Kamala Harris said outright that she would not trust a vaccine that emerged from the Trump administration's efforts to manufacture one. CNN declared the vaccine's creation and manufacture to be a political move that was sped up under Trumps' threats. Now CNN is reporting that social media companies must prepare for an onslaught of "COVID-19 vaccine misinformation," and find ways to guard against it.
Harris said "I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about," she said. "I will not take his word for it." And Harris wasn't the only one.
New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo also said that he would not trust a vaccine made from the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, and would not allow its distribution in New York. Cuomo was so strident in his opposition to a vaccine that Trump, upon announcing that the trials had been effective and a vaccine would be imminent, said that New York wouldn't get any.
These baseless fears drove allegations of intentional corner-cutting with vaccines that came from pharma companies which teamed with the White House to get it done quickly and well. Harris and Cuomo drove the idea that a Trump vaccine could not be trusted, and mainstream media, including CNN, took their cues from that.
Interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sept. 3, CNN consistently inquired as to the likelihood that the shortened timeline for COVID vaccine development was politically motivated, and not for public health concerns.
After Fauci said a vaccine could be ready by the end of October, Jim Acosta asked "Should folks, in light of the fact that the end of October happens to be, not coincidentally, a few days before an election, and there has been evidence of politics getting in the way of the science here.
"Should folks at home listening right now be concerned that politics is influencing the timeline for a vaccine?"
"I don't think so, Jim," Fauci said.
"Are you confident that data will make this decision?" Acosta pressed. Fauci assured him that it would.
On Sept. 5, CNN discredited the coming vaccine, saying that "Trump has pressured administration health officials to accelerate the vaccine's development in an effort to convince voters of an impending end to the pandemic threatening his reelection."
On Sept. 14, CNN declared that most Americans "believe political pressure will cause [the] FDA to rush a coronavirus vaccine." They wrote that "If a Covid-19 vaccine was ready and available for free before the upcoming election, just over half of respondents, 54%, said they would not get one, while 42% said they would."
On Oct. 6, a CNN story on the vaccine said that "experts worry what Trump's undivided attention means for the fate of the vaccine. With so much obvious political pressure coming to bear, people may fear that the vaccines aren't safe for widespread use. Beyond that, they may lose trust in federal regulators and, possibly, in research science."
And now, with very little recognition of their own about face, they are saying the social media companies are responsible to make sure that the public has full faith and confidence is the vaccine. And they still blame Trump.
CNN said "Despite actions against anti-vaccine content since — some as recent as last month—Facebook has failed to totally quash the movement on its platforms. Now, with COVID-19 vaccines potentially making their way to some Americans as soon as this month, the tech companies will face their biggest test on this front yet. The stakes for them to get it right, after years of struggling to combat vaccine misinformation, couldn't be higher."
CNN doesn't note that Harris and Cuomo were some of those who were spreading fears and misinformation about the trustworthiness of a forthcoming vaccine. Instead, they quote Red Cross chief Francesco Rocca, who said "'Fake news' about a COVID-19 vaccine has become a second pandemic."
Additionally, CNN blames Trump for now not rolling out the vaccine fast enough, writing "The inoculation campaign will require a high level of public trust and will involve sharp ethical debates among officials about who should get the vaccine first. The entire program could be damaged if it is politicized."
In an effort now to promote the vaccine, numerous public figures have come forward to say that they definitely trust the vaccine, so much so that they would broadcast themselves getting the shot.
"Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are willing to lend their star power for a good cause, saying this week that they would publicly take a coronavirus vaccine, once it's available in the U.S., to encourage skeptical Americans to do the same."
Obama said that "I promise you that when it's been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it. I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science."
Science was not Harris' or Cuomo's motivator in September, nor was it CNN's, instead their primary concern was to discredit anything associated with Donald Trump, even if it meant spreading misinformation. When it suited their narrative to find fault with the vaccine they did so, now that they have no reason to suppress it, they are advocating for its safety and efficacy, and demanding that the rollout process be sped up.
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