It has almost been 20 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania of September 11, 2001. Since then, numerous conspiracy theories have been floated in an attempt to explain the unimaginable tragedy that that day was for the families of the victims. These theories range from the insane to the plausible, but none of them have been confirmed as true. No one has come forward in almost 20 years with credible evidence, and whatever evidence they do put forth gets explained away (easily) with just some reasoning and science.
The same can be said for the conspiracy theories around vaccines. They also range from the fantastical to the plausible. They also keep getting knocked down and preven false. Yet they keep coming up over and over again. We keep
spending wasting time to prove them wrong. Why? Because they can be dangerous things that entice people to not vaccinate their children, leaving their children vulnerable to deadly diseases.
So here we are, in the middle of a pandemic of a very serious and deadly virus, and we have this:
These things need to be addressed because the unassuming bystander might look at this and begin to question public health recommendations, leading to they or others around them getting hurt. So we begin by saying that martial law is not a thing, at least in the United States. For that, we would recommend that they read up on the limits placed on the Federal Government when it comes to how it uses the military to enforce domestic laws. Sure, states could call up their National Guards, but that would be up to the states. And, as we know, some states did not like imposing reasonable public health requirements on their populations.
The next claim that is weird is that “they are forging death certificates to inflate the figures,” but who are “they” and how would “they” get that done? Each county has its own medical examiner to sign off on death certificates for mysterious or unexplained deaths. But each death that occurs in a healthcare setting is signed off by a physician. Just like with the 9/11 conspiracies, we are to believe that thousands and thousands of people — in this case, physicians — are all coordinated into writing lies into death certificates. Not only that, but in the months since the pandemic began, we are to believe that not one of them has come forth and said that they were forced or paid or coerced into lying on a death certificate. Not a single one.
What’s even worse is that death registries in Latin America are among the oldest institutions in the continent. They inherited from the Spanish Empire the civil registries that record every birth and every death, and they do it very well. In epidemiology, one thing we can rely on is the civil registries to get data and analyze it. So are they falsifying the numbers, too?
Next, mandatory vaccinations… This one I don’t understand because there are no such things as mandatory vaccinations. If a parent wants their child to attend public school and/or use up public services, then they are required to have their children vaccinated according to a scientifically sound schedule of vaccines. But it’s not mandatory nor obligatory. Parents have the right in this country to deny their children from the protection of vaccines and a public education, unfortunately. No one is being held down against their will and vaccinated. Even soldiers in the military who don’t want to get the smallpox or anthrax vaccines are free to walk away, though not without consequences.
And that’s the gist of this whole thing, ladies and gentlemen. There are consequences to our actions and inactions. Everyone likes to go on and on about their rights, but nothing about their responsibilities. Nothing about the consequences of their actions. The people up there on that picture I took from Facebook don’t seem to be the kind who would accept their responsibilities. I mean, when you’re blaming so many other things visible and invisible for the conditions around you…
I write all this because I’m starting to get tired of the entire world — even developing nations full of corrupt government officials — laughing at us. They’re looking at the United States, the leaders of the Free World, and laughing. They laugh at our number of COVID-19 cases. They laugh at our dead. They laugh at our inability to contain a simple, little virus with all of the science ant technology that we have, and with billions upon billions of dollars in our reserves.
There used to be a time when I didn’t care, and I felt very patriotic about where I live and where my home is. But now… Now, I’m starting to chuckle a bit along with the rest of the world. It’s what I do so as to not cry. I mean, when political supporters of the President of the United States yell at Native Americans to “go home,” what else is there to do than just laugh along with those who mock us?
Work. I guess I could continue to do some work.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
About History of Vaccines: I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Please read the About page on the site for more information.
About Epidemiological: I am the sole contributor to Epidemiological, my personal blog to discuss all sorts of issues. It also has an About page you should check out.