Monday, August 24, 2020

Would You Take A Vaccine From Donald Trump?


My Twitter polls aren't scientific-- sort of like Trump's desperation to get a COVID vaccine out before the election, whether ir works, doesn't work-- or kills or maims some of the people who use it. But I enjoy my Twitter polls and the one above is just that. I can't vote in my own own polls but I would have voted for the last choice, like almost everyone else did. Now a recent Gallup poll about the pandemic-- unlike my twitter poll or Trump's decision to force the FDA to release an untested vaccine and approve a bogus treatment-- is scientific. And it shows that more than a third of the country is skeptical about taking a free, FDA-approved vaccine:

Gallup wrote that they have consistently seen that U.S. party preferences play a strong role in Americans' views on COVID-19 and this new poll shows that 81% of Democrats are willing to be vaccinated today comparesd with 59% of independents and just under half of Republicans, 47%. Odd, but presumably Democrats aren't following the dots to Trump's manipulation of science for the sake of his doomed campaign.
As the situation stands today, the nation's influencers -- including health professionals, policymakers and leaders -- who see a vaccine as a way forward may have their work cut out for them in persuading Americans to take advantage of such an option. Policymakers in government, healthcare, industry and education will need to anticipate that a significant proportion of the population will be hesitant to get a vaccine, even at no cost. Some of the most at-risk populations, including non-White and rural Americans, may not only be hesitant but resistant to getting vaccinated. Employers continuing to grapple with new workplace realities must also anticipate that a number of their workers may resist a vaccine.

Such resistance is not unprecedented. When Gallup in 1954 asked U.S. adults who had heard or read about the then-new polio vaccine, "Would you like to take this new polio vaccine (to keep people from getting polio) yourself?" just 60% said they would, while 31% said they would not. So far, willingness to adopt a new vaccine looks similar today. Leaders in favor of a vaccine may be well-served to study what caused the public to ultimately adopt earlier vaccines as they consider how best to influence Americans to take advantage of such an option now.
It isn't going to help public confidence that Trump, who is extremely distrusted-- more so than any other president in living memory-- pressured the FDA to approve a treatment that many scientists claim isn't ready for general use yet. Expect to hear a lot about "convalescent plasma," which has already been in use for treating some COVID-19 patients. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said he is "optimistic" that the treatment may work and cautioned that the FDA will work with researchers "to study the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma in treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus."

Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, tweeted yesterday that he's "been optimistic about convalescent plasma as therapy. But optimism isn't science. We need results of adequately powered randomized trials. Issuing an EUA without it would make such trials harder. And erode the credibility of the FDA." The FDA? Didn't Trump call them the "Deep State" trying to sabotage his campaign by withholding a vaccine last week? That probably puts Hahn's and other peoples' lives in danger for real.

Politico reported that the FDA "held off on the decision last week over concerns from government scientists that evidence for the treatment’s effectiveness is thin-- prompting Trump to accuse the FDA of slow-walking the therapy to harm his reelection chances without offering any evidence to support his claim. It is not clear whether the FDA has received additional clinical trial data in the last week that would support the therapy's use." Does Trump's threat count as "additional clinical trial data?"

And that's more-- as in to hell with normal American regulatory standards so Trumpanzee can make some kind of bogus claims that by fast-tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine from the UK for use in America ahead of the presidential election, he might get more votes. "One option being explored to speed up the availability of a vaccine," reported the Financial Times would involve the US Food and Drug Administration awarding 'emergency use authorization' in October to a vaccine being developed in a partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford university, based on the results from a relatively small UK study if it is successful."

This has disaster writ large all over it. And I think there are numerous people in the U.S.-- at least according to this new CBS New/YouGov poll who aren't getting anywhere near the front line for any vaccines that smack of a Trump stunt.

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At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't let Trump swallow my urine if he claimed it would cure his dementia.


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