Unfortunately, we now live in an era with untold levels of skepticism about public health and many doubts about whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be trusted, which is really sad. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we already had vaccine-hesitant parents and even activists who were against all vaccines. You now have people talking about whether germs really cause disease.
It reminds me of Carl Sagan and the demon-haunted world. You end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy, with these people coming out with half-truths or very sad distortions of what’s real and valid. Now there are all these Americans who don’t have poliovirus immunity because they chose not to have the vaccine or chose to not have their children get it.
They’re sitting ducks to have these low-probability outcomes on an individual level, but when you get enough people with poliovirus exposure, some of them are going to get poliomyelitis, which is an irreversible paralytic disease. Now we know that this virus has made it: Vaccine-derived polio has shown up in England. Now we’re seeing it in New York City in large numbers and in other parts of the US. It’s a grave concern.