Brazilian President Fears a Horrible Side Effect From COVID Vaccine...It's Not What You Think

Posted: Dec 21, 2020 12:45 PM
Brazilian President Fears a Horrible Side Effect From COVID Vaccine...It's Not What You Think

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

There will always be side effects. Some are so bad that it makes you wonder if taking the medication is worth it. At the office, a commercial about a pill to treat psoriasis had side effects that were honestly quite awful, but my co-worker found the "persistent diarrhea" angle to be too much.

"I'd rather have the disease," this person said.

In the film, "I Am Legend," scientists re-engineered the measles vaccine to cure cancer. It instead wipes out most of humanity. Most of those who didn't die in the aftermath mutated into vampire-like albino creatures. The rest, a small sliver, to say the least, were immune but consumed by the vampires. Will Smith, who plays Dr. Robert Neville, explains it better in the movie. That's what Brazil's president thinks will happen with the COVID vaccine…sort of.

President Jair Bolsonaro thinks the shot could turn people into alligators. Now, from the transcript, he sounds like he's just trying to give an example of a side effect before hitting on his main point, which is that Pfizer could have legal immunity if anything goes terribly wrong from some people who take it. At the same time, he could have probably made that point without venturing into nutbar factor six territory (via NY Post):

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro shocked even his staunchest supporters this week with an expletive-filled tirade against the COVID-19 vaccine, despite 7.1 million cases of the virus in the country and over 185,000 deaths.

“I’m not going to get [the vaccine]. Some say I’m setting a bad example. Hey a–hole, oh idiot, what are you saying about the bad example, I already had the virus, I already have antibodies. Why should I get the vaccine again?” Bolsonaro said in a speech captured by the news service UOL to a crowd in Porto Seguro. Bolsonaro contracted COVID-19 earlier this year.

Brazil has registered two cases of reinfection and scientists are not sure how long antibodies last, according to the news site.

Then again, when you survive an assassination attempt, you can pretty much say whatever you want, in my opinion. Look, this guy is considered the Brazilian Trump, though some has disagreed with that description. He did endorse Trump for reelection, however. Still, of course, he doesn’t mean you’ll turn into a lizard, though I find the example humorous. He’s talking about risk. In the United States, there’s a lot of talk about vaccine risk. 

Chalk this alligator moment as one where the press totally took Trump’s bleach comments out of line. Even left-wing fact-checkers had to reel in Joe Biden for taking the remarks out of context last year. Now, maybe you could argue that an outlandish example to make a point about something very much on the minds of people about this vaccine doesn’t help. Trump has been the victim of this many times, but we have a press corps that takes things very literally, especially if they don’t like you. I don’t know how Brazilian media is, but if Trump said that the vaccine could turn you into a reptile—he’d be blasted for weeks. 

Regardless of what happens, Trump’s Warp Speed is one of his greatest, if not the greatest, achievements this administration has accomplished. We have two vaccines approved and distributed before the end of the year. The light is at the end of the tunnel. It’s a feat for which Joe Biden will take all the credit. While Trump was getting Warp Speed off the ground, getting American companies to overhaul their manufacturing capacity to make ventilators, and enacting travel bans to curb the spread, Biden was in the basement. Trump did all that he could with the information that he had, with a medical expert class that, at the time, appeared to be no better than the Democratic operatives that are hired by the Democratic National Committee