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Op-ed: Evolution of the pandemic

Op-ed: Evolution of the pandemic
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris talk with White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients and Chief Medical Adviser to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The woman in the grocery store was quite upset.

She didn’t like wearing a mask. She hadn’t been vaccinated and she was convinced it was a conspiracy.

“The government and Dr. [Anthony] Fauci are just trying to kill enough people worldwide so the population drops to a billion people,” she explained.

This comes as the Biden administration warns against a US explosion of the Omicron variant in coming weeks. The United States has already donated 335 million doses worldwide—enough to vaccinate 2.34% of the world’s population. That’s about one dose for every American, meaning the US leads the world in fighting the pandemic as it enters its third year.

Jeff Zients, coordinator of the White House COVID-19 Response Team, warned in a recent press that it’s going to be a long winter for those who are not vaccinated—or perhaps a very short, painful one for those who get sick with covid.

According to Zients and Fauci, vaccinated individuals may be asymptomatic or only suffer a mild case of covid, even if infected with Omicron. Bottom line? Such people probably won’t get sick enough to be hospitalized.

But those who deny science are convinced the government is trying to kill them, and that Dr. Fauci is the modern-day version of Dr. Josef Mengele, Hitler’s “angel of death”—even though most of the people dying of covid are the unvaccinated.

“I don’t believe that,” said my fellow shopper in the supermarket. She then went on to explain how making her get vaccinated was the same as making Jews wear yellow stars and being sent to concentration camps.

It isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Even a “reporter” at the White House made such a claim. Thankfully, the woman shopper didn’t spit on me, yell at me or go postal. But she still couldn’t explain how governments are trying to kill people by getting them vaccinated, and her argument to me was illogical. “If the goal is to kill us off with vaccines, then why are mostly the unvaccinated dying?” I asked her.

“That’s just what ‘they’ want you to believe,” she countered. I asked if she knew any vaccinated people who had died. “No,” she said. Then I asked if she knew of any unvaccinated people who had died. She said “Yes,” but still maintained governments around the world were conspiring to kill us through vaccines. I urged her to “fight the power” by getting vaccinated. “That would confound them,” I added.

Many people like this woman are helping make problems worse as the pandemic continues. Omicron has swept through Europe and Africa, and is poised to overtake Delta as the dominant variant of the coronavirus in the United States in a matter of weeks.

A world weary of the pandemic continues to reel from the latest bad news that the virus has again mutated and is quickly spreading. Yet Fauci said there’s still no definitive data to say whether or not the latest variant is less lethal than Delta.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is urging everyone to mask up in public, wash their hands, ventilate indoor areas, get vaxxed and get boosted while continuing to practice social distancing. “These are the best tools” to use against the pandemic, she said.

The problem continues to be those who doubt the science and don’t get vaccinated. Eventually, Fauci said, the coronavirus will eventually evolve into something less lethal—much as the flu pandemic of 1918 did.

“This will end,” he assured us.

The question is when? The doomsayers say when about six billion of us have died. The scientists—hoping for something a little less apoplectic and apocalyptic—say this spring.

Brian Karem

Brian Karem is the former senior White House correspondent for Playboy magazine. He successfully sued Donald Trump to keep his press pass after Trump tried to suspend it. He has also gone to jail to defend a reporter's right to keep confidential sources.


  1. What’s in that Kool-Ade trump serves his minions? With over 800,000 dead of COVID, they still believe him & won’t vaccinate!
    Q: How DEMENTED are they?
    A: As DEMENTED as he TELLS them to be! 🥴

  2. Stumbled onto you Brian when watching the previous president and your reporting, and as a Brit I’m still here for your takes on what is happening over the pond. Keep up the great work.

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