I heard earlier this week about a doctor who is called a vaccine skeptic and was invited to testify before a Senate committee on Tuesday. At first, I was annoyed that congress was giving her a platform to speak her concerns. Now two days later, I am annoyed with media outlets.
One could make an argument that it is the responsibility of a Senate committee to hear varying perspectives to make an informed decision. I am not making that argument as this doctor appears to be on the fringe, but I admit it has validity.
This doctor’s presence at the hearing was covered rather extensively on Monday and Tuesday leading into the hearing. Now it is Thursday, and the reporting on that hearing and her testimony are absent. The hearing itself was not private, as I found the recording of the hearing on senate.gov as well as a transcript of Dr. Orient’s testimony, so coverage is possible.
My question is, what was the point of making a big deal about this woman testifying if the testimony itself is not covered? The “big deal” seemed to be that the Senate was inviting this doctor in the first place, but now that it is done, the absence of coverage means that the media itself has added weight to anyone in the anti-vaccination camp merely due to the vacuum left in the wake of the initial coverage.
I personally did not read the testimony; I am going to get the vaccine when it becomes available to me. I might check with a personal doctor as I have had allergic reactions to antibiotics, but even that seems to be low risk as I have never had an allergic reaction to other vaccines nor been asked to carry an adrenaline autoinjector.
I hope most of the world is right beside me, socially distanced, for their own vaccine as well.