Vaccines take years, if not decades to develop, the BBC said recently.
That’s the case “normally” – but apparently these are some very abnormal times even in the scientific community, as researchers “hope to achieve the same amount of work in only a few months.”
This kind of rushed process will leave many people feeling uneasy and questioning the testing and safety process, and they don’t have to be “anti-vaxxers,” i.e., opposed to inoculation as such, to think and express those thoughts, or even refuse to be vaccinated.
But it doesn’t look like allowances will be made for any kind of skepticism expressed online, as “pro-vaxxers” in political and media circles in the US are preparing to fight the enemies of a vaccine that doesn’t exist.
This battle will be taking place on the internet, reports suggest. Unlike the UN, which is enlisting volunteers around the word for a similar cause, in the US it is “government officials” who are signing up.
Fact-checkers will apparently be employed to counter “bad memes” – like those critical of Dr Anthony Fauci – the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and promote “good memes” that are supportive of him.
This fact-checking effort involves real or faked inability to understand what memes are, as fact-checkers debunk “inaccurate quotes” they contain.
In any case – it was Fauci who told a Senate hearing earlier in the week that “the government would be putting ‘boots on the ground’ in community engagement efforts,” said the report.
And the message will have to be carefully crafted to convince people to accept vaccination, he said. It sounds like propaganda but is framed like it will be an influencer-and-celebrity driven campaign, to make it more palatable to those distrusting or disliking government figures.
“They may not like a government person in a suit like me telling them, even though I will tell them,” Fauci said to CNN this week. “They really need to see people that they can relate to in the community — sports figures, community heroes, people that they look up to.”
Other countries, like Brazil, are also taking measures to control speech on the subject of coronavirus by passing “anti-fake news” legislation targeting social media companies, in what looks like a clear-cut case of government overreach.
Meanwhile in Europe, fact-checkers are reporting back on their work as they fight to protect the good name of Bill Gates and 5G technology, while also debunking conspiracy theories and fake cures, and, it goes without saying, battling memes.