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  • May 18, 2021

Exclusive: Vaccinations are working, but terrible COVID-19 takes keep coming

 Exclusive: Vaccinations are working, but terrible COVID-19 takes keep coming

Mike Pence wrote, in June 2020, “In recent days, the media has taken to sounding the alarm bells over a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus infections. Such panic is overblown.” In case you didn’t get the message, he repeated it: “The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different.” At that point, there had been around 116,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. The current number is over 550,000.

Kayleigh McEnany, not even yet the White House press secretary at the time, said in February 2020, “We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here. We will not see terrorism come here. And isn’t that refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama?”

Jared Kushner, April 2020, “I think you’ll see by June a lot of the country should be back to normal, and the hope is that by July the country’s really rocking again.”

Right-wing commentator Candace Owens, April 2020: “Two weeks ago I told you all that India was the country to watch as millions of their workers were stranded along the railroad — no means of social distancing. India has just 169 deaths. Reported its first case in January.” India is now reporting hundreds of thousands of cases a day and its hospitals and crematoriums are overwhelmed.

Soon-to-be Saturday Night Live host Elon Musk, March, 2020: “Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April.”

And Donald Trump deserves multiple entries in this competition, of course:

February 26, 2020: “Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low. … When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

March 31, 2020: “It’s going to go away, hopefully at the end of the month and if not, it hopefully will be soon after that.”

July 19, 2020: “It’s going to disappear and I’ll be right.”

September 21, 2020: “It affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”

October 23, 2020: “On Nov. 4, you won’t hear anything about it [the pandemic], because we are rounding that turn.”

Then there are the vaccination skeptics. Too many of them to fully discuss, unfortunately, but let’s check out a couple notable ones:

Former New York Times reporter and current Fox News darling Alex Berenson, February 2021: “Vaccine advocates need to start ratcheting down expectations for the @pfizer @moderna_tx mRNA vaccines immediately. The Israeli data is increasingly clear – the clinical trials significantly overstated their efficacy. Meanwhile the US side effect reports are ugly…” The Israeli data has been extremely clear about the efficacy of the vaccines, and not in the way Berenson meant.

Bro podcaster Joe Rogan, April 2021: “If you’re, like, 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go ‘No.’” Rogan at least walked it back somewhat, describing himself as a “moron,” so he got one thing right.

And last but not least, there’s the Miami private school, the Centner Academy, that told teachers not to get vaccinated and banned newly vaccinated teachers from contact with students because they might be “shedding” vaccine. 

There are so many more contenders, though—offer yours in the comments.

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Reporters Team

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