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According to classically liberal writer Andrew Sullivan, it’s time for Americans to “stop worrying” about the coronavirus and learn to “live with” it the way they’ve learned to live with the cold, the flu and even HIV.
His point is that Americans must not lose sight of the end goal, which was supposed to have been to slow the spread for 15 days, just enough for hospitals to equip themselves with the resources needed to handle a surge in the virus.
Well, it’s been over 15 months, and yet many on the left still seek to “slow the spread” by methods as dubious as forcing vaccinated Americans to mask up in perpetuity.
Speaking on CNN this Tuesday evening, he explained to disbelieving host Anderson Cooper why this paranoid-delusional obsession is neither sustainable nor healthy.
“The trouble with the viruses is that you can get fixated on them rather than the goal. The goal is living, and I’ve lived for 28 years with HIV, and it’s in my bone marrow. And I’ve learned [I can’t] defeat it, I can’t declare victory. But I can get on with my life and make sure I don’t die from it or get sick from it,” he said.
Similarly, he argued, Americans should seek vaccination from the coronavirus and then move on with their lives.
But Cooper wasn’t convinced. He correctly noted that neither children nor the immunocompromised can partake in the vaccine.
Sullivan pushed back by noting that children are at extremely low risk of suffering complications from the coronavirus and that the immunocompromised are vulnerable to virtually every pathogen in the air.
“You’re 18 times more likely to drown if your age is one to five than to die of COVID. I think, putting it in some sort of perspective for children, it’s not serious of a disease at all. It’s like a bad cold. The immunocompromised are going to be, unfortunately, vulnerable for a long time,” he said.
His point regarding the immunocompromised was that if society is to start sacrificing its freedoms to protect the immunocompromised, then society is going to have to essentially give up ALL its freedoms. The other option, he continued, is for society to just learn to “live with this thing.”
“So we’re going to have to live with this thing. We’re going to have to be vaccinated consistently against it, because it’s not going away, and it’s going to be here. And the goal is not to pursue a victory over the virus but to learn how to live with it and actually live fully alongside it,” he explained.
Sullivan was invited onto CNN because of a Substack post he published late last month. It was in the post where he first articulated his unorthodox perspective.
— John Rentoul (@JohnRentoul) July 30, 2021
“[D]o we really want to get back to living? I do. So take the rational precautions — a solid vaccine — and go about your business as you always did. Yes, I’ll wear a mask indoors if I’m legally required or politely asked. But I don’t really see why anyone should,” he wrote.
“In a free society, once everyone has access to a vaccine that overwhelmingly prevents serious sickness and death, there is no reason to enforce lockdowns again, or mask mandates, or social distancing any longer. In fact, there’s every reason not to,” he added.
He explained that forcing the vaccinated to abide by the same rules as the unvaccinated would disincentivize vaccination. He further argued that it’d be best to just allow everybody to be free, even if that leads to more deaths. If anything, he maintained, more deaths might incentivize more vaccinations.
The latter point was one Cooper had trouble accepting.
“The history of this pandemic shows that not to be the case. I mean, we have seen during the worst of this pandemic, with hospitals overwhelmed and people dying, still half the country is choosing not to be vaccinated,” he said.
Actually, data from Worldometers shows that the pandemic peaked in January, when only a tiny portion of the population — namely health care workers and the elderly — were eligible to be vaccinated.
But now that they’re open to everybody 12 and over, vaccinations have spiked across the country amid the latest surge in the coronavirus.
“We’re increasingly seeing right now big jumps in vaccination rates in those states where people are dying. Certainly in Florida and in other southern states,” Sullivan noted.
More and more Texans are getting vaccinated to protect themselves and others from the Delta variant.
— Texas DSHS (@TexasDSHS) August 6, 2021
“You know, government isn’t there to hold your hand every day. The government has a responsibility to give you the means to protect you and your family from this. Once they’ve done that, it’s a free country — you get to live,” he added.
Sadly, this perspective isn’t shared by CNN viewers. Over on Twitter, this video has been pummeled with negative comments from leftists upset that, one, CNN “platformed” Sullivan, and that two, Sullivan dared to dissent.
Extremely disappointed that @andersoncooper gave a platform to Andrew Sullivan to advocate letting highly contagious airborne COVID “rip”. What?! Having non-airborne HIV does not turn you into a doctor, much less a virologist. Sullivan has zero credibility or authority on COVID.
— D. Shawn Stevens (@dshawnstevens) August 11, 2021
Sullivan – “ Not that serious a disease at all-it’s like a bad cold” for children. Why have him on to spread misinformation?
— RobFL (@Imwithher6) August 11, 2021
I’m sorry, is Andrew Sullivan still relevant?
— Wendy Satin (@w_satin) August 11, 2021
Keep broadcasting non expert celebrities giving medical advice. The dumbing down of our society is in full swing. How can you do this and then question how people believe the big lie and conspiracies. Stop presenting unqualified people as experts. Just adds confusion and chaos.
— Laura (@Perflexed919) August 11, 2021
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