‘Belief in Freedom’ Is
Bad for You

“One possibility relates to a distrust of government or belief in freedom that contributes to both vaccination preferences and increased traffic risks.” 

As Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones) proclaimed in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “who is this who is so wise in the ways of science?” Behold the authors of  COVID Vaccine Hesitancy and Risk of a Traffic Crash, published by the American Journal of Medicine but authored by a trio in Canada.

Author Donald A. Redelmeier, M.D. (Doctor of Medicine), FRCPC (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada), MSHSR (Masters in Health Services Research), FACP (Fellowship in the American College of Physicians) works in “evaluative clinical sciences” at the Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto.  

Author Jonathan Wang, MMASc (Masters of Management of Applied Science) is with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the department of medicine at the University of Toronto. Which particular science Wang applies is not specified.

Author Deva Thiruchelvam, MSc, (Masters of Sciences) is also with the ICES and the Sunnybrook Institute, in Toronto. The profile does not indicate which sciences the author managed to master. Nevertheless, this trio set out to test whether COVID vaccination was associated with the risks of a traffic crash.

A total of 11,270,763 individuals were included, of whom 16 percent had not received a COVID vaccine and 84 percent had received a COVID vaccine. The cohort accounted for 6682 traffic crashes. Unvaccinated individuals accounted for 1682 traffic crashes (25 percent), equal to a 72 percent increased relative risk compared with those vaccinated.

“These data suggest that COVID vaccine hesitancy is associated with significant increased risks of a traffic crash,” (emphasis) the authors contend. That does not betoken a strong case.

In their quest to apply science, the authors might have cited reasons why some people hesitate to take a COVID vaccine shot. Maybe it’s because the COVID vaccines don’t work very well. 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, for example, do not prevent acquisition or transmission of COVID-19. Joe Biden and advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci were shot up more times than a Toronto junkie, yet both tested positive. See here and here. That should be enough to make anybody hesitate, and the Pfizer vaccine raises another issue.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sought court approval to delay release of the data used to approve the Pfizer vaccine until 2096, a full 75 years, in effect, a proxy for “never.” As attorney Aaron Siri notes, vaccines are now widely mandated, and those injured by the vaccine cannot sue Pfizer, which profits from its product. That was not true of the Salk and Sabin vaccines, which creators Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin gave away for free, and which proved very effective against polio.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the COVID vaccines have brought reports of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. That would be bad for airline pilots, who face regular medical tests to keep their job. So the pilots have grounds for vaccine hesitancy.

Other possibilities for significant increased risk of a traffic crash include, “distrust of government or belief in freedom.” This needs further study.

Governments have been known to lie, indulge corruption, start destructive wars, and slap their own citizens into internment camps. Native peoples have good reason to distrust the American and Canadian governments, without any association with increased risk of traffic crash. In similar style, the authors come up short on reasons why people might believe in freedom.

Runaway slaves certainly believed in freedom, otherwise they would have stayed on the plantation. A belief in freedom also inspired many to risk their lives fleeing Stalinist dictatorships such as Cuba, North Korea and East Germany. It has been established that free societies outperform dictatorships on every indicator, particularly human rights. Belief in freedom is about a lot more than how it might factor into increased risk of a traffic crash. 

Alternative factors in vaccine hesitancy also include “political identity,” but despite many possibilities—New Democratic Party, Progressive Conservative, Communist, Democrat Libertarian, Green Party, etc.—the authors fail to detail the political identity they have in mind.  Another factor in vaccine hesitancy is “antipathy toward regulation” and “exposure to misinformation,” again without detail.

Readers might wonder how those excessively trustful of government, those believing in totalitarianism, worshipful of dictators and supporters of government regulation, account for traffic crashes and other safety issues. Without conducting further research, those dangerous believers in freedom have cause to classify this study as junk science.

Redelmeier, Wang, and Thiruchelvam make it clear that they don’t believe in freedom. For this trio, government always knows best and “misinformation” is anything the government doesn’t like. Vaccines are always perfectly safe and government vaccine mandates are good. Those skeptical of government in any way are just bad people.

COVID Vaccine Hesitancy and Risk of a Traffic Crash is white coat supremacy boilerplate. Look for more of the same in 2023 and beyond.

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

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