After Dr. Deborah Birx made a number of statements admitting that the “experts” oversold the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine in that it would significantly help prevent infection, PolitiFact’s Yacob Reyes wrote a lengthy article rating is “false” that Birx ever flip-flopped on the issue herself in an article whose conclusion is contradicted by its own sources, while also ignoring everyone else that flip-flopped, such as Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Birx admitted that the experts overpromised on the COVID vaccine a number of times in mid-2022. During a Fox News appearance on July 22, she told Neil Cavuto that “I knew these vaccines were not going to protect against infection. And I think we overplayed the vaccines, and it made people then worry that it’s not going to protect against severe disease and hospitalization. It will.”
The next day, Birx testified before Congress.
While facing questioning from Rep. Jim Jordan, Birx admitted that “we knew early on, in January of 2021, in late December 2020, that reinfection is occurring after natural infection. Once you see that – and I want to make it clear to you all, and to anyone that is listening – this is not meables, mumps, and rubella – those vaccines produce long term immunity, and can create herd immunity.“
Jordan asked twice “When the government told us that the vaccinated couldn’t transmit it, was that a lie, or was that a guess?” – prompting an “I don’t know,” and “I think it was hope that the vaccines would work in that way.” No denial was made of the government’s false narrative.
This is in direct contradiction to Birx’s prior public statements, but not if you accept Reyes’ framing, who is forced to construct and burn down a strawman to pretend Birx didn’t flip flop or conceal information from the American public.
Reyes says he could find “no record of Birx saying the vaccine could provide complete protection against infection” – and thus the words “complete protection” create the strawman. While Birx didn’t ever use those exact words, she implicitly suggested that the vaccine would do enough to slow the spread to bring about herd immunity.
While accusing people of taking Dr. Birx’s comments out of context, Reyes takes a comment from Birx from December 2020 out of context, quoting her as saying during an NBC interview „I want to be very frank to the American people: The vaccine is critical, but it’s not going to save us from this current surge.”
Reyes presents this as Birx saying “that it could not curtail an uptick in COVID-19 cases” – but the reason Birx said this is because the vaccine wasn’t available at the time, and wouldn’t begin to rollout for months, hence why she said the vaccine wouldn’t save us from a “current surge” in that context. Reyes cuts off the rest of Birx’s quote, where she said “We won’t have a vaccine for even the most vulnerable Americans. I’m thrilled with the vaccines, but we won’t have them for the most vulnerable Americans until February.” Her comment was about availability and logistics, not efficacy.
Reyes also pointed to an interview Birx did with Live 5 News on December 27, 2020, writing that “Birx said in a televised interview that much was still unknown about the level of protection the vaccines provide. She distinguished between what was known about the vaccine’s ability to prevent infection and what was known about its ability to prevent disease.” This too is out of context – and neglects to mention that earlier in the interview Birx said that the vaccines would bring about herd immunity, which, as Jeremy Hammond puts it succinctly, “is literally defined as a situation in which most people exposed to the virus do not become infected and therefore do not spread the virus to others.” It was only later in the interview, when questioned, that Birx said the vaccinated “may” spread the virus, which was hardly an authoritative declaration that they would.
Reyes only acknowledges one quote from Birx contrary to his case, when she stated on December 16, 2020 to ABC News that “This is one of the most highly effective vaccines we have in our infectious disease arsenal,” only to ignore the significance of her pitching the vaccine as among the “most highly effective” because, in his opinion, “the vaccine is effective even if it doesn’t provide full immunity from the virus.” That the COVID vaccine doesn’t control the spread of the virus it protects against is what sets it apart from other vaccines. If it were among the most effective, that would imply that it’s effective at slowing the spread of the virus.
The day prior, on December 15, Birx said that if 70-80% of the population got vaccinated, then the U.S. would “truly achieve herd immunity” – which can only happen by significantly slowing the spread. Reyes makes no mention of that.
The only in context quote Reyes could find to make his case is when Birx said „We have to make it very clear to the American people that your protection against infection wanes” – but this was in May 2022, just two months before she made headlines for flip-flopping.
Most importantly, Birx’s recent commonts on the vaccine being „oversold“ were significant because it exposed that the „experts“ knew better. Whether or not Birx herself oversold it (which she did) is almost irrelevent in light of the fact that everyone else in power did.
After all, Joe Biden told a CNN town hall in July 2021 (one year before catching COVID himsel) that “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,” and CDC chief Rochelle Walensky promised in March 2021 that “vaccinated people do not carry the virus.” Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci told CBS in May 2021 that “When you get vaccinated, you not only protect your own health and that of the family but also you contribute to the community health by preventing the spread of the virus throughout the community.”
And according to Dr. Birx, they all knew better.
Matt Palumbo is the author of The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros
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