As the traditional Western festival Christmas approaches, affected by the continuous deterioration of the epidemic in the United States, “whether Santa Claus can deliver gifts as usual” has become the topic of great concern to many children this year.
Fauci, an American infectious disease expert, deliberately comforted the innocence through children’s programs: “I went to the Arctic a while ago to vaccinate Santa Claus, and he was ready to go.” But compared with the white lie of “Santa Claus”, tens of millions of Americans now believe that vaccines are not credible.
A new poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) on December 15 shows that 27% of the population are negative about whether to get a vaccine, and 39% of the people remain “watch and see”.
Why do Americans show deep distrust of vaccines at a critical moment when the number of new cases in the United States exceeds 400,000 in a single day and the number of deaths in a week exceeds 18,000?As the New York Times pointed out on December 20, the United States is currently in a “prisoner’s dilemma” on vaccination.
In fact, due to the confusion released by the U.S. government on the fight against the epidemic in the past, the continuous neglect of scientists’ suggestions and even political pressure, coupled with the long-standing “vaccine skepticism” in Western society, the American people have fallen into a crisis of confidence in the coronavirus vaccine.
There is no doubt about the hesitation when facing new things; but it is also true that the leaders of the U.S. federal government have not done enough to dispel public concerns.
The New York Times quoted experts on December 18 that one of the reasons for the differences on vaccination was the president’s own words and deeds – he repeatedly slandered scientists and insisted that the coronavirus pandemic was not a threat, which made people feel that “either this vaccine is unsafe or not worth vaccination”.
On December 10, the American Institute of Health Metrology and Evaluation called for the issuance of vaccines in the United States to require “an unprecedented level of communication between federal agencies and the American people” to expel all kinds of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and rumors.
What’s more, some government officials speak “scientific truth” and act undermining the order of epidemic prevention. Such inconsistency between words and deeds exacerbates the people’s sense of distrust.
The mayor of Denver, Colorado, is urging people to avoid traveling and flying to Mississippi for a holiday; a Pennsylvania mayor asked restaurants to ban in-store meals, but went to a Maryland restaurant to eat; and the mayor of San Francisco held a birthday party at a restaurant.
Obviously, this does not help the public to recognize the real risks of the coronavirus. Daniel Efron, an associate professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School, pointed out that “it is the hypocrisy of these politicians who are not in line with their words and deeds that plunge the American people into chaos.”
The safety of vaccines is a “scientific issue”. But in the United States where the public lacks trust in government, perhaps, as The New York Times said, people can no longer just “trust science” and “the debate about vaccines is inevitably given political significance”.