Skip To Content
No Mercy No Malice

A Call For Help

December 18, 2020

7-min read

The 10th of May, 1940. The leaders of Britain and France watch an unfolding disaster in the East, as Hitler’s forces infect a host of weaker nations. Still, the Allies feel confident. They are wealthy, innovative…exceptional.  

That morning, the Germans attack. They sweep south, bypassing France’s famed Maginot line and traversing the Ardennes Forest. They rout the Allies in a lightning assault and drive the retreating army up the Somme Valley, toward the English Channel. Within two weeks, the French Army has fled to the west, the Germans own the skies, and 400,000 British Expeditionary Force troops are stranded on a sliver of the French coast, Dunkirk. 

Pinned down and facing annihilation, the BEF commander sends a messenger to London. The junior officer pleads with the War Cabinet: “You must send pleasure steamers, coasters, fishing boats, lifeboats, yachts, motorboats, everything that can cross the Channel.”

A call goes out.

The response of the British people has become legend. Captains of every type of ship, from river barges to fishing trawlers, sailed south into the teeth of German artillery and air power to rescue their countrymen. Over the next ten days, the British mounted a chaotic, impossible rescue. They saved 340,000 soldiers, including every surviving British soldier in the city. The first Allied-German battle of World War II was a colossal disaster for the Allies: France fell in less than a month, and had Britain lost the men at Dunkirk, it likely would have sought a settlement. Instead, the sacrifice and selflessness of the British people changed the course of history.  

Our Generation’s Call

January 2020. America too looked east with confidence. A virus had emerged in China, and was invading weaker nations, but America was exceptional. We had the world’s finest health care system, the most brilliant scientists, and the Centers for Disease Control was the gold standard for public health institutions. 

Then, the virus attacked. Like an invading army, it evaded nearly every defense erected to slow its relentless march. For almost a year now, we have been retreating. The enemy has exposed our institutions as weak and ineffective, and preyed on a deadly comorbidity: the notion that individual liberty trumps collective sacrifice. 

The virus has driven us not to a beach, but into our own homes and, more dangerously, into separate spheres of differing truths. The daily death toll has crossed 3,000, hospitals are reaching capacity, and more than one million people contract the virus every week. By late January 2021, the virus will have killed more Americans than died fighting in World War II. 

Covid is a web of death and disability sweeping across the country. Some days it claims 2,000 people, some days 3,000. But every day, it kills fathers and mothers, school teachers and accountants. Each newly infected person adds a fiber, making the web finer and deadlier. 

What We Must Do

What we can do — what every one of us must do — is avoid becoming a fiber in that web. To date, we have not done a good job of this. Millions of us, from the President of the United States down, have refused to acknowledge the gravity of the threat and continue to cling to some perverted notion of “liberty.” And every day, we add 200,000 more fibers.

How many Americans will be snared? If the virus is left to run its course, it could infect over 200 million more people in the US before herd immunity suppresses the spread. If the mortality rate is 1%, that puts two million people on the beach, pinned down by the enemy, facing death. 

But these people don’t have to die. There is a way out. We have vaccines: two in use, a third expected soon, and more on the way. However, vaccines don’t save lives — vaccinations do.

A call has gone out.

Will we answer it? Huge numbers of Americans are saying they will not. In poll after poll, nearly half of Americans say they are unlikely to get the vaccine. 

These days, I’m used to reading polls illuminating that half of America has its head up its ass. What’s particularly distressing about the refusal to get the vaccine is that I don’t have to read polls to hear it. I hear it from friends, from business associates, from parents at my kids’ soccer league: “We’re going to wait, to ensure it’s safe.”

While it is true that these vaccines have been developed in record time, they are hardly untested. The Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved by the FDA, was tested on 18,198 people; the Moderna vaccine was tested on 15,200 people. Around half of the recipients reported fatigue or chills, and one in seven reported a 24-hour fever. No serious side effects were identified in any recipient, and recipients who felt ill nonetheless said they were glad to have gotten the vaccine. Vaccines are one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments, and they are incredibly safe. Fun fact: you are far more likely to be killed by a dog than by a vaccine. Thanks to vaccines, diseases like measles and smallpox, which once killed hundreds of thousands of Americans per year, are rare or unheard of today.

In hindsight, calling the effort to procure a vaccine “Operation Warp Speed” may not have been the best way to build confidence in the final product. But the swiftness with which the vaccines have been developed is less a reflection of haste than of commitment, resources, and new technology. 

As of mid-December, scientists had published 74,000 papers related to a virus that nobody had heard of 12 months earlier. Nearly one-third of all scientific researchers around the world have dropped their prior projects and are working on Covid-related matters. As Ed Yong recently described in The Atlantic, this pivot is far beyond any historical precedent, and will have profound effects on the scientific community for years to come.

The speed of clinical trials can also be attributed to the virus’s very virulence, as it takes so little time for the control group to suffer a statistically significant number of infections. Johnson & Johnson recently cut the size of its Phase 3 trial because infection rates are so high in the United States.

We moved fast because we had to, and because we could. These vaccines benefited enormously from advances in technology, data mining, and data modeling. 

The technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which has been in development for decades, has also enabled these vaccines to reach us quickly. This novel deployment of messenger RNA should also quell a common concern about vaccines: that they inject a modified form of the virus itself into the recipient. Instead, mRNA vaccines provide the “instructions” our immune system needs to identify and defeat the virus. They do not alter the DNA in our cells. (If my scientific expertise is not reassuring on this point, vaccines based on traditional approaches are also in development.) 

Still, though, I hear friends and colleagues say, “Even if the risk is tiny, why take it? I’m not at risk from Covid.” But the risk of suffering serious health effects from Covid, even for younger people in good health, is real. In July, the death rate among adults 25-44 was nearly 50% higher than in July 2019 — that’s an additional 5,000 deaths attributed to Covid, among younger people, in just one month. Even among survivors, the virus has been shown to cause long term neurological and cardiac harm in 10% of victims. Yes, the risk is small. But it is far greater than the risk presented by the vaccine. 

Whatever the risk to ourselves, however, we don’t take vaccines to protect ourselves. We take vaccines to protect everyone, to avoid becoming a fiber in the web. 

In May of 1940, the British sailors and bargemen who set course for France did not know if U-boats, bombers, or bad weather would await them. They didn’t need to know. They knew their countrymen were at risk, and that was enough. 

Today, it feels as if we’ve lost sight of the connection between sacrifice on behalf of our country and the personal prosperity and liberties we are blessed with. But we’d do well to remember that they weren’t really blessed upon us — they were earned.

Our nation has been frayed, if not torn apart. A key component of our repair will be a renewed belief that there is a truth — one based not on ideology or opinion, but on data and science. 

This vaccine is our generation’s call. Let’s answer the call. Let’s get two million fellow Americans off this beach.  

Life is so rich,

P.S. We’ve opened enrollment for my upcoming Brand Strategy Sprint, where I’ve condensed my MBA Brand Strategy class into a 3-week intensive learning experience. Registration opened this week and we’re already a third full. 

183 comments

  1. irma matthews says:

    I have chosen to get the vaccine, I am over 75 one, and two, I still have common sense to use thank God, It is the sensible thing to do .I wish you well.

  2. kejode says:

    As an African-American female over 60 I am surprised at the number of people I have polled who say they are not going to get the vaccine. Reasons range from afraid of needles to “I don’t get vaccines.” Hoping there is some way to convince more people to get vaccinated……www.newapp9.com

  3. Mark says:

    Few people are aware of the process leading to the emergency use authorizations, and later, to future FDA approvals of the vaccines for general use. With greater understanding, I think many more people would have confidence. Were the decision simply based upon governmental agencies, I would be skeptical; they are subject to political pressure, at least under the present administration. But the fact that the Pfizer EUA (Dec 11) and the Moderna EUA (18 Dec) came out well after the election suggests that the FDA resisted political pressure to some degree. (Recall that Trump was promising a vaccine by the end of October.) We might also be skeptical of the statements made by the manufacturers themselves (consider Perdue Pharma and OxyContin), but there is also financial and reputational risk for companies pushing known unsafe pharmaceuticals (Chemie Grünenthal and Thalidomide). Covid-19 vaccines are the ultimate in high-visibility products. More encouraging, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (https://www.fda.gov/advisory-committees/vaccines-and-related-biological-products-advisory-committee/roster-vaccines-and-related-biological-products-advisory-committee), which recommended the EUAs, is comprised of various university and hospital researchers, two scientists from competing pharmaceutical companies, as well as a representative each from the CDC, NIH and FDA. Data from the Phase III studies were available to all so that they could analyze them independently. It is inconceivable that a majority of the Committee members had a personal stake in the vaccines success, yet the recommendations for authorization, were unanimous (with one abstention for the Moderna EUA). Their conclusions: the benefits outweighed the risks. To be sure, the risks of contracting Covid-19 depend on many factors, but the notion (raised in some comments) that lower population densities reduce it is belied by outbreaks in states like North Dakota. Given the opportunity, this virus has shown itself able to find its way into all sorts of communities, even if it has taken longer to reach some. Most places still showing low *rates* of infection are island states or nations.

  4. Jose Morales says:

    Data may not match perfectly, however overall message is right on. I work in the medical field and this virus is real and real people are dying. It’s heart breaking to see anti- maskers/anti-vaxers bully medical staff AND flaunt personal freedoms in public. What has happened to our national sense of community? Thanks for your words.

  5. Michael says:

    Scott – This Apples to Oranges comparison is a disservice to any true intellectual. The Brits at Dunkirk were assuredly facing total Annihilation at the hands of the Germans, leaving England fully exposed to the notion of a brutal domination by the Germans. So how can one compare this with the current pandemic, with a 1%-to 1.5% mortality rate? You can’t. So compare deaths of the US population of ~330M vs Japan, NK, NZ, Taiwan total combined population of ~205M? It actually shows the US death rate is materially lower. Then you toss in how terrible the “long term” health impacts? How? The long term has yet to be proven out. Your attempt at sounding analytical is a mere marketing sensation, but is it not how you made you 1% money anyway? The American spirit is far tougher than you, academics, and “scientist’s”. Your commentary is similar to that of the NY Times, simply stirring fear. No wonder most of us have such contempt for the lot of you.

    • Andrew Russo says:

      Michael – the chart compares US deaths on ONE DAY to the TOTAL deaths in 4 other developed democracies. The rest of your comment is an opinion you’re entitled to, and it makes the professor’s point: “A key component of our repair will be a renewed belief that there is a truth — one based not on ideology or opinion, but on data and science.”

    • John Craig says:

      @Andrew Russo Here Here Mr. Russo!

  6. Thomas L says:

    The vaccine issue aside, I think Scott hits on a much more foundational problem that COVID exposed. America has taken the notion of personal liberty to such an extreme that there is no longer any sense of shared community that in the end endangers everyone, even those who are well off. What is the point in owning the nicest car in town when the town is broke and the roads are full of potholes?

  7. Amy B says:

    Excellent article. I am pro-vaccine, yet I am also one of those folks who has a wait and see attitude before getting vaccinated. You hit the nail on the head-it comes down to trust of the sources. Like many folks I have lost trust in our government leaders, our media, and many of our scientists. I also live in a rural, low population density area. Everyone’s risk of contracting or spreading Covid is not equal, and that is an important element of the conversation. However I think your chart displaying US deaths compared to New Zealand or Japanese deaths is misleading-what is the population of the US compared to New Zealand or to Japan. What are the ages of the different populations, deaths, health-it really isn’t an apples-to-apples comparisons.

    • Tom Potter says:

      The chart you refer to shows ONE DAY of U.S. deaths compared to all deaths TOTAL OVER THE YEAR in those Asian countries.

    • Mark Wilber says:

      What most people don’t fully understand is that there are multiple legs supporting the emergency use authorizations, and in the future, any FDA approvals for general use. Were it simply a government decision, I would be skeptical. (But the fact that EUAs for Pfizer, and later Moderna, were granted after election day, indicates that the CDC and FDA did not succumb to political pressures. Recall, Trump was promising a vaccine by the end of October.) Were the approval based simply upon assertions of the pharma companies, I would also be skeptical (think Perdue Pharma; but think also about Chemie Grünenthal, which suffered severe reputational and financial harm as the result of the thalidomide disaster). Finally, there was also the (mostly) independent Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (https://www.fda.gov/advisory-committees/vaccines-and-related-biological-products-advisory-committee/roster-vaccines-and-related-biological-products-advisory-committee), which met in a public discussion to assess the risks and benefits. The Committee was composed of university and hospital researchers, scientists from competing pharmaceutical companies and representatives of the FDA and CDC. They were provided full access to the data from the Phase III trials, so that they could independently analyze them. It could not be argued that most of these researchers would stand to benefit personally from authorization, yet the committee was nearly unanimous in its recommendations to grant the EUAs.

  8. Marcia says:

    As an African-American female over 60 I am surprised at the number of people I have polled who say they are not going to get the vaccine. Reasons range from afraid of needles to “I don’t get vaccines.” Hoping there is some way to convince more people to get vaccinated.

  9. Benjamin Heller says:

    Brilliant and beautiful. You’ve earned your Zacapa for the day Scott. Cheers.

  10. Andy says:

    just…. well said that’s all

  11. Charles Winter says:

    I’m still a little nervous regarding side effects like bells palsy, or the fact that some of the vaccines were made with 16 week old aborted babies and that some of the other ingredients are DNA altering. I’m home very ill with a few of the conditions that if I were to get civic it would probably kill me and I’m still not sold on the vaccine just yet, hopefully the first set of folks getting the shot do better than everyone hopes and changes a lot of peoples minds about receiving the shot…be safe everybody and thank you for your time.

  12. John says:

    Nice speech Scott. I agree we should all do our part for the greater good and take our shots. But forgive me for not buying the pitch from an elite on patriotism. Really? When do elites every do anything for the greater good and not their own self-interest? And where was patriotism and the pitch for getting vaccinated pre-election? It didn’t fit the narrative until post-election.

    • Gary says:

      John, you do know the vaccines weren’t completed and approved until after the election, don’t you, or is that just another part of the huge world-wide conspiracy to trick you? And just where is your cut-off line for ‘elites’?

  13. Aaron says:

    I was definitely on the fence about getting the vaccine, but after reading this and some of the data presented, its helping to take a more informed opinion about this – so thank you!

  14. Anon Coward says:

    This is how natural selection works. You vote for an idiot, and that kills you. If you can’t/don’t/won’t understand why Trump’s an idiot, that’s because you’re one too.

  15. Alejandro Perilla says:

    Getting the vaccine represents true patriotism. It seems less appealing than the images that false patriots condemn when they see some kneel during the national anthem at football games. These false patriots are essentially good people who reject science in the name of patriotism, politics and religion.

  16. Léonie says:

    We all need to do better, in the UK we have a new variant which is even more contagious and it’s terrifying. Hospitals are at capacity locally which doesn’t usually happen until January/Feb when flu is at its height. As soon as anyone is offered the vaccine I would implore them to take it, even if you are not ‘at risk’, it’s the only way we’re going to get out of this.

  17. JD says:

    Great piece Prof. Great analogy with Dunkirk. I still don’t fully trust the vaccine. Many times, when scientists are been asked some CV19 questions, the answer is “we don’t know yet” or “that’s a great question”. I’m not exposed and not likely to expose anyone. I feel under no rush to get a vaccine when there are so many “I don’t know”. We were also told that using masks was not effective to later been told that it was done so first responders don’t run out of them. Why do vaccine manufacturers don’t accept any liability? Cheers and Thank you fir a great piece.

  18. MIke McGregor says:

    An interesting CDC statistic about measles is that 1,282 U.S. measles cases were reported in 2019, the largest number since 1992 and mostly from unvaccinated people.  In 2020, 16 U.S. cases were reported through November 30th. (Galloway’s slightly higher stat may be worldwide.) The antivaxers caught a break this year, All of the self-quarantining and mask-wearing in 2020 must have suppressed the incidence of measles ,one of the most contagious disease on earth.

  19. John says:

    The recording of Predictions has all the bandwidth of an AOL connection. After 5 words it pauses to download the next 5 words.

  20. Brap says:

    I have total faith in the vaccine. I do not have faith in the politicians who tell us to take the vaccine. All it would take to totally convince me would be to have the top vaccine developers give a quick explanation of the vaccine, how it works and why it’s safe. While it’s the politicians telling us to take it then I’ll wait… at least until they have taken it themselves.

  21. War Buff says:

    Why do I feel the overwhelming need to watch Dunkirk all over again?

  22. Andrea says:

    I am mexican and currently live in Sonora, a state that shares a border with Arizona. Stop whimpering about all your deaths and people not getting a vaccine. People are dying because everyone is so selfish that they don’t take the virus seriously. You’ve failed in that aspect. But hey, you are getting vaccines distributed now! People are getting vaccinated as I’m writing this. You HAVE the choice and the ability to go out there and get a vaccine. So be grateful about that. Guess what? In Mexico there is no date as to when we are getting vaccines, and the few that arrive here are not going to be distributed fairly. We are surely going to surpass COVID deaths as all Americans are slowly getting vaccinated and protected from the virus. We have a very stupid president that doesn’t care about his country. You are lucky that in January your stupid president is getting kicked out of his job. Ours still has 4 MORE YEARS LEFT. So to sum up: shut up and be grateful for all the blessings you have as a country, because down here in Mexico we are and have always been FUCKED.

  23. Brian says:

    Not sure if I’m more in awe of this stupidity or the cheerleaders in the comments. Do yourself and others a favor and never again compare this struggle to the struggles of WWII. It’s flat out embarrassing. I’m sure your blog and podcast will continue on and as popular as ever, but you lost me with this one. Good luck and seriously try and rethink this one.

  24. michael train says:

    This virus couldnt have done as much damage as it has even if our president was insane, incompetent or abetting a foreign government and had deliberately closed down the NSC’s pandemic response team in October 2019 and shuttered the nation’s vaccine development commission in Dec 2019 and lied about the severity of its threat and put up obstacles preventing US agencies from acting quickly and efficiently. Oops….

  25. Dino Klisovic says:

    Scott has a gift to use very simple to understand language to explain complex issues. Points he is trying to make ( and he makes them very successfully) go deep and nobody is left to question what he meant. The gift to tell a story (any story) in a simple engaging way is more important than story it self. Unfortunately, many writers do not have this gift. Scott has it in abundance. Everything he writes is worth reading.

  26. Pat Connolly says:

    The comment string below pretty much mirrors the arguments that we have ongoing in our family. There is no doubt that our government leaders have by and large done a horrible job of managing the crisis–from Andrew Como and Bill DeBlasio to even Gavin Newsom, who while putting in place restrictions that have California with one of the lowest infection rates, is crippling businesses while he jets off on the weekends to Montana and attends a dinner party at the French Laundry–good example, Gavin. Monterey County, where I have been for the past 283 days is an illustration of what is going on in many parts of the country.The county is one of the largest in the country stretching from San Luis Obisopo to Santa Cruz–163 miles. But, almost 60% of the COVID cases are in two zip codes in east Salinas where the Latino farmworkers live. These folks have worked continuously throughout the pandemic. (Meanwhile, our friend Gavin closed the beaches even though science says that the virus has a half-life of about 6 minutes in sunlight.)These workers often live in crowded conditions and many do not speak English well. While they continue to work and generate a high number of cases the whole county is forced to shut down. In Pebble Beach, where we are, there have been 6 cases since March. Yet the Lodge had to close and furlough 900 workers. Half the restaurants in Carmel will go out of business as well as many shops that have already vacated. But the mayor of Carmel will not speak up and suggest that the lockdown be contained to Salinas because it would appear racist. For the past nine months the COVID ward at the local hospital has been mostly empty as well as the ICU. The hospital can’t take elective surgeries, so it is hemorrhaging red ink. But now in the past two weeks, ICUs across the state, and our local hospital have filled to capacity with COVID cases. It is a mess. Some hospital ER facilities in the Bay Area are reporting an 800% increase in child head trauma cases–parents are going crazy and beating up their kids. You could make a good argument that the cure is worse than the disease. This will go on until we control the pandemic. And the way we do it is to get vaccinated. You may be young and fearless but if you don’t get vaccinated you could spread it to people you care about who are more vulnerable–like your parents, or your girlfriend’s parents, or just random people. If 80% of the population got vaccinated this thing would go away in a matter of weeks. Then we would have plenty of time to argue and place blame.

  27. Bruce says:

    I think many people are hesitant to get a vaccine due to concerns about potential side effects. There is no way to say for sure that the vaccines are safe, given their limited test basis, and short term history. There seems to have been an orchestrated drive, helped in large part by the media, to panic the people over the last year or so. Fear sells newspapers / web views / ratings. Now we have the vaccines presented as saviors that will save us all from certain death. It’s as if they’re creating a movie that has a certain happy ending. Rather than having the virtue signallers castigate those who don’t rush to the vaccine, we’d all be better off with calmer discussions and more publication of the actual facts. Many of the current COVID testing is being done using high cT numbers which give the tests very high false positives. This leaves more people panicked, more time and money lost in quarantines and often further testing. The virus deaths are also heavily skewed toward those above 65 and those with other health issues. The average healthy person under 60 has relatively little to fear. Rather than wholesale shutting down of entire countries and economies, we would be better off focusing money and measures at those who are actually at risk. This would include more preventive measures as Ivermectin as a prophylactic, and complete quarantining of hospitals and nursing homes. I think the government, both Dem and Rep, has done a poor job of truly looking at all the risks and reducing those risks at the least possible cost and economic harm.

  28. Loren Guzik says:

    Prof G, while I have the utmost respect, and follow you for your knowledge and intellect in this case you’re way off the mark. So far in fact it’s disappointing. What are we trying to accomplish? Save lives, stablize the economy and our way of life. What will the vaccine do? Nothing. Yes, nothing. We’re here becasue we’re not in fighting shape. 60% of us are not overweight, we’re OBESE. According to the CDC 480,000 people die every year from causes related to SMOKING, seriously smoking! The American way of life is the problem not Covid. Covid would be much less of an issue if the American lifestyle didn’t lead to all of the preexisting conditions that make this virus so horrible. Yet, our leaders, people in positions of authority, people who have a significant social media presence ignore this. “A Call For Help”…..Covid will naturally go away, but it won’t be the last battle we have to fight. Unless Americans stop slowly killing themselves, be adults and controll their “burn” and become “exceptional”……we’ll get clobbered again, and again, and again. Please Prof G, broach the real crises.

  29. Marcia Deutsch says:

    Excellent article, easy read for the masses. I’ll make sure all of our employees READ THIS!!! Thanks – the intro really captures attention, great stats. M

  30. Dipa Patel says:

    Well said! And coming from a physician, YES, You are right on the science. Thank you again for your appropriate “hysteria and hyperbole” at this important time.

  31. Justin Yan says:

    Powerful message Scott!

  32. Dino Dvorak says:

    Great analogy, great read. Thank you. Minor detail – title of the last figure is bit misleading – should not be ‘vs. total covid deaths’ but instead what subtitle says ‘vs. total covid deaths in japan, south korea, new zealand, and taiwan’.

  33. Barry M Scott says:

    Was Germany the problem or Hitler? Is Covid the problem or is China? Nice piece of persuasive writing but the analogy is off; not quite red herring, but off. Do we, as a people, want to continue this type of ‘vaccination’ every time China mishandles a test?

  34. robert smalley says:

    Great article and very well structured. We live in ‘societies’ where the individual can see no further than their noses. This selfish attitude is compounded by low intellect / duplicitous ruling classes. Vaccinations must happen. Simple solution when vaccinated you get a form of i.d. Without that i.d. there has to be enforced restrictions.

  35. Dom Touchaud says:

    War analogies are tricky because they are not based on opinions but on facts. If the tension (rise to the moment) was the same, I would fear for none Americans…after all, Dunkirk also marked a low point when the dinghies did not take the French in distress onboard…

  36. Rose says:

    There’s a simple reason why Americans don’t treat it as a war — a large percentage is not feeling the effects of Covid. Staying at home is a small inconvenience. The Federal Reserve and Congress have taken good care of investors and everything looks good. A better way to motivate people would have been to let the stock markets and incompetent / unprepared businesses take a hit. That would have helped people understand the real meaning of Covid suffering and given them a reason to fight hard.

    • Gabriel Deutsch says:

      As a business owner, I would like to ask you one simple question: What would be your insight for how a business could prepare for COVID 19? The best planning in the world did not protect the airlines, bricks and mortar businesses, restaurants… would appreciate your insight so we can prepare for the ‘next’ one in a hundred years.

    • Loren Guzik says:

      @Gabriel Deutsch The reality no one talks about is that per capita the US has more restaurants and retail than any other country. It’s also true that most have week balance sheets. Remember what your grandparents told you. Save 10% of every paycheck. Remember what every financial advisor, advises? Have 6 month to a year of cash reserves on hand.

  37. Terry says:

    Good use of analogy!

  38. P V R says:

    Good article. Interesting to read.

  39. Tej Deol says:

    Spectacular article. Thanks as always for your insights.

  40. John Smith says:

    Give me a break with your hysteria and hyperbole.

  41. Rosa Garcia Perez says:

    Cada vez estoy mas confusa….

  42. K Sye says:

    Scott, it’s amazing what this pandemic has brought on to us and how taking a vaccine seems to be a no brainer to escape from the web. Why dont we Americans show this sense of urgency to boycott/remove the pathetic list of drugs and junk food that flood our markets openly, destroying all our immune systems and giving rise to this trillion dollar medical industry….this is tearing our nation apart. The crisis/calling is for our Americans to be healthy first.

  43. bruno says:

    EXCELLENT, Scott. Your finest quality: good common sense.

  44. Michael says:

    Large thought. Big appeal, Well delivered. Good stuff flowing from “The Dawg.”

  45. matthew Smith says:

    Thank you Scott. Sad this has to be said at all. Just bloody common sense I would have thought.

  46. Alex B says:

    Would like to see the parallels between how easy the US is infected with misinformation and airborne pathogens.

  47. Adam W. says:

    How do you convince the skeptical millions to take the vaccine when the social pressure is likely to be such a massively powerful opposing force within and among this group?

    • Chas says:

      To get people to see your side of an argument or to convince them not to believe rumor/innuendo, it is helpful to NOT INSULT them. You would think an audience such as this would see the obvious.

    • Tom says:

      @Chas so I guess that speaking of facts, statistics etc is insulting to unbelievers. And a bit frustrating to those trying to do the right thing. But ultimately, the middle /red states are the ones that will pay a steep price. They’ll continue to deny social distancing measures, as well as the vaccine, and they’ll drive their healthcare systems to exhaustion, then they’ll die. Don’t be surprised if you see doctors and nurses quitting from exhaustion, and things will get even worse.

  48. Alex B. says:

    Get vaccinated! That said we don’t know how contagious vaccinated people are. This is great but may not be a panacea.

  49. Paul says:

    Taking the vaccine means you are a person who is concerned about more than yourself. Those are the people I surround myself with. Those are the people who made this country great. The ones that sacrificed when the outcome wasn’t clear. The firefighter who ran into the towers. Not taking the vaccine means you will not sacrifice anything for your fellow man/woman, and your concern is only for yourself. These people allow others to do the work and then take the credit. These people don’t make anything great they make humanity less. Pick your badge and wear it proudly. Humanity is up to you to all of us, and it is a social contract. It is time to do your part in this contract and take the vaccine, or resolve to the truth of what you are or are not. This is a disaster, and the protocol to solve it will not be 100%. It will be with risk; will some of us get sick from this vaccine, yes. Will it stop the virus? Nobody is sure, but it has a chance, and we had better take it. When it mutates, the next strain may not be so gentle. Am I concerned about the vaccine? Yes, but I will take it for your family, elders, friends, w/conditions, and soldiers on the front line of this war. Anything less is an act of cowardness. JAFO

  50. Bernard W Kyle says:

    >(The virus) it evaded nearly every defense erected to slow its relentless march< Our (USA) defense erected was quite inadequate thanks to 45.

  51. Lou Sylvester says:

    Great analogy with WWII . Call to arms should be our rally cry. The selfishness of the singular over the community must end. When people lead, leaders follow.

    • Chas says:

      WWII analogy is a good one. But, the people were not use to ,or maybe didn’t believe they were, being lied to by Washington/States/Mayors then. The media didn’t get in the middle of it and tell us what we should think, just so they could sell more eyeballs. News was news. Options were in the OpEd section.

  52. Brian Neuwirth says:

    I share your dismay Disappointed that Americans are only thinking of themselves and ignoring medical experts We need to educate the public Stressing that the vaccine has been tested and proven safe Our leaders [ not Trump] health sector and government need to send this message

  53. Susan Smith says:

    This one was the last straw. I unsubscribed. No need to waste my time on such gross manipulation and misrepresentation of data and such backward conclusions. It does not even matter if it intentional evil or just plain stupidity. The net result either way is the same.

    • Bw says:

      Really!

    • Henry H says:

      Bye Karen! Enjoy your life of ignorance, I’m sure it will be blissful

    • Martin says:

      Susan- what is your training in infectious diseases or science ? Because frankly, your conclusions tell me the answer is little to none.

    • Whitney says:

      Well said I unsubscribes as well. Makes me sick how someone can be so sure if something and yet push it on to the public and yet have no clue On the outcome.

    • Monica Moore says:

      Bye, Felicia

    • Harry says:

      @Henry H “enjoy your life of ignorance,” says Henry as he hurls a racially-based epithet. Some of the most hateful people seem to be the most woke. Is it possible that it is all a sham? Seems so!

    • Harry says:

      @Whitney The reason is simple. Scott, while very smart and often has interesting opinions, seems to be blinded by a combination of his enormous ego and obsession with being viewed as virtuous. Anyone that dares share an opinion that is not signed with his must be a simpleton and selfish.

    • Tom says:

      @Whitney there most certainly is a predictable outcome – if we don’t vaccinate. 4 billion people will get COVID and then we will achieve herd immunity. Of that 4 billion, approx 1% will die. Economic catastrophe. But hey, at least you won’t ever suffer from side effects, so you’ve got that going for you.

  54. Gianfri says:

    Prof. Scott, I believe we lost you when you started talking about politics. You are such a great professor of marketing, but talking about antitrust and now this, I see that you are outside your knowledge and too emotional about that. In Canada we have lost 11000 people that are more than 80 years old with more than two comorbidities. Most of them died for their comorbidities and they have been counted covid. Only 200 of them were outside the long term care homes. Then we have doubled the deaths for overdose, suicides are to the roof, people are dying because of illnesses not diagnosed. Debt is crazy, lines to the food charities are huge, there will be desperations and death. The ECONOMY is DESTROYED. This has made by the government with the complicity of the media, the same that you are so desperately watching as a source of reliable information. Why I should trust you and the government after all it has done. You are very intelligent, check your source.

    • Gianfri Isadumbas says:

      You are an idiot.

    • Bw says:

      Stop it!

    • Martin says:

      The economies of the world have taken a hit due to an over reaction by politicians. BUT gianfri, the article is about the necessity of the vaccine. Not the economics. Stay on topic.

    • Chas says:

      @Martin The debate on vaccine use is due to a lack of trust, much of it because of the economic destruction of shutdowns. And the hypocrisy of people like Newsom, DiBlasio, and Pelosi, as well as Trump.

    • harry says:

      @Gianfri Isadumbas Only ad hominem attacks instead of civil discourse. Sad!

    • Tom says:

      @Chas separate the issues – misguided (in the light of hindsight) public management vs science based reality (vaccination). Two different things, not to be confused. Unless you are now having your plumber repair your car, and your gardner attend to your 401K.

  55. Paul says:

    The internet has become a weapon and, similar to a pandemic virus, a weapon of mass destruction. The inability to decipher the truth from fiction is not new…there have always been skeptics…but you live in a new paradigm in which the politicians, along with the support of the technology aristocrats (FAANGM), have created a divide intentionally. Why? because it is easy to assign blame for this who do not align with “their” directive….it is easier to wreak havoc on those who choose to question the “why”…Professor Galloway adequately details, though inadvertently, why there is so many who question the science. Who’s to decide upon 74,000 research papers is the truth? For every paper supporting the virus there is one opposed…but this is by design. Without division there is no winner or loser…To compare todays world to the Brits in WW2 is not just illusionary but too simplistic. That was a time when people believed in their leadership to protect them. Do we have that today in the US? I say not dear Professor Galloway…you can continue to live in your protected world of virtual teaching and provide “insight” into your world of make believe…but you are the same professor who exposes the benefits of Social Media while these same folks are deliberately creating the divide you so adeptly refer to as half of the Americans with their heads up their ass…

  56. Chris says:

    I was, I’m ashamed to admit, one of those who thought I’d wait to see how the vaccinations flush out. This article made me realize I was being a coward and selfish for those at hire risk than myself. I’m in. Let’s kick this things microscopic ass!

    • Alfred says:

      Unless you’re over 70 or have any complications you don’t need a vaccine. They can’t guarantee it will stop you passing it on to other people anyway and so why risk your own health on something they can’t possibly know the long term effects of? You’re injecting a foreign substance into your body. I’m really stunned at the willingness of so many people to trust that these companies haven’t cut any corners – it’s as if “scientists say” is the cornerstone of a new religion. Is there anyone here who has never suspected at least one major corporation of doing something a little shady? Plenty of them have been caught. Why trust a group that have obviously been in a race to be first to market? There is no way for them to know the long term effects – you can’t do accelerated testing in vivo. If you take it, I wish you well, sincerely, but I’ve been in research a long time and I’ve seen mistakes made and corners cut even when there wasn’t a race on. Please prioritise looking out for yourselves and do not assume the people behind these vaccines are of unfailing integrity and blessed with infallibility.

    • Tom says:

      @Alfred very sad that you feel this way. We have nearly 100 years of understanding about vaccines. The fact that 3 different cos have ID’d an effective vaccine means they are complicit with each other, or there is real science behind what they do. You choose the worst interpretation. You must be a Trump man.

    • Bert says:

      @Alfred I couldn’t have said it better. I’m 45, healthy, and actually got C-19. It was no big deal, not even in the top 5 illnesses I’ve had in my lifetime. Why would I risk taking the vaccine?

  57. Wes Whitesell says:

    I typically enjoy Scott’s view the world, but this article is a good example of why some of us are tired of experts and skeptical of the media in general. We’re told we have our “head up our ass” if we question the numbers or “scientific” studies that are being pushed on us. In college I was taught that questioning was a healthy, necessary part of the scientific community finding consensus, but COVID has once again highlighted that you can only raise your concerns if it is an effort to echo a particular, approved point of view. I could point out countering studies by reputable scholars on the seriousness of COVID-19, but then I would likely be censored or ridiculed. For decades we have been told the government has no say in what a human can do with his – and definitely, her – body, but suddenly, we are being pressured to obey, roll up our sleeves, and shut up. All of this feels sketchy to me. I respect those who will get the vaccine as well as those who will decline.

    • Henry H says:

      You couldn’t point those out, because they don’t exist. Like all anti-vaxxers, you cherry pick individual pieces of poorly-sourced or blatantly inaccurate information, and present those as an equal counterweight to the millions of pages of high quality science that support all of the conclusions that Scott draws. You are not a free thinker, you are moron, plain and simple.

    • John K says:

      Well said. Ignore the idiots calling you an idiot . They say follow the science but what they mean is follow me and if you do not agree I will shame you. They don’t understand that advances in science come from questioning what was once commonly held beliefs

  58. HG says:

    Because of all the fake news folk who think they are smarter than you: Sorry you didn’t mention the two people in London with allergies. Why let them say, “gotcha.”

  59. Douglas Goodman says:

    Thanks Prof G. As a Canadian living in “the apartment above a Meth Lab that the US currently is” (wonder who coined that phrase!!), I am stunned by the way Americans are so much in conflict with each other over so many different issues. Your line “individual liberty trumps collective sacrifice” is perfectly stated. Great article as always.

  60. Andrew Smith Lewis says:

    Galloway for President.

  61. Llama says:

    More Americans die from smoking….every year. Source: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm Most of the people dying of COVID already have cardio-vascular disease or diabetes, usually as a result of poor diet or, surprise…smoking. After COVID is over we will continue to lose 400,000 Americans in 2022, and 2023, and 2024 and …

  62. Lee says:

    Average age of US WW2 death was early twenties. Average age of US COVID death is over 65. US WW2 deaths lost roughly 4x the expected years of quality life of a COVID death.

    • steven jacob says:

      average age from covid death in US (78) is higher than the average lifespan of americans.

    • Lee says:

      @steven jacob Thanks, couldn’t find data on the average, only that it was over 65. Do you have a reference for that?

    • Adam Winski says:

      The implication gere being that the lives of older people are worth less? Those who have lost loved ones would probably strongly disagree with this notion. The AVERAGE being just that, an average, also means there’s variance. Bottom line, too many people of all ages have died from this. Proper leadership and transparency could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Of all ages! It’s a tragedy.

    • Whitney says:

      @Adam Winski but what about the lives lost due to the measures taken? What about the rise if drug overdose and suicide? Elderly people in care homes are dying because they aren’t getting the care they need and of course they lost their will to live because they aren’t able to have their families around.

    • Tom says:

      @Whitney what’s your damn point? Since the desire to flatten the curve (is that pseudo science?) resulted in all this distress, the whole thing is a sham? As if 300K deaths, and counting, is not enough evidence for you.

  63. John K says:

    I will take the vaccine when it’s available, but I undersand why many will not & do not trust our government pressuring the vaccine onto the masses. I love Scott’s work, but the way he presents data here is part of the problem. Everyone that wants the masses to take the vaccine, the general media & politicians, always try to make the case that COVID is dangerous for all ages. But then you hear of how they are counting any death as a COVID death if someone tested positive for COVID in the last 30 days. In Denver a coronor said that of the five deaths that were recorded as ‘COVID deaths’, two actually died of gunshot wounds but because they tested positive for COVID in the last 30 days, they are recorded as a COVID death. When you dig into the numbers further on the CDC website, of the COVID deaths under the age of 65, about half had diabetes, and in only 14% of those cases could they definitively say the person did not have diabetes. So it is logical for people to say: ‘this most likely is a thing that affects the obese/unhealthy and the elderly, so why should i take the vaccine?’ In addition, the massivly lower COVID death rates in Asia cannot be simply explained away with, “they responded better and are less selfish than Americans” which i think is Scott’s point with that info. Lower obesity, as will as possible T-cell immunity from past COVIDs prior to COVID-19 are more likely the reason Asia has done so much better re COVID-deaths. Presenting data in a misleading way contributes to the distrust most have, and leads to people thinking: if they are trying to mislead/scare me with data, what are they not telling me about this vaccine? I think a better approach is to simply state: the data suggests this is a virus which mostly affects the obese/unhealthy as well as the elderly. But by taking the vaccine, you are protecting those groups, and you most likely have someone you care about in those groups, so please do your part. No need to try and mislead/scare people into getting the vaccine.

  64. H P Boyle says:

    It’s worse than you described. I’m not worried about getting people to take the vaccine. I just can’t believe that it will take. Until June until I can get one. Where is the national sense of urgency? Every day matters. We should be enlisting every lab to produce vaccine and get it out to as many people as possible. Congress gets vaccinated next week. Maybe if they were in the back of the line the line would take less time? And where are the cultural elites? Why no PSA ads on masks? Why no PSA ads on the vaccine? Why no cultural icons publicly saying they will take it? If the Kardashians put in a plug for the vaccine you bet people would take it. Or Oprah? Hello! I really just can’t believe how passive the people with power are about this. Per Fauci, several hundred thousand more people will die. And we will go even trillions more into debt. We won’t be back to approximate normal to next September. We aren’t half way done with the pandemic! This is indeed the challenge of our generation and we are an epic fail in meeting it.

  65. Kuzo Ryu Sen says:

    MY BODY, MY CHOICE. So, thanks but no thanks.

    • James L Somers says:

      My body, and my choice is not to be infected by you. Please, at a minimum, wear a mask if you won’t get vaccinated.

  66. Lucid says:

    “… the notion that individual liberty trumps collective sacrifice.” This fatal flaw in America’s defence was never anticipated. It’s existence is not by chance. It was created by the collimation of the work of so many entities. The GOP, Putin’s Russia, our White Nationalist President, unchecked poverty and so much more. The most deplorable actor imo is the GOP and it’s eagerness to prioritize short term political success and short term economic gains over the logical benefits of sticking to the plan and unifying Americans. The GOP lost that bet and has degraded American’s everywhere, America’s perception of itself and in the eyes of the world when it matters more than it has anytime since WW2. You can argue perception doesn’t matter, but if you do, you’re an idiot or have an agenda.

    • Chas says:

      GOP is less than 20% of registered voters. Why are you blaming them? Maybe blame the other guys, twice as big yet still unable to get the votes to win.

  67. James Williamson says:

    A good article. Your statistics have allayed some concern I had about the vaccine myself. America is so divided, I do not understand why people are so fearful of wearing a mask to protect others, especially at risk folks.

  68. David Shein says:

    Amazing analogy Prof. I hope that people heed your advice.

  69. steven jacob says:

    While the top-down goal from politicians and society at-large is to get people (70%+) to take the virus, there isn’t any knowledge of the long-term deleterious side effects from taking it. Naturally, a lot of citizens rightfully are inquisitive and are asking questions. The media and politicians have been so awful during this pandemic that there is naturally a great deal of distrust and skepticism in whatever they say. If/when they choose to ignore people’s questions concerning the effects of the virus, this will only make citizens more apprehensive about taking the virus. The best method is to do more testing and to be honest about what we know and to answer concerned citizens’ questions seriously, not to dismiss their concerns as unwarranted and that they are purely conspiracy theorists.

  70. Daniel Gallagher says:

    This comment section is all we need to know about the level of stupidity in America.

    • Whitney says:

      @Daniel Gallagher Albert Einstein said “The important thing is to not stop questioning, curiosity has its own reason for existing” Or there’s this “I know you won’t believe me but the highest form of human excellence is to questions oneself and others”- Socrates It’s better to ask a stupid question then to blindly trust what your being told. It’s dangerous if you don’t

    • Harry says:

      Saying that a country of more than 300 million people are stupid because they might disagree with Daniel. Don’t be like Daniel.

  71. Peter says:

    I understand the desire to be “fair” but is it really beneficial to ignore that we’ve had a prominent political party in the US downplay the severity of the virus since the beginning. It’s not just stupidity, it’s tribal stupidity that we’ve had to pay such a steep price for this year. I don’t think it’s helpful to ignore the strongest driver of this mindset.

    • H P Boyle says:

      They lost! Let’s look forward. We need to get in gear NOW.

    • Chas says:

      The Speaker of the House told SF it was OK to go out to the massively crowded Chinese New Year parade right as COVID was breaking. Mayor of NYC said to celebrate St Patrick’s day. And, many cheered on large, dense BLM marches. Plenty of blame to go around. In the kind of crisis that Scott discusses, playing politics is deadly.

  72. Scott_Is_Soft says:

    Scott, I like you better when funny, not an alarmist. You sometimes sound like a ninny boomer. I am not going mental over a disease with a 99% survival rate. All my coworkers have had it, all say the same thing, “like a bad flu”. For some reason I haven’t gotten it. Not playing the fear mongering game homey homeslice.

  73. Heather says:

    This is the most compelling piece of writing on this topic that I have read to date. Thank you.

  74. James says:

    Let me see, if the elderly and front line workers get the vaccine who want it faster due to the deniers why is that a problem? Not everyone can get ashore to Britain with the first wave-this just lets the rest of us jump the queue. Not sure why you are so apoplectic on this.

    • H P Boyle says:

      Because we have so many boats still in the harbor. Why no PSAs? What no cultural elite/MSM plugging the vaccine (or masks)? Why did the FDA sit on the Pfizer approval for an additional day because they hadn’t filled out a stupid internal form? The lack of urgency is astounding Every day is close to a record day for deaths.

  75. Bill says:

    Well done. (Thank you for not bashing one political party or another). I am only writing this because, while I agree the WWII analogy is a good one, it just does not seem to be sticking. I’m getting the vaccine when it is available, no questions, but what nerve do we need to hit to compel the other 50%? There must be something? Science doesn’t work, facts don’t work, analogies might but we need one hell of a compelling narrative. Is it more about saving the children, the future, respecting the lives of our great American front-line workers. There must be something that sparks every American’s faith and patriotism. Something that makes individuality subservient to the common good, put aside selfishness, the American way….Maybe we need someone as smart as the people who figured out how to create the vaccines, to figure out how to energize everyone to get the vaccine.

    • Peter says:

      Being politically divisive is incredibly effective in a country where barely more than 50% vote in any given election. Promoting an ignorant POV is particularly effective when it’s also convenient and self-serving. I don’t like the chances for the US to evolve in a meaningful way if it’s going to be the Me Firsts vs the Kumbayas for the foreseeable future.

  76. Mae says:

    Stick to talking about startups and other basic business stuff, huh? It gets tiring to hear condescending speech from non-scientist, thought-leader types who believe they are brilliant, polymaths when they are not. Sprinkling in RNA and some nonsense about how Pfizer having a special technology to accelerate vaccines is neither scientifically correct nor convincing. You cannot properly test anything on an idealized sample of 200 people over a 3 week period. 50% of Americans are not getting vaccinated because they realize this, at least intuitively. 50% of Americans have concerns about an experimental vaccine where even the manufacturers are not being forthright about the distribution of negative effects. 50% of Americans are weary of the fact that British people injected with it have suffered severe allergic reactions because their government was too stupid to wait for proper testing. 50% of Americans are not getting vaccinated because experts that created it are warning pregnant women, women who hope to get pregnant, elderly and people with pre-existing conditions to wait. No, 50% of Americans are not stupid. And, by the way, using our history to parallel taking an experimental vaccine lacks any integrity. Shame on you! My father was a decorated, WWII Amphib, and unlike many of the cowards that occupy today’s government and tech startup seats, he took it to the enemy. Your analogy is not akin to that at all. It’s akin to someone cowering behind a helmet, hoping to avoid getting shot. If a proper vaccine is developed and tested, with time, then it’s reasonable. Until then, if you die, you die. But die like a man (or woman), not like some coward crying because you want your neighbors to take risks they don’t want to take.

    • Idle_chatter says:

      Oh dear! Two Brits with known allergies went in to anaphylactic shock on receiving the vaccine. So, 165 million Americans should therefore not use the best tool to stop a pandemic? Oh dear!

    • Lucid says:

      @Idle_chatter I don’t think most people fear what can happen in the short term after getting inoculated. I think people are afraid of what may manifest in the years and decades to come. Generally, an irrational fear in perspective, but without the ‘right’ perspective it makes sense to even generally rational people.

    • steven jacob says:

      @Lucid It is not irrational to be concerned with the long term deleterious effects of the vaccine.

    • jane says:

      thanks for saying this! Scott is super smart but he is so negative and snarky in that NYC narcissistic rich person bubble. spending time with Kara is just amplifying his “schtick” and style over substance. bring back the smart, objective Scott.

    • Bert says:

      Well said, Mae. This Covid thing has been over-hyped, over-diagnosed, and oversold to the American people since March. I actually got it, was down for a week, and fully recovered in 10 days. No big deal. Get out there and live your lives with purpose, despite the risks. That’s what courage is, not restricting the freedoms of others.

  77. Dam Haron says:

    Then you for your wisdom and being outspoken about this issue. I will answer this this call of duty to my self, family and countrymen.

  78. sealharris says:

    Are the anti-vaccine people the same as the anti-mask people?

  79. KC says:

    Not one of your better pieces. As voluminously detailed below. I feel neither the need nor the energy to explain why. Some things are best just ignored. This article is one of them.

  80. Alex says:

    I always enjoy your newsletters, books and podcasts but this so much touched a nerve that I wanted to add my own observation: We have two Americas, America and ‘Mrica. The first is well-read, open-minded, believes in science, can be Democrat or Republican but moderate and progressive and not believes in drinking bleach or denying that what our nation’s most esteemed scientists see happening to our planet is rather a matter of faith. And the latter gets sucked in by fortune cookies and Cracker Jack messaging that tells them something or someone is Socialist, Communist or will cause autism or infertility. You talk often about the great divide in terms of wealth distribution, and its only getting worse, but here we are witnessing the great divide in intelligence, and that’s getting only worse. Back to the vaccine — apart from the statistical evidence you mentioned these mRNA vaccines don’t target our highly protected DNA but instead target our cell’s ribosomes, which is exactly what the Covid virus does. But in getting there first and messing up Covid’s game by manufacturing antibodies rather than Covid’s copies of itself, we have our Normandy landing. Maybe we should succumb to bumper stickers and call it “fighting fire with fire.”

    • Chas says:

      You could have included the mass ‘educated’ who have massive student debt, a minimum wage job, and no useable skills. And, little ‘science’ education. Imagine a University system where a graduate of a ‘Top 10’ school can satisfy their ‘science and technology’ educational requirement with ‘Intro the Ecology’ and ‘ Women in Medicine’. I know one. I would guess the ‘average’ Tradesman in ‘Merica has more knowledge of a hard science, metalurgy for a welder, thermodynamics for a AC tech, or tissue biology for an X-Ray operator, then 90% of ‘highly educated’ liberal arts graduates.

    • Harry says:

      For those unfamiliar with Alex and his tactics. Anyone that might disagree with him will be lambasted with derogatory labels and must be a simpleton and uneducated. I for one have a doctorate and seem to understand both sides of the argument. Alex thinks he’s smarter than you because he must be and that is what he was told. Alex needs to learn that others might be educated and smart too yet they may simply have a different opinion. Hopefully, Alex learns this valuable lesson sooner rather than later.

  81. James Bryant says:

    Unfortunately, the fraying of the national fabric that Prof Galloway mentions is not a recent phenomenon, but indeed has been underway ever since the founding. It was no accident that the US was set up during the waning decades of the Enlightenment (or that Jenner’s vaccination theory matured at the same time), when rational concepts were seen as a basis for good government. Almost immediately, a host of sectarian movements arose to oppose such frameworks, restricting the growth of a society receptive to learning and science. As Pat Moynihan was fond of quoting, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts”, yet we find ourselves still mired by widespread views that a person’s sense of identity is more valid than biological science.

    • Chas says:

      I believe much of the blame goes to Academic versions of science. Facts are whatever part of the truth that wins your argument, puts you on a Tenure tract, or gets your department funding…

    • smith says:

      @Chas brilliant critique. No wonder you don’t like academic science, it wouldn’t even include your version of facts.

    • Chas says:

      @smith Been there. Know the conclusions need to get the funding. Saw too much of that.

  82. Barry says:

    I have thought about “rise to the moment” for a couple of decades. Our destruction of the family, an education system that rewards mediocrity, a system that applauds participation not working to be the best one can be, government handouts that signal no need to take personal responsibility, and the cancel culture so prevalent on our campuses, has made patriotism and sacrifice bad words. Social media awards “celebrity” not excellence. Our whole system has been corrupted. Asking people to sacrifice for the good of the country is no longer our common bond.

  83. Louis J Desy Jr says:

    Keep pushing the hysteria; there are still a few small businesses operating, but another full lockdown should kill them off. How about making a comparison with daily cancer deaths and daily heart disease deaths to get some perspective on how much less COVID is than either of those? As far as the vaccines, they are telling people that even after getting the vaccine, they will still need to social distance, still wear masks and still be possible for a person after taking the vaccine to spread COVID; does not sound like much of a vaccine to me.

  84. Terry says:

    Well said.

  85. Matt says:

    Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Maybe we’d rise to the moment if we weren’t skeptical of the media (and marketers like yourself), incredible speed the vaccine was developed and approved (and to be rolled out), the novel technology of the vaccine, and the politicians and their handling of the pandemic including the president tweeting at the FDA head to approve the vaccine or resign. Any one of those factors alone would cause a healthy amount of skepticism, let alone all of them at the same time. Our hesitancy is logical and rational. Lead from the front. You, the people who developed the vaccine, the president, and all the other politicians and news anchors should take the vaccine first.

  86. John says:

    Wow, Scott. You’ve really gone off the rails on this one! I “had” a lot of respect for your prescient comments over the years but comparing Brit’s jumping in their dinghies to save their fellow Countrymen to taking a vaccine so rushed to prevent something (statistically speaking) so benign is dangerously sophomoric/moronic IMHO! Have an opinion & make a case but don’t try to convince by guilt!

  87. scott millimet says:

    Agree it is important that the American people (and the rest of the world) gets vaccinated with the appropriate Prioritization. However – denigrating a large swath of the populace that disagrees with your political view will not facilitate the progress. It is part of the problem not part of the solution.

  88. Robert Akscyn says:

    Thanks for the well-written article.

  89. J Kane says:

    everyone needs to read this. so well said. thank you

  90. Lauren says:

    Considering that the US population is about 60% greater than the total of the four countries you show, it would appear that we are doing better on the death scale than they are. Were you purposely trying to mislead?

  91. Billie Lawless says:

    into separate spheres of differing truths Have you ever spoken to one of these people who are inhabiting a separate sphere of differing truth? I’m sorry it’s plain stupidity and you can’t talk to them as you’re speaking to a cult. My experience last week (to an HVAC guy) reminded me so much of an afternoon in Boston Public Garden trying to talk to a Moonie in the early 80’s. It was funny back then but not so much now when our democracy is at stake. Why the gloss?

    • Chas says:

      The anti-vaccers I have encountered, via a school board, were nearly all University educated women who never worked, and have become obsessed with their children’s well being. THEY are the ones with kids in private schools fighting vaccinations.

  92. Heather says:

    Great article for. Indeed our generation is being called upon to get the vaccine.

  93. Suzie Kidder says:

    It’s an ugly thought .. but a Red Hat is now a signal that someone has his/her head up her/his ass .. and constitutes a real and present danger to the rest of us. I’m not an automatic preponent of every vaccine, but I’m not an idiot and I’ll get this one as quickly as it becomes available to the general public. And I’ll stand back, and applaud as frontline healthcare works “GO FIRST” in the process of vaccinating the “General Public.” And I would run the risk of contracting COVID19 … rather than insist that I “Jump Ahead of Them In Line” as the Trump Administration has done with testing, etc. If this Pandemic is to have taught us ANYTHING .. it’s that We ARE Our Brother’s Keeper. We ARE All Connected. And we ARE Responsible for One Another’s Welfare. And it Should have taught us that this is a Privilege and not just an Obligation. And that it is in our Connections that we all grow and thrive. Some of us appear to have learned this. Others .. not so much. But there’s still time because this is not going to really diminish until sometime in late spring. And, in the meantime, all we have is EACH OTHER. And our only real shared opportunity is to finally learn … that We ARE All Connected. God I hope we Do.

  94. Jane Woolish says:

    Over 110 MILLION Americans have had covid. They survived and are immune. They are also still having to get covid tests, serve quarantines, wear masks, can’t travel freely, and everything else. PLUS will be forced to get a vaccine in certain professions. These people are at least as immune as those being vaccinated. Reinfection is tiny. The Times said immunity likely lasts at least 17 years. And you honestly think people are irrational for doubting public health? If so, why?

    • Boris says:

      I don’t think any of these numbers have sufficient data behind them. What is your alternative solution? Let the other 200m get sick?

    • Jane Woolish says:

      @Boris how does freeing immune people make 200 million sick? If you get Ebola and survive you’re immune once recovered. Covid? No way! Why not? It’s not science. And it builds doubt in public health daily. Because people know it’s not science.

    • JY says:

      Where the heck do you get 110 million? We have 17 million confirmed cases, probably many more unconfirmed cases, but you’re off by close to an order of magnitude. If you walk on to the street today, can you identify at a glance a survivor vs someone who hasn’t had it yet? I find your arguments completely invalid.

    • Helen Wishart says:

      Well –live or die are not the only possible outcomes. I understand that the death of those over 65 is a tolerable price exacted for the “freedom” of others to choose whether they will participate in public health guidance in controlling the virus (a price I find personally objectionable) but there are other costs for an uncontrolled pandemic. Assuming a 1% death rate — For every one person who dies: -19 more require hospitalization. -18 of those will have permanent heart damage -10 will have permanent lung damage. -3 will have strokes. -2 will have neurological damage that leads to chronic weakness and loss of coordination. -2 will have neurological damage that leads to loss of cognitive function. Not to mention what is not yet known. What does that mean for the people left to deal with the fallout? The National Institutes of Health recently held a two-day seminar on the persistent effects of covid19 infection and “survival”. Take a look at the issues: https://www.vox.com/22166236/long-term-side-effects-covid-19-symptoms-heart-fatigue

    • Susan says:

      Epidemiologist here. You could hardly be more wrong:

    • Susan Parker says:

      @JY Epidemiologist back—I hit reply too soon 🙁 You are entirely wrong: the total best estimate as of yesterday was 17,214,177 cases—less than 17% of your imaginary number. There is no evidence of long-lasting immunity from infection, and there is preliminary evidence that the mRNA vaccines elicit better immunity than natural infection. So far, there is excellent evidence that the vaccine prevents disease, but we don’t yet know whether you can still be infected and transmit the virus to others.

  95. Albie says:

    We have not exhibited the ability to “rise to the moment” for decades. I want to believe we can change that, but reality is we are playing a poor hand.

    • Barry says:

      I have thought about “rise to the moment” for a couple of decades. Our destruction of the family, an education system that rewards mediocrity, a system that applauds participation not working to be the best one can be, government handouts that signal no need to take personal responsibility, and the cancel culture so prevalent on our campuses, has made patriotism and sacrifice bad words. Social media awards “celebrity” not excellence. Our whole system has been corrupted. Asking people to sacrifice for the good of the country is no longer our common bond.

  96. Jane says:

    Until natural immunity gained from surviving covid is touted as strongly as the vaccine, the public will not trust public health. They know covid antibodies work or we wouldn’t have a vaccine. Assuming people are ignorant when you wish is beyond arrogant. It’s dangerous and foolish and what has happened so far. And it’s a big part of why people object now: they don’t trust public health anymore.

  97. Becky says:

    Always appreciate your unique perspective. Agree it IS deadly and WILL be getting vaccinated. One clarification on vaccine expectations (preventable diseases per your chart): Some vaccines (e.g. against measles the the ones in your chart) provide “sterilizing immunity” which means they completely prevent infection. Other vaccines (e.g. against influenza and COVID) reduce the likelihood of severe disease. As noted in the various COVID vaccine trials (roughly 95%). Meaning the same wash, mask, distance protocols cannot be completed abandoned.

  98. Henry says:

    Your chart on countries with discipline shows the U.S. could have controlled COVID with masks or testing – if only we had an operation warp speed for those industries (EUA+ DPA + guaranteed purchase). I think MBA programs have created strategists that drive to “oligopolistic competition” and create moral hazard with public program creation – especially in healthcare. Where was P&G or KClark in the mask production? Why did slow central labs get all of the fed funding and why the hell has the FDA sat on 172 EUAs for home tests for 6 months that could have saved us earlier? Thank the MBAs who lobbied to stop DPAs, constrain/consolidate competition and improve profits in our time of need. – stop training amoral assholes.

    • Chas says:

      You could also ask our previous administration and congress why emergency supplies of PPE were not purchased and stocks refilled after last 2009 virus scare. Selective blame by individuals and biased media only makes it worse.

  99. Mike Kelly says:

    The US was 46th on globaly health outcomes pre pandemic so your base premise is false. What did you think was going to happen? The industry that brought us the opioid is now going to rescue us from a disease that has a 99.4% recovery rate? The makers of vaccines are not liable for the products they make – there are no consumer protections.

  100. bradley dressler says:

    So if you take the vaccine and are safe, and those who are at risk take the vaccine and are safe, why do you give a rat’s ass if I take the vaccine? Vaxing all of America will not make the virus disappear, so again, if you and your family are safely vaxed why do you care about me? Who is the one with the head up his ass?

  101. Steve Brookes says:

    Well said and bang on target. More strength to you Sir but, I hope, more to the message. Keep pushing and stay safe.

  102. Kevin says:

    That, Commander Galloway, was why we liked you so much in A few Good Men. Great speech!

  103. Chas says:

    Great story, untold in most US history courses at any level. Two comments: If the vaccine is safe, how about cutting the Social Media censorship? By refusing to allow contrarian opinions, AKA fake news, on the vaccine, FB, Twitter, etc. are enabling those who fear conspiracy. Seems contrary to your doctrine of openness and free debate. Likely a small group or anti-vac types will not affect the masses, but when they CAN show ‘censorship’ their ranks will grow. The response from all levels of government in the US is at fault here. If we had a Democratic President, the blame by the media would fall on the states and not on the White House, as either can be plausibly blamed. The right response would have been a (rare) national emergency declaration from Washington, overriding the states. Pearl Harbor or 9/11 analog. It would have needed Congress to go along, and in this divided country, they probably would have let people die rather than give Trump administration any credibility. Neither group really cares about us.

  104. NANCY L LONDON says:

    Excellent analysis. Perhaps you could be a guest on FOX “NEWS” and enlighten them and their viewers.

  105. zack porter says:

    A call has gone out. Will we answer it? Hell no, “we” will not answer it, because the 75MM Covidiots would rather die than put on a mask or get vaccinated. You can’t fix stupid. Darwin was right. Survival of the fittest (and smartest).

    • Chas says:

      Perfect example of how the left media and liberals in US politics have botched THEIR responsibility here. If you want people to do something, eg wear masks, you DON’T insult them. Somehow, all the ‘educated’ people here slept though psych 101 or their first marketing course…

    • David Pg says:

      @Chas If we’d just been nice to the Nazis too.

  106. Jay Stocki says:

    Scott – I’ve been using the analogy that those who refuse to get the vaccine are like the draft-dodgers of WWII or the people at home who cheated on their ration cards. I’ve started calling people who refuse to take the vaccine by the nickname “draft-dodger” every time I see them. It is slowly starting to work.

    • Chas says:

      How about if we don’t use insults and belittlement? It is fun in politics for some, gets a lot of eyeballs watching late night comedians and their advertisers.. Best left outside when we have a national emergency.

  107. Christopher Portillo says:

    The pressing issue isn’t necessarily the global pandemic, Rather a festering conflagration of idiocy in Washington .The Swamp Strikes Back . O biden won kenobi , will lead the rebel forces.

  108. James Brooke says:

    Well Scott, you’ll win plenty of British hearts and minds with that intro.. if we have a national ‘founding story’ these days – the dark days of 1940/41 are it! Totally with you in spirit from across the pond – this is a task of no less urgency!

  109. David says:

    I wish you would run for government. We need raging moderates who are smart, care about human beings and are fighters. All of which you are.

    • Harry says:

      Totally dudebro. What we need is a guy that calls half the country that dare disagree with him simpletons and selfish instead of actually trying to understand differing perspectives. Better to just call those we disagree with names. We need more of that!

  110. Ron says:

    Damn you write well! You’re absolutely right….. there’s nothing else to say.

    • P says:

      Let’s give the Trump administration some credit. They didn’t get much right. but they did get the vaccine effort .