Eric Metaxas Goes Anti-Vax

Not only has Eric Metaxas become a conspiracy theorist when it comes to the 2020 presidential election, he apparently has gone full anti-vax.

I told you about his move into this world back in 2020. Now Metaxas is telling his followers not to get vaccinated.

(Metaxas has removed the tweet, but below is a screen cap of it)

Hat tip to Joemygod for this. I am blocked by Metaxas so I didn’t see it.

In May 2020, Metaxas had Kent Heckenlively on his radio show and gave him a 36 minute commercial for the anti-vax movement. Heckenlively was allowed to provide a full recitation of the anti-vax catalog of false claims and half-truths. Now it seems Metaxas has fully sided with the fringe and may push some people over the anti-vax edge.

He just keeps finding the edge of the fringe and jumping off.

The article that Metaxas links to is not by a scientist or virologist but by a conspiracy writer. In it, he writes:

It [the vaccine] is not a vaccine. Vaccines are actually a legally defined term. And they’re a legally defined term under public health law. They’re a legally defined term under CDC and FDA standards, and a vaccine specifically has to stimulate, both an immunity within the person receiving it but it also has to disrupt transmission. And that’s not what this is.

Here is the CDC definition of a vaccine: “A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.”

While there is a question about transmission with these vaccines, these questions don’t render the vaccine not a vaccine. Past vaccination efforts have had inconsistent results when it comes to transmission immunity. See this Scientific American article for more on that topic.

This 2009 scientific virology paper casts doubt on the notion that transmission prevention is a requirement to be a vaccine:

The benefits of reducing person-to-person transmission in the context of either an epidemic or a pandemic are clear. It is therefore appropriate that one of the main aims of vaccination is to limit transmission. Nevertheless, the efficacy of vaccines in blocking viral spread, either to or from the vaccinated individual, is not traditionally assessed in preclinical or clinical trials.

Beneficial? Yes. Required or “traditionally assessed?” No.

David Dark asks Simon & Schuster a very good question.

The Gospel Coalition Posts Helpful Vaccine Article

The Gospel Coalition often posts theoretical or theological articles. However, yesterday Joe Carter posted a helpful and practical piece on vaccines. In case readers need a Christian resource for their Christian anti-vax friends, I post a link to it and a few related comments.

The current resurgence of cases has been driven by a rise in religious exemptions. Anti-vax activists are increasingly vocal and have taken on pro-life arguments to bolster their cause. Prominent conservative evangelicals such as David Barton and “activist mommy” Elizabeth Johnson have spoken against vaccines.

Carter has spoken out before on medical issues. He wrote a scathing response to David Barton and Kenneth Copeland when they advocated treating PTSD with Bible verses. Given the fact that many Christians are using religious arguments to support their anti-vax position, I am glad to see this piece published by The Gospel Coalition.

I want to emphasize this part of Carter’s final paragraph.

If we choose not to vaccinate our children then we must accept that there will be some public institutions in which they cannot participate.

Especially in a public health crisis, I don’t believe parental rights are absolute. The state has a responsibility to protect all of us and in this case that might mean keeping unvaccinated children out of the general population, including schools.