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COVID-19 Pandemic; Anti-Vaxxers Right and Left

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We at the Justice Integrity Projectpresent another guest column on a timely topic by Dr. Steven Jonas, right, MD, MPH, MS, a professor emeritus stephen jonasof Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook Medicine (NY) and author / co-author / editor / co-editor of over 35 books. He has been published also on many current affairs news sites. His own political website,, will eventually archive the close to 1,000 political columns he has published since 2004.

He was also a stony brook medicine2career triathlete (36 seasons, 256 multi-sport races), who is now retired from the sport.

His latest book is Ending the ‘Drug War’; Solving the Drug Problem: The Public Health Approach, Punto Press Publishing, (Brewster, NY, 2016). It is available on Kindle from Amazon, and also in hardcover from Amazon. In 1996, he published a ‘future history’ of the United States entitled The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022: A Futuristic Novel (Third Edition published by Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, and also available on Amazon.

By Dr. Steven Jonas

The political (and it is primarily political) controversy over vaccination continues apace in this country. Of course, it is led primarily by the Republo-fascist Party because, in my view, they want to make things as bad as they can for the Biden Administration. There is also a small (but noisy) anti-vaxx cadre on the Left which cadre is sure that the vaccines which have been produced in this country will produce major harms down the road (that is WAY down the road — 15 years [easily tested-for, of course]). Further, like the much noisier ones on the Right they confuse the word “mandate” with the concept of forced vaccination (which NO one is proposing).

An Introductory Historical Note

Not too many people, other than students of Nazism, know that there was a “left-wing” of the Nazi Party. It was headed by the Strasser brothers, Otto and Gregor. As the beginning of the Wikipedia entry on them says:

“Strasserism (German: Strasserismus or Straßerismus) is a strand of Nazism that calls for a more radical, mass-action and worker-based form of Nazism hostile to Jews not from a racial, cultural or religious perspective, but from an anti-capitalist basis to achieve a national rebirth. It derives its name from Gregor and Otto Strasser, two brothers initially associated with this position.” This is a subject to which I shall return at the end of the column.

Some Comments on Vaccination, its Effectiveness, and Side-effectsDoes vaccination work to prevent acquisition of this highly infectious disease, transmitted through the air? Yes, most of the time. And when it doesn’t prevent infection of a specific individual, in most of those cases it diminishes the severity of the resulting illness.

covad 19 photo.jpg Custom 2Does vaccination have side-effects? Yes, it does. In most cases, beyond short-duration tenderness and redness at the injection site, are they primarily annoying rather incapacitating? Yes. As an example, I had the “tireds” for about two weeks after I received my second shot last spring. I had them again for a shorter period of time after I received my booster at the beginning of October. (Oh yes. I received the Pfizer vaccine.)

Have a significant number of people died after receiving the vaccine? The anti-vaxxers say “yes,” but don’t seem to be able to provide any data supporting their position (at least I haven’t seen any, and I am on a couple of left-wing anti-vaxx listservs, so presumably if there were any, it would have been sent around)…. . But one wonders, in this country why would the CDC not respond as vigorously to that situation as they have to the pandemic? Oh, I know. Because each and every employee at CDC is part of the “plandemic” plot and they really want to kill people beyond those who the virus has killed (at least according to cause-of-death reports, which are “obviously” false).

Might there be some very long-term side effect[s], resulting from this vaccine which is based on an entirely new and different mode of vaccine production? Yes, we are told by the anti-vaxxers, 15 years down the road there is going to be some significant damage, of some (unknown) kind, to the human population who took the vaccine. But of course, we do not know that to be true. It is indeed speculation. And if that speculation (which has no scientific basis, it’s only speculation) proved to be entirely incorrect, then possibly hundreds of millions of persons would have died unnecessarily. Hmm.

On the anti-Vaxxers

From the Left, there are folks like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Well, at least he’s consistent. He is against all vaccination, of children anyway, because of the association of certain child-hood vaccines (required for school entrance, by the way) which cause autism. That that is an hypothesis which has been proven to be entirely wrong seems to make no difference to Mr. Kennedy and his allies.

But at least he’s consistent. Most other anti-vaxxers, whether from the Left or from the Right seem to be entirely happy with traditional, required, pre-school vaccination programs, and with certain required vaccinations for certain kinds of employment or travel to certain locales (e.g., for Yellow Fever or polio).

Both the anti-vaxx Left and the anti-vaxx Right talk about refusing vaccination as a matter of “personal freedom.” Well first of all, it should be made clear that no one, at least on the Public Health side, is taking the position that people can be forced to be vaccinated. (And I have seen folks on the Left accidentally or purposefully confuse the public health position that vaccination can be required for, say, certain kinds of employment or entry into certain kinds of public spaces with a foreced-vacciantion position). . . .

The anti-Maskers

As for anti-maskers, for a disease transmitted entirely through the air, it is the most effective means for reducing transmission. Can masks be uncomfortable? They sure can (I wear mine every time I go outside, double-vaxxed and boostered or no. Comfortable? No. But I wear it.) Ah ha, you might say, so you don’t trust the vaccine, eh? Well, no I don’t not trust it, but there are exceptions to every rule, so why take a chance? As for right-wing anti-mask mandates/laws, I dealt with that subject at length here: Click Here. As for left-wingers who are against mask mandates because they interfere with their personal freedom, I haven’t dealt with that open in any detail, although I do bring up the defecation-in-a-public-water-supply Comparo with them on occasion.

As for the Governor who claimed that masks inhibit God’s love from getting into the person (sorry; misplaced that reference) how does he know that God is not a mask-wearer? Then apparently there are one or more anti-mask physicians who refuse, for example, to wear a mask when talking with, for example, an immune-compromised patient, because wearing a mask in any situation makes the doc uncomfortable. Must have forgotten the Hippocratic oath to which one has sworn: “First, do no harm.”

As for “do no harm,” on a Chris Hayes telecast, at a right-wing talker’s “town hall” a questioner asked, in reference to school board mask-mandates, “when do we start using our guns?”

Various Treatments

On ivermectin, and other proposed treatments, as THE approach to the pandemic in general, in order to avoid some negative effects that MIGHT (or might not) occur 15 years from now, they all rely on waiting until a patient becomes sick (and infectious). Furthermore, there is the matter of proof, or more important, being able to prove. Randomly allocated/double-blind studies which have to take place in persons already ill (where the alternative to ivermectin or other is hospital care which is known to be effective in most cases if caught early enough) cannot be carried out, for obvious ethical reasons. Even if it works, and no even semi- controlled studies to date have shown that it does, it does NOT, indeed cannot, prevent transmission. And further, on the subject, a controlled double-blind study would be very difficult to carry out. In what randomized group of sick patients will be found one-half who will be getting nothing to help them deal with the disease they already have (different from clinical trials of vaccines, where everyone is healthy to begin with). . . .

In summary, the Left anti-vaxxers think that they would be supporting/benefiting the public’s health according to some version of public health science. That version must come from another planet, and maybe the crew of the Good Ship Enterprise will find it someday. It is simply not the public health science to which virtually all public scientists (including myself, M.P.H., Board-certified in Preventive Medicine) subscribe. Are there a few exceptions here and there? Surely. Tell me of a human endeavour in which that sort of thing doesn’t occur. As for the political Right, it cares not a whit about the public’s health (see the cited columns above). It’s all about politics, right-wing politics of course, and at this stage of the pandemic, with Joe Biden in the White House, doing anything they possibly can to make him look bad.

Be Careful Who You Ally With

Finally, as for allies in the anti-vaxx struggle, of the two “Left-wing” Strasser brothers mentioned at the beginning of this column, Otto left the Party and Germany in 1930 (and somehow managed to survive the War). Gregor remained a Nazi through the early days of the Hitler Dictatorship, while still pronouncing his “left-wing” views.

On the Night of the Long Knives, many of Hitler’s enemies both within and outside of the Party, but still right-wingers, were killed. One prominent example was Ernst Roehm, the Commander of Hitler’s private army, the Sturmabteilung, which had fought street battles for him from the early 1920′s. He was killed, as the price to be paid for the continued support of the Military and the German ruling class. E.g., the SA’s dissolution (remember, it was a private army, directly loyal to Hitler) was demanded by the German armed forces as the price of their support for Hitler and his dictatorship. On other side, the “leftie” Gregor Strasser, Hitler supporter from the early days in the 1920′s, was also murdered.

 Editor’s note: This column was previously published here by OpEdNews, which also published extensive links for reference purposes as well as a reader comment section.

Contact the author Andrew Kreig

  Related News and Commentary

Chris Mora of California sits amid the art installation “In America: Remember,” which features flags representing every death from covid-19 in the United States, on the National Mall on Sept. 24. (Craig Hudson/For the Washington Post)

Chris Mora of California sits amid the art installation “In America: Remember,” which features flags representing every death from covid-19 in the United States, on the National Mall on Sept. 24. (Craig Hudson/For the Washington Post). The symbolic heart of Washington has been covered by nearly 700,000 white flags, each about a foot tall, representing the American lives lost to covid-19 and holding written memories from loved ones. The flags have been packed tightly into 60-foot-by-60-foot quadrants on 20 acres near the Washington Monument and the National Museum of African and African American History and Culture.

washington post logoWashington Post, Opinion: What the 700,000 flags I put on the National Mall really mean, Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg (a social practice artist), Oct. 1, 2021. Twenty-five years of hospice volunteering has taught me that the most important thing we can afford people is their dignity.

That lesson formed the backbone of “In America: Remember,” my art installation that for the past three weeks blanketed Washington’s National Mall with 700,000 fluttering white flags, each one representing an American lost to the coronavirus pandemic. The art is an effort to reclaim the dignity of 700,000 people who have become reduced to a single number, a number too large to fathom.

My project began with outrage. I was outraged we had elected officials who would devalue the lives of the elderly, the poor and people of color in their approach to managing the pandemic. I was outraged we had allowed the death toll here in the United States to become so large as to be incomprehensible.

But the deeper meaning came when I heard the stories. In person, they poured out. Many visitors used the Sharpies we offered them to write their own dedications directly onto the flags. With each of their stories, my anger gave way to their outcries of grief.


 Recent health-related news and comment is provided below in reverse chronological order via selections by the Justice Integrity Project. Dr. Jonas is not responsible for the selections:


Dec. 29

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 28

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 27

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 26

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 25

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 24

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 23

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 22

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 21

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 20

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 19

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 18

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 17

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 16

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 15

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 14

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 13

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 12

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 11

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 10

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 9

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 8

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 7

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 6

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 5

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 4

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 3

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 2

Virus Victims, Responses

Dec. 1

Virus Victims, Responses

Contact the author Andrew Kreig


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    • Anonymous

      jackass–you have zero justice–not even a speck of integrity –your bullshit is all slanted one way–your choice of words shows it–your like a used car dealer that calls himself “Honest Abe”–nothing but a liar and thief—assholes like you are the root of all problems in the usa–your a mental jerk,probably a Borderline Personality Disorder,which 99.9 percent are not treatable –return to hell,your true father misses you,jack wad

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