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Watch: New Google Ad Spreads Simple, Truthful Vaccine Message That Top Health Officials Have Bungled

Last week witnessed a series of mitigated messaging debacles for CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. On Monday, she appeared to become emotional while communicating her sense of "impending doom" over rising case rates in parts of the country. "I'm scared," she said, her voice faltering. Though cases are on the rise overall, the vast majority of America's most vulnerable citizens have been vaccinated, thankfully, making the current surge less concerning than previous spikes. That very evening, Walensky stepped away from her foreboding cloud of doom to relay the excellent news that inoculated people overwhelmingly do not carry – and therefore do not transmit – COVID, a belated confirmation of quite a lot of additional evidence supporting this assertion: 

Then came the walk-back

The health agency clarified the statement Thursday, saying “the evidence isn’t clear” and that Walensky was “speaking broadly.”  “It’s possible that some people who are fully vaccinated could get COVID-19,” a CDC spokesperson told the New York Times. “The evidence isn’t clear whether they can spread the virus to others. We are continuing to evaluate the evidence.”

The vaccines are remarkably effective, but not 100 percent effective. We all know this. The evidence seems quite clear that the overwhelming likelihood for vaccinated people is that they will not fall ill from COVID, and will not contract or spread it, either. That's why Walensky made her initial statement. That didn't come out of nowhere. But the hyper-cautious CDC decided to muddy the waters on account of outlier exceptions to the overall, incredibly heartening, rule. This is very foolish, especially as it pertains to the perceptions of vaccine-skeptical Americans. Next up was CDC's determination that vaccinated people can travel, at very low risk to themselves or others (because, again, the vaccines work amazingly well): 

Americans who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can safely travel at home and abroad, as long as they take basic precautions like wearing masks, federal health officials announced on Friday, a long-awaited change from the dire government warnings that have kept many millions home for the past year.

Fully vaccinated people shouldn't need to wear masks indefinitely, of course, but this was at least a step in the right direction. But as people reacted favorably to the updated travel guidance, CDC decided to step back in and throw cold water on their own recommendation: 

In summary: Rising new cases constitute "impending doom," but the soaring ranks of vaccinated Americans don't carry and won't spread the disease, except they might, so while it's safe for immunized people to travel, they shouldn't travel, due to cases rising – even though they won't get sick from COVID and almost certainly won't spread it. Make sense? Allahpundit tried to square the circle behind the mixed messaging, but the bottom line takeaway is that US public health officials are making a horrible mess with this parade of ultra-hesitant and contradictory rhetoric. There are exceptions to rules, and nothing is 100 percent certain or foolproof. Most Americans are mature enough to understand that. But for official pronouncements to constantly lag behind the science, then belatedly catch up, only to pull the rug out from under people with walk-backs of optimistic developments, is to do active harm to the critical cause of getting as many people vaccinated as possible. The clear, concise, accurate, over-arching message should be, "fully vaccinated people can get back to their normal lives because the vaccines work spectacularly well." On that score, I'll leave you with Google's new ad (I saw it during the epic Gonzaga/UCLA Final Four game on Saturday) that captures and illustrates the essence of that hopeful reality. Dr. Walensky should take notes: 

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