Medical expert debunks Ron Johnson’s bogus anti-vaxxer claims: 'The vaccine has been very effective'

Medical expert debunks Ron Johnson’s bogus anti-vaxxer claims: 'The vaccine has been very effective'

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is among the far-right Republicans who promotes anti-vaxxer views while claiming that he isn't an anti-vaxxer. And some of the things that Johnson has been saying, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Molly Beck, are at odds with what medical experts have been saying.

When Johnson appeared on the "John Solomon Reports" podcast recently, he said, "If you walk around asymptomatic with 250 times the viral load, are you the superspreader? Is that what's happening here?" And Johnson, noting that Israel has had a lot of COVID-19 breakthrough infections despite a high vaccination rate, said, "This does not look like a pandemic of the unvaxxed — this looks like vaccine failure."

But Patrick Remington, director of the University of Wisconsin, Madison's preventive medicine residency program, disagrees.

Remington told the Journal Sentinel, "This has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated, worsened by people taking risks, such as gathering together indoors without masks. The vaccine has been very effective in preventing serious illness and death. The fact that the Delta variant is so much more contagious means that we cannot rely on the vaccine alone, but need to reduce the risks of getting infected and infecting others."

Johnson, during his "John Solomon Reports" appearance, also made the totally unscientific claim that mass vaccination for COVID-19 could be "dangerous."

"Nobody wants to admit they were wrong — they've all been recommending the vaccine," Johnson said. "They sure don't want to admit that well, gee, maybe, maybe we should have kept it to just the vulnerable.... Vaccinating into a pandemic could be dangerous. I mean, you could have variants produced that evade the vaccine; I think maybe that's what's happening with Delta."

But Remington told the Journal Sentinel that the Delta variant hardly makes a case for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Remington explained, "There's no question that people who are unvaccinated are the main contributor to the continued transmission of COVID-19, and every transmission presents an opportunity for the virus to mutate to a more contagious and more lethal variant."

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