Macron Wants to "Fu** Up" the Life of Unvaccinated Citizens
When a G7 leader like Emmanuel Macron uses a high profile interview to demonise a large minority of the citizens he is supposed to represent for their private health choices, you know that the worldview of Western political elites has shifted decisively away from the core values of constitutional democracy.
When the President of the French Republic feels at liberty to say in a public interview that he wants to “fu** up” (“emmerder”) the life of citizens who decline a Covid vaccine, irrespective of their personal circumstances or motives, you know the politics of “Zero Covid” and “crush the curve” has assumed the ugly garb of shameless bigotry and medical apartheid.
When this sort of incendiary, exclusionary language is echoed by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada, who have both suggested or strongly implied that parents should not let their children mix with unvaccinated families, you know that this is not just one Western leader going off the deep end, but a worrying international trend toward an ugly and brutish form of medical segregation, no different, morally speaking, from Nazi anti-semitism or racial apartheid.
The word Macron used was "emmerder" - a crude colloquial term, in this context meaning "screw up" “piss off,” or "fu** up" someone's life. Yes, you heard that right: the President of the French Republic wants to "fu** up" the life of the unvaccinated. While he would stop short of putting them in prison or putting the needle in forcibly, he wants to go “all the way” (“jusqu’au bout”) in “limiting their access to social life.” Basically, he wants to marginalise the hell out of them. Why not, given that in his eyes, they are “irresponsible” individuals, and “irresponsible” people “have forfeited their citizenship” (“un irresponsable n’est plus an citoyen”).
When pressed, Mr Macron did not back away from his remarks.
Mr Macron is an intelligent man. He knows the international context against which his remarks will be interpreted. He is reinforcing a trend of systematic exclusion and discrimination against unvaccinated citizens. He cannot be so naive as to be unaware that his simplistic, condemnatory stance toward the unvaccinated will be grist to the mill of those who would actually like to see the unvaccinated rounded up and put in prison.
And what precisely did “unvaccinated” citizens do to incur Mr Macron’s wrath and to earn exclusion from the ordinary privileges of citizenship? Did they conspire to destroy the State, or commit a heinous crime? Did they intend to commit a terrorist act? Did they actively incite their fellow citizens to commit some crime? No, none of the above. All they did to incur Mr Macron’s wrath was to politely decline to take a vaccine recommended by the State.
According to Mr Macron, that choice is putting his nation’s hospitals in jeopardy. But Mr Macron is either lying through his teeth, or spinning a yarn out of a half-truth. The half-truth is that some people may, by declining the vaccine, increase their chances of hospitalisation, at least on one reading of official Covid hospitalisation data.
This is only a half-truth for two reasons: first it is impossible to know at this point how many hospitalisations attributed to Covid-19 were in fact caused by Covid-19, since prevailing methods for recording hospitalisations do not properly distinguish between Covid positivity and clinical diagnosis with serious Covid disease. (what if you come into hospital and die of cancer, but tested positive for Covid ten days ago? Your death may have little or nothing to do with Covid-19). This inevitably leads to Covid hospitalisations being significantly over-counted, given that most patients hospitalised with Covid go in with underlying conditions independent from Covid.
Second, it is not known at this time how many Covid and non-Covid hospitalisations are due to vaccine side-effects, because vaccine adverse effect data collection is notoriously incomplete, non-systematic, and underresourced. Obviously, plenty of people with one or more jabs end up in hospital, so it is reasonable to assume that at least some of them, including people hospitalised without Covid-19, are suffering from the adverse effects of vaccines.
But let’s just assume, for the sake of argument, that some Covid hospitalisations could have been avoided, or made less serious, if some unvaccinated individuals or cohorts had chosen to vaccinate. This is a half-truth, given the incompleteness of the available data. But let’s accept this half-truth, for argument’s sake, and see whether it gets us to Macron’s wholesale condemnation of “the unvaccinated.”
It does not. Because it is now well established from Covid positivity data1 and viral load studies (see, for example, this study from the Lancet) that vaccination does not provide strong and enduring protection against Covid infection, or lower the viral load of those infected with Covid. So the constant insinuation that unvaccinated people are harbouring and spreading the virus significantly more than the vaccinated is unscientific nonsense.
We also know, from UK hospitalisation data and from numerous peer-reviewed studies, including one published on the website of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control, that the risk of hospitalisation with Covid is heavily conditioned by three factors: first, whether or not a person has underlying diseases or comorbidity; second, how old a person is; and third, whether or not a person has been exposed previously to Covid-19.
Data suggests that:
the vast majority of Covid hospitalisations involve underlying conditions - over 94% according to this study published on the CDC website;
the risk of Covid hospitalisation and severe outcomes ramps up dramatically as age advances;2 and
the rate of serious illness and hospitalisation is dramatically lower in the Covid- recovered (even without vaccination) than in those who have received a vaccine but have not been exposed previously to Covid-19 (as shown, for example, in this study).
Even admitting, for the sake of argument, that being unvaccinated may put some people at higher risk of hospitalisation with Covid-19, it is scientifically baseless to suggest that (a) the unvaccinated are spreading the virus around at significantly higher levels than the vaccinated, or that (b) failing to vaccinate elevates the risk of hospitalisation independently from a person’s individual circumstances or medical history. Hospitalisation risks among the unvaccinated vary dramatically, by orders of magnitude across the young and old, healthy and clinically vulnerable, and Covid-innocent versus Covid-recovered. Yet Messrs. Macron, Biden, and Trudeau are turning a blind eye to these incontestable scientific facts when they allege or imply that anyone who is unvaccinated is spreading Covid-19 and filling up our hospitals.
Even if we could prove that anyone who declines a vaccine, independently of his age, health, and medical history, is thereby placing himself at higher risk of hospitalisation (we cannot, because it is demonstrably false), this would in no way justify the disgraceful treatment citizens who have declined the Covid vaccine are receiving. First, the right to informed consent, at least in adults of sound mind, is fundamental to a free society and has not generally been put in question in the West since the Nazis carried out cruel medical experiments on non-consenting patients.
Second, a free and open society does not punish people publicly for not living an optimal lifestyle. Villifying, demonising, and marginalising those we perceive to be clinically vulnerable due to their own voluntary choices is the mark of a cruel, unforgiving, and sectarian society. If we decide to go down that road, then we should also be shutting obese people out of social venues and demanding that people show a BMI (Body Mass Index) pass to access restaurants and theatres, given that Body Mass Index is one of the strongest predictors of severe Covid outcomes, and is clearly influenced by people’s lifestyle choices.
Some lies and simplifications are widely tolerated as part of the game of politics. But the effort to pin infections and hospitalisations indiscriminately on those of us who, after assessing the relevant risks and benefits, have opted not to take a Covid vaccine, is especially intolerable, because it is turning the unvaccinated into scapegoats for the perceived failures of Western health systems, and is being used to justify the most cruel and illiberal forms of persecution of citizens who have committed no wrong other than to decline the vaccination advice of their government.
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According to one Swedish study, described here, the relative protection against symptomatic infection dropped to 48% within 4 to 6 months. This is corroborated by recent PCR testing data from the UK Health Security Agency, showing that case rates recently detected among over-30s who are vaccinated are comparable to or higher than rates among their unvaccinated counterparts.
For example, the risk Covid-19 poses to the life of the elderly varies a thousandfold or more from the risk to children (the estimated Infection Fatality Rate for over 80s in Spain, for example, is a thousand times greater than for 10-19 year-olds). According to official ONS data from the UK, adults between 25 and 44 years old were hospitalised in the week ending November 27th at a rate of 4.14 per 100,000, a rate that doubles for people 55-64, and quadruples for people 75-84. This is raw data, which means the rate for people without underlying conditions would be substantially lower.