Reading Kaiser Health News every morning for me is akin to starting my day with a double hot fudge sundae with multiple cherries on top. KHN’s news staff understands how dishonest and corrupt U.S. healthcare has become and they do an admirable job reporting on the pervasive filth throughout the industry. If reading KHN was mandatory for all Americans, private equity executives, hospital CEOs, and other healthcare cartel leaders would be trembling in shelters hoping to escape detection from the vigilantes parading through the streets with guillotines looking to administer Dana Nessel-style frontier justice.
KHN this morning featured this story that distinguished its superior understanding of the healthcare industry and the agencies responsible for protecting the American public’s health. Regardless of your political persuasion or whether you are a die-hard vaccine advocate or a hard core anti vaxxer, the story should give pause for concern because it makes clear the Biden Administration was premature and irresponsible announcing today that it hopes to begin rolling out booster vaccines in September. Neither the CDC nor the FDA have yet to recommend booster shots, and some credible experts warn they possibly could do more harm than good.
“(Boosters) are not where we should be in this country right now,” Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an advisor to the National Institutes of Health and FDA, told KHN. Offit said there’s no “science-based” reason to get an additional shot at this time.
Dr. Sadiya Khan, an epidemiologist and cardiologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, warned that taking any medication has risks and that adding an additional dose of vaccine might cause adverse side effects.
“What we need is data,” Khan told KHN, echoing a concern of some doctors who have been censored and demonized for making a similar comment.
Khan’s concern about the safety of a booster vaccine is consistent with a comment made last month by Jay Butler, a CDC deputy director.
“We’re keenly interested in knowing whether or not a third dose may be associated with any higher risk of adverse reactions, particularly some of those more severe – although very rare – side effects,” Reuters quoted Butler as saying at July 13 media briefing.
Dr. Cody Meissner, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases who sits on the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel, told KHN the public should await a decision from the CDC and the FDA about taking booster shots, rather than rely on the assurances of the drug companies that manufacture the doses. Meissner said the CDC and the FDA are “doing their best” to ensure maximum COVID protection and safety.
“People have to be very careful about statements that come from Big Pharma,” Meissner warned. “They have a very different goal.”
I’m not an expert on science or vaccines but having managed a successful PR firm for more than 20 years I know quite a bit about crisis communications. And the CDC, the FDA, and the National Institutes of Health have a real crisis on their hands: A recent survey revealed that a majority of Americans don’t trust them. That’s not a good place to be amid a pandemic.
The distrust is understandable. It relates to the mixed and constantly changing messages being voiced by America’s public officials. One day Dr. Fauci says masks don’t work. Then he says they do. The public was led to believe that vaccinations were the panacea that would allow Americans to resume a normal life and shed their masks. We’re learning that vaccines aren’t generating all the promised results and masks are in the cards for the foreseeable future. The Biden Administration and the corporate media demonized the unvaccinated and blamed them for putting the health of the vaccinated at risk. Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins says, “those who are unvaccinated pose no risk to the vaccinated beyond that of a common cold.”
The Biden Administration’s decision to announce the rollout of booster shots risked fostering more doubt and distrust. If the data shows the health risks with booster vaccines outweigh the potential benefits, the reversal will be another major credibility blow to the CDC and the FDA, despite both agencies never having recommended the boosters in the first place. The public rightfully expects the Biden Administration’s COVID policies are based on science and made in consultation and with the approval of the appropriate health agencies. That certainly doesn’t appear to be the case.
Much of the public is frightened and confused, and a growing swath is becoming increasingly angry with the Biden Administration’s mismanagement of the pandemic. To restore trust, politics needs to be taken out of the equation. That was a critical part of the CDC crisis communications plan that was developed in anticipation of a pandemic: Doctors and scientists would be the ones to play front and center roles to minimize the perception that any regulatory decisions were politically driven. Donald Trump, Andrew Cuomo, and others ignored the recommendation and that’s how masks, lockdowns, and other preventive measures became so politicized.
To restore the public trust’s, Biden Administration officials should step aside and let CDC, FDA, and National Institutes of Health officials communicate their policy decisions. These agencies should work closely together to ensure their messages are aligned. They also need to manage the public’s expectations and educate people there are a myriad of unknowns and developing the best pandemic solutions will result from trial and error. A magic wand isn’t in the offing that will overnight eradicate the virus. It’s not the news people want to hear but it’s the truth.
Dr. Fauci has become too much of a lightning rod and the CDC needs a more inspiring public representative than Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who generates fear rather than confidence. I imagine there are credible and capable people who can step up to the plate.
America has some of the best medical experts in the world, including renowned authorities on combating pandemics. It’s time we let them do their jobs and prevent their work from being undermined.