Survey finds that nearly one-third of Americans believe a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus already exists but is being withheld
04/27/2020 / By JD Heyes / Comments
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Survey finds that nearly one-third of Americans believe a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus already exists but is being withheld

Would the U.S. government withhold information about a treatment or a cure for a disease that is currently ravaging the country?

You bet it would, and in fact, that’s very likely been happening for years — which explains why a health plurality of Americans think it may be happening again. 

According to The Week, a new survey finds that about one-third of Americans believe it’s either “probably” or “definitely” true that a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) already exists, but that the Trump administration is keeping it away from us.

“To see about a third of people give that some level of, ‘Yeah, that might be true,’ that was pretty shocking to me,” said Robert Griffin, the research director at the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, which conducted the survey with the UCLA Nationscape Project in partnership with USA Today.

“That’s a pretty dark type of thought to be floating around the public,” he added.

The Des Moines Register noted further: 

As the coronavirus pandemic nears 50,000 deaths in the U.S. – around half don’t believe that figure either – new data suggests many Americans hold misinformation about the virus. It signals their mistrust in institutions as citizens are being asked to rely on government, health and other leaders amid the outbreak.

According to the survey, 29 percent of respondents said they believe it’s probably or definitely true there is already a coronavirus vaccine but it’s not being released to the public. A larger portion — 32 percent — said they believe treatment that can cure coronavirus infections also exists but it, too, is being withheld. 

“You could sort of see how that could suggest sort of a rather nefarious bit of actions on the part of a wide variety of actors within society if people are truly holding onto that idea,” Griffin said.

Remember the Tuskegee Experiment?

The survey of more than 6,300 people taken April 2-8 came as most of the country was approaching the one-month mark of state-imposed coronavirus social distancing mandates — and before a series of protests against those mandates began.

“There’s a variety of battlegrounds in a public health crisis like this,” Griffin said, citing real-time logistics and other problems that occur in such scenarios. “But another one is just how to convince people of the truth about a variety of things.”

As for the ‘political’ nature of the survey, researchers found that skepticism was bipartisan: Views on the existence of a vaccine were nearly the same among Democrats and Republicans, the paper reported.

Currently — and ‘officially’ — no vaccine exists, but what does that matter? Vaccines aren’t the cure-all, end-all they’re made out to be anyway. (Related: Study proves that coronavirus vaccine would never work; might actually create MORE new viruses through recombination in human hosts.)

And besides, remember the Tuskegee Experiment? As the CDC notes, the then-Public Health Service began a syphilis study in 1932 involving 600 black men — 399 with the disease and 201 who did not have it.

“The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness,” the CDC noted on its website. 

The study was only supposed to last about six months but it actually went on for 40 years. And later, in 1947 when the cure for syphilis was found — penicillin — the men afflicted with the disease were denied treatment. 

“Even when penicillin became the drug of choice for syphilis in 1947, researchers did not offer it to the subjects,” the CDC said on its site. 

So, you tell us: Why would Americans deign to believe that treatment for a disease would ever be withheld from them? 

And maybe it’s not a vaccine at all; it could just be a lowly, long-used anti-malaria treatment known as hydroxycholoroquine.

Sources include:

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