Facebook Is Biden’s Vaccine Scapegoat

Source: The Wall Street Journal (behind paywall).

Making scapegoats is an old and despicable human behavior. Fortunately, the practice tends to backfire.

When a bully gets what it wants, it comes back for more. Facebook has spent the last year acquiescing to increasingly aggressive liberal demands to suppress content. So it’s no surprise that Democrats have decided they can also get away with making CEO Mark Zuckerberg a scapegoat for plateauing rates of vaccination in the U.S.

Last week the White House launched a pointed offensive against Big Tech firms for allegedly not controlling enough vaccine-related speech by users. Press Secretary Jen Psaki criticized the companies from her daily podium, and the Surgeon General pressed them in a report. President Biden declared over the weekend that Facebook is “killing people,” though he walked back that “killing” point on Monday…

For millions of Americans, the increasingly overt coordination between social-media firms and government is undermining rather than increasing confidence in authorities. It is also setting up a lawsuit charging that the social-media censors are doing the bidding of politicians, and are thus subject to First Amendment scrutiny under the “state actor” doctrine. Mr. Biden’s vaccine scapegoat ploy could boomerang.

If I were king of the forest (to borrow a line), I would make scapegoating and its cousin, witch hunting, illegal. Being just a plebe, I would settle for people just not doing them.

57 thoughts on “Facebook Is Biden’s Vaccine Scapegoat

  1. We are in the midst of the first serious global pandemic in a century. We have lost more Americans to COVID than all combat deaths in our history.

    Every effort to deal with this has been thwarted by the GOP and its supporters. From early on when it was just a common cold as promulgated by right wing media giants. Then masks and shut downs brought backlashes and protests.

    Now we have a vaccine that is important for two reasons. It saves lives, which has been demonstrated in this last surge. More importantly, universal vaccination is the best way we know of to slow down variants. And that part is kind of critical since full economic openings, with confidence by the citizenry, is the goal.

    The second issue is the puzzling and damning one. We can respect the right of an individual to do what may kill him in the interest of perceived rights. We should not allow those same people to kill others in their zeal. And by providing a variant Petri dish, the vaccinated and unvaccinated vulnerable are are great risk should another “delta” evolve more potent.

    We are at “war” now in many ways. The war with the virus can be won. The war among ourselves is the one with a questionable outcome. An effort to try all avenues by the government to encourage vaccination should be on the table. There is not any plan to force vaccination. The battle is with disinformation. And the evidence is pointing to a concerted political effort by the right wing to disrupt the vaccine success story.

    IMHANEO

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “The battle is with disinformation.”

      Therefore censorship is desirable? I don’t buy it.

      BTW, a number of your statements look incorrect to me:

      • We have lost more Americans to COVID than all combat deaths in our history.

      • Every effort to deal with this has been thwarted by the GOP and its supporters.

      • universal vaccination is the best way we know of to slow down variants.

      • And by providing a variant Petri dish, the vaccinated and unvaccinated vulnerable are are great risk should another “delta” evolve more potent.

      • And the evidence is pointing to a concerted political effort by the right wing to disrupt the vaccine success story.

      Like

      1. …”a number of your statements look incorrect to me:”

        Of course they do. Because you don’t WANT them to be true (no one does, but sadly they are) and your contrarian nature will not allow you to see that Len’s statements are accurate.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They aren’t accurate. For example, Wikipedia says 1.35 million Americans have died in war since the Revolution. There are less than 700,000 Covid-19 deaths to date.

          Like

          1. Sorry, but your attempt to correct Len is a WHIFF. He referred to “combat” deaths which – according to a table on Wikipedia – have totaled 666,441. And that includes the deaths of 94,000 Confederates who were not fighting for our country.

            Your confusion is that you have cited ALL military deaths. In past wars the people dying of disease in camp often exceeded the losses in combat.

            You are welcome.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “Your confusion is that you have cited ALL military deaths.”

            Fair enough, but then let’s subtract from the Covid deaths all the deaths that would have happened anyway because the patients had other health problems. That cuts the Covid death count by half or more, making Mr. Rothman’s statement either wrong or misleading.

            Like

          3. ” . . . making Mr. Rothman’s statement either wrong or misleading.”

            Are you really not man enough to simply admit that your attack on Mr. Rothman was based on an error on your part?

            You want to juggle the numbers to prove you were right? Your juggling is also erroneous. The sound approach is to compare actuarily expected deaths versus actual deaths. That analysis shows that the number of pandemic virus deaths is greatly UNDER counted making Mr. Rothman’s comparison to deaths in combat even more apt.

            https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/05/06/994287048/new-study-estimates-more-than-900-000-people-have-died-of-covid-19-in-u-s

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Uh, it was a Republican President who ran interference with the bureaucracy to get the vaccines out as soon as possible. Democrats cast doubt in its safety right up to election day.

      And it is simply untrue that GOP leaders are discouraging vaccines.

      “Asked about the vaccine by Maria Bartiromo on March 16, he(Trump) said, “I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly… It is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”

      That goes for FOX personalities as well

      https://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/sean-hannity-steve-doocy-among-fox-newsers-aggressively-urging-viewers-to-get-vaccinated-on-monday/483764/

      Like

      1. There is an undeniable correlation between vaccine hesitancy and being a Trump Republican. You deny that hesitancy comes from Republican leaders and rhetoric but offer no alternative explanation that makes sense. Is sheer stupidity the common denominator?

        The article about Fox is about YESTERDAY. It appears to me that the Fox News legal department is getting concerned about a wave of lawsuits their past disinformation could bring down on them.

        From the article YOU linked to . . .

        Fox News has often sent mixed messages this year when has come to the Covid-19 vaccine. While several Fox Newsers appeared in a PSA last February asking viewers to “keep up the fight” again Covid-19, many of its primetime hosts have regularly and repeatedly questioned its efficacy on-air during the past several months.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Really?

          Show me the clip of a FOX host saying the vaccine doesn’t work IN CONTEXT.

          As an example, Tucker Carleson is often taken out if context saying that ‘if the vaccines work why do we have to keep wearing the masks?’

          In context, he was remarking on the requirements to wear masks in many states even if vaccinated. He wasn’t saying the vaccines didn’t work, he was saying requiring vaccinated people to wear masks casts doubts on the efficacy of the vaccines, exactly opposite of the way the clip is often repsented.

          Like

          1. Tucker Carlson is an anti-vaxxer who last time I checked had not answered the simple question – “Tucker, are you vaccinated?” Give me a good reason why not state that? The bad reason is that doing so would hurt his schtick pandering to anti-vax Trump Republicans.

            He does not have to directly say “Don’t take it” to sow doubt.

            The turnaround at Fox on Monday was noteworthy. I see the hand of lawyers at work. They are killing people and the survivors may be coming for them.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. A lot of conservatives and libertarians have been vaccinated and recommend others do the same, but at the same time are very much opposed to mandatory vaccination and mandatory mask wearing, especially now that those who want to be vaccinated have had the opportunity to do so.

            It is very easy to confuse, or mischaracterize, those freedom issues with oppostion to vaccination, but it isn’t.

            Like

        2. RE: “There is an undeniable correlation between vaccine hesitancy and being a Trump Republican.”

          That’s just false. In fact, MIT just published a study which finds no such correlation. Per the topic of this thread, you are just scapegoating and witch hunting this issue.

          Like

          1. “In fact, MIT just published a study . . .”

            I do not spread falsehoods. True facts support MY opinions if not yours.

            Republicans are a big part of the problem as reported by this MIT Sloan School study . . .

            https://psyarxiv.com/f9jq5/

            “While initially hesitant groups that are largely Democrats — such as Black people and Latinos — have shown steadily declining hesitancy, the proportion of Republicans who report they do not intend to vaccinate or are unsure has remained high, at 64%in November 2020 and 51% in early June2021 (2). Therefore, effectively motivating Republicans may be critical for containing the pandemic and thus constitutes a key public health challenge affecting all American”

            Liked by 1 person

        1. All of them have done so before, yesterday was a reiteration in response to claims they had not. Doocey and Hannity (whose brother is a physician) were vaccinated themselves as soon as it was available to them and said so at the time.

          Like

          1. Seriously? I think you are just throwing up a shield to protect them.

            Fox News hosts, until Monday, have been a major perpetrator of misinformation concerning the vaccines and thus causing SOME hesitancy among their viewers. And Kilmeade made a complete ass out of himself comparing getting vaccinated to cliff diving.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. “ They’re going to be knocking on your doors, I guess with a cotton ball and a needle, and they’re going to look to put a needle into your deltoid—stop asking questions,” Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade

        “…in May, where Tucker Carlson really started pushing the idea the vaccine was killing tens of thousands of people. A very, very minor conspiracy theory that was circulating online in the fever swamps, and he plucked it out of there and he gave it a lot of push, and that was really things started to shift over at Fox News.”

        Media Matters

        Your link was this morning when finally FOX was adamant about supporting vaccination.

        Just the other day Ingraham was referring to the vaccines as experimental. Yep, that is helping.

        Trump has not done what he could. He should tell his supporters to get the jab. It is good for them , for him and for the country. But he didn’t call off his troops 1/6 when he could have, so why bother with vaccines to help dampen variant incubation?

        So in reply, I think you are mistaken.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Trump did that back in March as he had prior to the inauguration. You have to remember that his twitter and Facebook accounts have been shut off and everything you hear from him comes through the filter of opposition media.

          You can’t censor him then complain he doesn’t speak up.

          Like

          1. Nice tap dance. He could have gone on national television. He could have done a live interview on FOX in which he appealed to his voters.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “You can’t censor him then complain he doesn’t speak up.”

            Bullshit. If Trump made a forceful statement encouraging vaccination he would get wide coverage. Or, since he is a self-declared mega-billionaire it should be chump change for him to record a PSA and run it on Fox News. It would save thousands of lives of his strongest supporters. Why has he not done something so easy and so simple? Sadly, the answer is clear – it would help Biden reach his goal.

            Are you ever going to stop making excuses for that slimy, selfish, traitorous piece of shit?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. You saw the March 16 statement on Bartiromo’s show. Is it Trump’s of FOX’s fault other networks didn’t repeat it?

            He also recommended vaccination at the Feb CPAC meeting. Whose fault is it if it wasn’t covered.

            Like

        2. Media Matters lies. It lies more that Trump ever dreamed of. As much as Hillary Clinton even. And worse, it lies by stringing together unrelated truths.

          MM attributes to Carleson every comment made by guests. It conflates issues of coercion with opposition to vaccines.

          In April he directly stated the vaccines conferred a great benefit compared to risks. He has been critical of a lack of transparency on vaccine risks, but that is rational. You don’t have to say the vaccines are risk free to say they are worth that risk.

          Like

          1. “Media Matters lies. It lies more that Trump ever dreamed of. As much as Hillary Clinton even. ”

            No, Media Matters tells truths that you do not want to hear. The most honest Presidential aspirants of recent years – as measured by the lies they told – were (1) Barack Obama and (2) Hillary Clinton. Trump, of course, is in a class by himself at the south end of the list. Your slander against Hillary Clinton is just one more of YOUR countless falsehoods aimed at Democrats and regurgitated withour reason or evidence.

            You exonerate Trump. You exonerate Fox News. So, what is your explanation for the very significant vaccine hesitancy among Trump Republicans? Are we back to stupid?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Didn’t know he was Jewish.

            But is bad, He made his fortune shorting the currencies of struggling countries. He plundered the poorest among us to get rich. You don’t get much badder than that.

            Like

          3. “ “It turns out that it’s African Americans, those are the Democratic party’s most faithful voters, who are still the most hesitant to getting vaccinated,” said Carlson. “Now they’re telling us that anybody who resists mandatory vaccination is a white supremacist.”

            https://www.newsweek.com/tucker-carlson-denies-ever-attacking-vaccine-slams-durban-who-called-him-anti-vaxx-quack-1609047

            Now why would Carlson say the Republican resistance to the vaccine are White supremacists?

            (The Blacks certainly aren’t White supremacists. The red states are the resistance, so what an incredibly stupid, damning and revealing statement is that?)

            Carlson own defense for his statements is that no one EXPECTS him to tell the truth, so he is not responsible for whatever he says.

            “ Almost four thousand people died after getting the COVID vaccines. The actual number is almost certainly much higher than that — perhaps vastly higher.”

            https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-how-many-americans-have-died-after-taking-the-covid-vaccine

            Now how is that useful to the conversation since he did not detail how, why or even among how many?

            Liked by 2 people

          4. “Didn’t know he was Jewish.”

            Uh, I think you were one of the ones spreading the slander a few years ago that Soros had betrayed his fellow Jews to survive the Holocaust. Thus my reference for your benefit of his being a “Jewish Nazi.”
            Well, you are getting on. Maybe if you once knew you have now forgotten.

            Like

          5. Never heard anything about Soros and the Holocaust. I thought he was Austrian. If it was mentioned before, I didn’t take note of it, any more than I would care if someone was Catholic or Rastafarian.

            Like

          6. “He plundered the poorest among us to get rich.”

            So, you believe in markets until you don’t? Maybe we need some more regulations?

            Soros became rich by building up a huge hedge fund from almost nothing. His skill that made him wealthy was spotting bubbles before others. Yes, his fund was involved in FOREX trading over the years. His breakthrough currency trade was in Pounds Sterling. He read the market right. Others players did not. He sold $10 Billion Sterling short and made $1 Billion when the Pound collapsed in 1992. The Bank of England is hardly “the poorest among us.” He also made similar money on the Japanese Yen. Poorest of among us? He is rumored to have also made money shorting the Thai Baht and probably some other currencies that were over-valued. That is what savvy market traders do. You make coming out ahead in unregulated transactions sound like a bad thing?

            Like

    3. Regarding the “variant petri dish” argument. The US does not exist in isolation and the 3rd world will take a decade to vaccinate, if at all. They will provide an endless stream of variants no matter what people do here.

      So, for that concern, our best defense is to let Moderna and Pfizer develop tailored boosters and release them as needed without repeating the whole testing process. The mRNA vaccines can be rapidly tweaked and released annually like flu shots to stay ahead of variants.

      Like

      1. That is a good defense. Now just convince the red states to even get the first shot and you might be on to something.

        Yes the Third World is a problem. We, as in the rich nations, were supposed to help big time. So far not so much.

        But if you live in Springfield, MO, the danger of spreading the new variants and getting additional ones is pretty localized.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. The point is that mutations happen randomly. Most are lethal to the microbe, or have no effect. A very few make the virus easier to spread or invisible to previous antibodies. So far there have been 3 such unfortunate variants.

            So, which is more likely to be the source of the next one? 20 0r 30 million unvaccinated Americans or 3.5Billion unvaccinated Chinese and Indians?

            Wherever these variants start, they will get here.

            We would do a lot better helping the 3rd world get vaccinated than coercing the few Americans who do want the vaccine.

            Like

      2. “They will provide an endless stream of variants no matter what people do here.”

        That is a VERY unscientific argument. The emergence of variants is a random event. The greater the size of the pool of infected people, the greater the chance of a dangerous mutation. The fact that mutations can arise in other countries does not reduce the culpability of unvaccinated people here.

        Beyond that, we have at least 3 million adults in this country with compromised immune systems who cannot be vaccinated. These anti-vax embeciles put each and every one of them at serious risk. You can call it a “freedom issue” if that floats your boat, but the freedom to kill other people is not in the Constitution.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There are 3.5 billion people in India and China, less than 5% vaccinated and 350 million here with over half vaccinated.

          Our ability to generate variants is insignificant.

          Immunocompromised people are indeed a problem I have a friend with a heart transplant. I get it. But because people still can get COVID after being vaccinated they are going to get exposed sooner or later no matter what we do,

          However, my friend got the Pfizer vaccine and does have antibodies, We’re thinking he should get the J&J this fall as a booster and a different approach. (viral vector)

          If you remember, from the beginning I have advocated masks and vaccine as it became available not because the governor said so but because it’s the right thing to do.

          Like

          1. “Our ability to generate variants is insignificant.”
            The ability to generate a variant is the same with each individual. Every unvaccinated person is a potential incubator for a more deadly virus. That is the simple fact of the matter.

            “They are going to get exposed sooner or later no matter what we do,”
            The point is that there IS something we can do – vaccinate everybody in this country so that the virus is not spreading around to kill such people. The pandemic is growing and spreading again and – according to the CDC – it is the unvaccinated who are causing this to happen.

            https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/covid-19-cases-rise-becoming-pandemic-unvaccinated-cdc-director-says

            “Conservatives” frame this as a “freedom issue.” That is bullshit. There is no “freedom” to spread deadly disease. This idiotic blather is killing people.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “Every unvaccinated person is a potential incubator for a more deadly virus.”

            So is every vaccinated person, potentially in a more dangerous way. We haven’t seen this with the current mRNA vaccines, but it remains a risk.

            Like

          3. Uh, more nonsense.

            The body of a vaccinated person quickly stops the virus from reproducing. The body of an unvaccinated person does not. They are no way comparable as incubators of possible variants which need a place to reproduce.

            Why are you so afraid to get a vaccine that many tens of millions of adults have taken with no ill effects? What is wrong with you? You show evidence of having absorbed a lot of “conservative” lies about its affects. Afraid of being micro-chipped? Afraid of becoming a mutant? What?

            Liked by 1 person

  2. So you would make “scapegoating” illegal. But “censorship” is baaaad.
    This is an example of just how clear your “thinking” actually is.
    What is “scapegoating” but speech you would censor?

    By the way, you claim this is a false statement . . .
    “universal vaccination is the best way we know of to slow down variants.”
    Okay, what is a BETTER way that we know of? Or are you just full of hot air?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Okay, what is a BETTER way that we know of?”

      Since vaccines can cause variants to emerge, natural immunity via infection might be better.

      Like

      1. “Since vaccines can cause variants to emerge.”

        That is COMPLETE nonsense.
        It says A LOT about where you get your “information” that you would believe and repeat a thoroughly debunked piece of rubbish like that. Do none of your sources EVER do any fact checking before feeding you this garbage? NYT and WAPO thoroughly check their facts. It is what real journalists do.

        https://www.healthline.com/health-news/no-vaccines-do-not-cause-new-sars-cov-2-variants#block-a878f2dc-2f9b-4773-9fbc-a2f4ab3cb753

        Liked by 2 people

  3. What did he want? 70%. What did he get? 67%
    Not bad when dealing with America’s Exceptional stupidity.

    If you could do as well on an IQ test, we’d not be here.

    Liked by 2 people

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