centers.
And even if we’re not as quick on the internet as millennials might be, we still know how to navigate the web.
But Owens is spot on that most of us never questioned the vaccines doctors told us were necessary. That said, there were far fewer mandatory childhood vaccines than there are now.
We trusted our doctors.
We also trusted the mainstream media. Sure, we should have looked more critically at what the media was reporting, but we never expected they would lie to us as flagrantly as they do today.
Where I disagree with Owens is her opinion that Trump relies only mainstream media sources. As president he read The New York Times and The Washington Post, publications he considers to be “fake news,” because he wanted to keep track of what was being written about him — given that many Americans get their news from those sources. But he also read some of the more prominent conservative blogs and would often comment about them on Twitter.
Trump’s tunnel vision in regard to the vaccines may stem more from his personal push to bring “safe and effective” vaccines to the American people in the shortest period of time possible. When announcing the rollout of the vaccines in December 2020 at the White House, Trump said, “My Administration has initiated the single greatest mobilization in U.S. history — pioneering, developing and manufacturing therapies and vaccines in record time.”
When the virus arrived in America, the development of a vaccine became the president’s mission. He personally prodded pharmaceutical companies and removed obstacles, to get this done for the American people. He is proud of his accomplishment, as he should be. It was no small task. It’s unlikely that a President Biden would have been able to do it.
But as tremendous an achievement as this is, he must acknowledge that there have been some adverse reactions to the vaccines and that, as helpful as they have been to large swaths of the population, there are some people who should not take them.