In his Jan. 10 letter, Stuart Allen objected to my using the term “Trump cultists.” Allen stated that he has yet to meet a Trump cultist. He also suggested that “almost all Republicans don’t want him in the party …”
I am heartened by Allen’s observations as I regard Trump as our most disgraceful president. And I really, really wish it was true. Unfortunately, it isn’t.
While there has been a modest erosion of support for Trump among all voters, a recent poll reports that among Republican voters, 70 percent have a favorable opinion of Trump while only 20 percent have an unfavorable opinion (https://poll.qu.edu/poll-release?releaseid=3863).
Allen goes on to quibble with my most recent letter in which I opined that Trump caused hundreds of thousands of needless U.S. COVID deaths. Trump minimized the COVID pandemic, predicted it would spontaneously disappear, denigrated masking and suggested we ingest bleach or quack medicines as miraculous cures. Nevertheless, Allen asserts that there is no “proof” that Trump caused even one COVID death.
Allen is technically correct inasmuch as, absent time travel or a visit to an asynchronous parallel universe, it’s impossible to “prove” things might have been different. However, I didn’t pull this figure out of the air. Just Google “needless U.S. COVID deaths” and you’ll see that there have been numerous studies by public health experts that have drawn this very same conclusion.
Allen notes that COVID vaccines were developed when Trump was president. While the vaccines were deployed while Trump was president, he’s hardly responsible for their development. Credit goes to the many scientists around the world who worked tirelessly to create and validate the vaccines.
The miraculous mRNA COVID vaccines are the result of decades of research by scientists from both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. That would be the very same pharmaceutical industry that far lefties like Bernie Sanders constantly demonize.
Way back in 1985 I was awarded a grant by the NIH for a project to regenerate a cellular receptor that was deficient in systemic lupus erythematosus. I used the same concept as the COVID mRNA vaccines – encapsulating mRNA in lipid vesicles.
My project was unsuccessful. As a scientist, one learns to be resilient when encountering failure and humble when achieving success.
The battle against COVID is far from over. The virus that causes COVID continues to evolve. China’s mishandling of the pandemic, which recently transformed from zero COVID to zero containment, affords the virus an excellent chance to mutate further. Moreover, China eschews the highly effective mRNA vaccines and instead relies on its own ineffective vaccine. This may generate variants that will be more difficult to treat.
Here at home, those who decline vaccination provide an environment for mutation, thereby endangering all of us. It’s a shame that we have to battle not only the virus but the willful ignorance of those who spout anti-vaccine nonsense.