Editorial: In (mis)information we trust


“Your body, your choice.”

This distinctive phrase, derived from abortion advocates, was Tweeted by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Sept. 29 – yet, not in the way that you’d think. Cruz, who stands against legal abortions, tweeted this in support of NBA players who refused to get vaccinated. 

While it’s not mandatory to get vaccinated in the NBA, if players are unvaccinated, they will be unable to play in some stadiums. 

Nonetheless, Cruz himself is fully vaccinated.

Tucker Carlson, a Fox News host, pushed his viewers to “ignore medical advice” and question the viability of the vaccine. 

Every employee who enters the Fox News newsroom – including Carlson – is required to be fully vaccinated. 

With the spread of misinformation and the anti-vaccination agenda, we’re only moving further away from putting an end to the pandemic.

Currently, just over half of Pennsylvania’s population is fully vaccinated – and 45 percent of the U.S. population.

While more than half of the country has yet to receive a jab, booster shots were introduced to the U.S. in early September – only to be taken six months after the second dose.

According to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71 percent of unvaccinated Americans say that the booster shot is proof that vaccines don’t work.

Our country is divided not only by the two-party dominant system, but also by a vaccine.

With two diverse streams of information– pro and anti-vaccine – we are becoming further and further polarized, and further from the termination of this deadly virus.

Surrounding the vaccine, we don’t know what to trust anymore – whether it’s the information we’re receiving or, eminently, the people around us.

According to Lehigh’s COVID-19 dashboard 96.7 percent of students are fully vaccinated. There are a small number of vaccine exemptions in the Lehigh community – for reasons regarding religion and health.

Amongst students, staff and faculty, we don’t know exactly who is vaccinated and who isn’t. It’s simple to show enthusiasm for the vaccine to the public. But there’s the looming possibility that someone, who seems to be supportive, is secretly against it and is unvaccinated.

In a difficult situation of polarization, where the unvaccinated are becoming more resistant, and the vaccinated are becoming more supportive, who can we trust?

The fact of the matter is only one side of the argument is backed up: vaccination supporters have scientific evidence in their back pocket. It’s proven that the vaccines do work to assuage the effects of COVID-19. 

On the other hand, science isn’t on the side of those who are anti-vaccination. 

There are reasons  why vaccination cards are becoming the pass to everything. In large cities, such as New York, they’ve become a pass to restaurants and other indoor activities. 

Vaccinations are for the safety of all of us. Getting vaccinated is a choice, yet this is one of the deadliest viruses ever. The incentive of safety should be enough of a reason to get vaccinated. 

It’s no different from the vaccinations we get for the flu, HPV and many others we’ve received since birth.

The misinformation is spreading quickly, and its sources are always contradictory to what you’d believe.

With the spread of misinformation rapidly increasing polarization, we’re only moving further from our goal of maintaining the safety of our community. 

Anyone can tell someone one side of a situation to please them, but truthfully feel different on the inside. Polarization is depleting our trust for the safety of us all. 

Being completely honest and transparent is key, regardless of what side you are on. We want to be able to trust those around us and know who to trust. 

This isn’t about social connotations; it’s about trustworthiness and doing the right thing for everyone’s safety.

With the booster shot potentially becoming available to students soon, reliable information and truthfulness are key to making the right choice.

We’re depending on each other, so let our trust be real and transparent.

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1 Comment

  1. One thing a majority of Americans my have in common is the ability to rationalize in order to back up their preconceived notions of those of their affinity group or to oppose notions held by rival affinity groups. We seem to be a nation of Chicken Littles ( for those under a certain age search “Henny Penny” ) rather than thinking humans.

    “Your body, your choice.” seems to be true but in the two instances referred to their are others involved in the decision, others that are typically ignored. This is a commonality of the right and the left, people doing what people do.

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