We’ve probably all heard the adage, “Hope is not a strategy.” Books have been written on it, troops and teams have been motivated by it, parents and politicians have used it as a reason to create attainable goals and plan for the future. What we might not have seen or even imagined before is “hope” being used as both strategy and justification for a public health response to a worldwide pandemic.

The House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis recently held a hearing with Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator under President Trump. Congressman Jim Jordan asked Birx if officials were lying or guessing when they told the public that people who received the COVID-19 vaccination couldn’t get or pass the virus after their compliance. Her response was that she did not know, but that she thought the assertion was based upon “hope.”

Birx went on to say, “All I know is there was evidence from the global pandemic that natural reinfection was occurring. Since the vaccine was based on natural immunity, you cannot make the conclusion that the vaccine will do better than natural infection. Although it can often do slightly better.”

She also told the committee that her own family took extra precautions because she thought the shots might be ineffective. So, they didn’t know but they were hoping they were right and then made public health decisions for all of us based upon hope. That’s a pretty big deal. Hope isn’t enough.

The fact is, when governmental officials claimed that Americans getting COVID-19 shots were protected from catching or giving others the virus, it was a lie; that’s also a pretty big deal. People altered their entire lives because of it. People suffered from the lockdowns and the isolation. People were and are still being fired because of it. People lost their life savings and their family businesses. There is no doubt that lives were lost due to this lie.

Maybe they just didn’t know or “the science” changed? I don’t think so. There was a multitude of physicians who were treating patients and telling the truth while being systemically ignored, attacked, or canceled. While intentions are certainly debatable, there is no mistake that when public health professionals from Brix and Fauci on down publicly asserted that people who got the shots couldn’t get or give COVID-19, they weren’t telling the truth. COVID-19 misinformation? Looks like public health officials were the biggest purveyors of it. If you want to give bureaucrats the benefit of the doubt that they were unaware they were spreading misinformation, keep in mind that not one has come forward to admit their mistakes. Even if they were honestly mistaken, they now know what they said was untrue and there have been no apologies or retractions. Is it better to have lied to or accidentally misled the entire American populace during a pandemic due to incompetence? You decide.

The newest iteration regarding COVID-19 shots is that they are necessary for babies and young children.

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said recently in a statement. “We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can.”

Perhaps parents are eager to get their kids the shots because they hope it will help them or help humanity. Hope isn’t enough. 

There are literally zero credible peer-reviewed studies that suggest that COVID-19 shots help kids; children are the least at-risk age group. There is also literally zero real-world data that provides any evidence that COVID-19 shots benefit kids who have been previously infected (which is anywhere from 75-80% of kids in the US). As of June 2, 2022, 0-to 17-year-olds comprised 0.1% of total US COVID-19-related deaths. So we know that most kids have already had COVID-19 and it won’t help them or humanity for them to be vaccinated, but people are pushing them on us anyway.  Further, Germany, France, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway have all restricted the distribution of COVID-19 shots for individuals under the age of 30 due to a documented risk of heart inflammation in post-vaccinated young people.

So…a more appropriate announcement from the CDC might have been that they approved taxpayer-funded COVID-19 shots for babies and toddlers based on very little data, tiny study sizes that were conducted on children who haven’t had COVID-19 even though at least 75% of American kids have already had COVID-19, and many other countries have restricted the use of the shots in young people because of documented negative cardiac responses...but they hope it’s safe for your kids.

In light of such minimal risk to children and the fact that shots don’t prevent getting or spreading the virus, some of the same medical professionals that saved lives by pioneering early COVID-19 treatments are raising concerns about the unwarranted governmental push to give COVID-19 shots to infants and young children. Dr. Peter McCullough questioned the recent decision and noted that the effects of COVID-19 are “characteristically a mild syndrome in children” when compared to the elderly.

“We know even if they are used in kids, there won’t be any differences in rates of COVID-19 serious outcomes,” McCullough stated, in reference to two studies on the subject. “There’s no reduction in hospitalizations and deaths in the randomized trials.” He further asserted that there are no assurances that COVID-19 shots are safe for children in the long term. If you have a child with medical risk factors, that's certainly something to consider; but if you have a healthy child, the chances of him/her dying from COVID-19 are incredibly low, if not zero. Additionally, the vaccine has caused severe reactions in both children and adults.

Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable with physicians and epidemiologists to discuss the failures of lockdowns and mandates in response to COVID-19, including a discussion on the negative impacts on childhood mental health associated with forced isolation. In addition, they discussed the negative repercussions of giving COVID-19 shots to healthy children. Florida is pushing back.

In Alabama, a network of physicians and other healthcare professionals called Concerned Doctors has called for a halt of COVID-19 shots for minors. In a letter to the Alabama Department of Public Health and Governor Kay Ivey they asserted, “With our current understanding of the virus and the vaccine, there is no rational or scientific justification for injecting these experimental biologics into children. We are risking the lives and health of the rising generation for no benefit to them or to society.”

The case for COVID-19 shots for healthy children is less than compelling; the risks don’t outweigh the reward. Hope isn’t enough and has been thoroughly disproven. Will Alabama’s leadership continue to blindly defer to public health officials who have been proven wrong time and again? Will Alabama continue to use hope as our collective strategy? I certainly hope not.

Stephanie Holden Smith is an experienced policy analyst, political commentator, and public speaker. Smith has worked and volunteered in Governmental Affairs in Alabama since 1997, including lobbying for a Fortune 500 company and serving as Deputy Director of Finance for the State of Alabama. She is currently the principal of Thatcher Coalition LLC. To contact Stephanie, please go to http://thatchercoalition.comThe views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information Commentary@1819News.com.

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