Photo by Adam Schultz
John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Francis Collins’ Rhetoric About the Unvaccinated is Anything but Christian

Published at The Stream

Francis Collins is Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also is the most well-known evangelical Christian in the federal science establishment.

But his recent rhetoric is anything but Christian.

Earlier this month, Collins appeared on MSNBC. He first suggested that unvaccinated people were selfish, declaring that “this is really an occasion to think about loving your neighbor, not just yourself.”

Collins then attacked unvaccinated people and politicians who oppose vaccine mandates as killers on the wrong side of history.

Dismissing their concerns as a “philosophical political argument” that is part of “a culture war,” Collins said their view is “killing people, including, I’m sad to say, some children.”

“Citizens, we will not escape history,” he declared. “Do you want to be looked at… 10 years from now and defend what you did when in fact, we are losing tens of thousands of lives that didn’t have to die?”

Collins’ rhetoric is self-righteous. It’s vicious. And it’s based on false claims.

The Risks Real People Have to Weigh

If you have a healthy teenage son, are you being “selfish” if you don’t want him to get a COVID-19 vaccine? According to a new study, teenage males are vastly more likely to suffer a post-vaccine heart problem (a “cardiac adverse event”) than hospitalization due to a COVID-19 infection.

Is it selfish or loving to be concerned about the risk to your son?

Or what if you’ve already recovered from COVID-19? That includes more than 119 million Americans. According to studies, those who have had COVID-19 are far less likely to get infected again than vaccinated individuals who haven’t yet had the disease.

So are you a selfish killer simply because you want to rely on your natural immunity after having recovered from COVID-19?

What if you are a healthy person under age 65 with no underlying health conditionsYour risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 is small. Are you irrational or selfish because you have concerns about the risk of taking a COVID-19 vaccine?

Adverse Reactions

Since 1990, over 1.5 million adverse events have been submitted to the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Guess what percentage of these adverse events come from the COVID-19 vaccines? Five percent? Ten percent? Twenty percent?

Actually, it’s 47% — nearly half of all vaccine adverse reports over a thirty year period are tied to COVID-19 vaccines. And the year isn’t even over yet.

What about deaths reported to VAERS?

Again, since 1990, just over 24,000 vaccine-related deaths have been reported in VAERS. Guess how many of the death reports are related to the COVID? Ten percent? Thirty percent? Actually, it’s over 63 percent — 15,386 deaths through September 17, 2021.

If Francis Collins were serious about trying to persuade people rather than berating them, he might try explaining the VAERS data. Instead, he ignores it. VAERS is not a perfect system, but you have to wonder: Why do COVID-19 vaccines have so many more adverse reports than any other vaccines in recorded history in the United States?

Collins’ version of Jesus’ command is a club used to beat others. If you don’t get vaccinated, he will accuse you of not “loving your neighbor.”

Something must be responsible for the difference. But don’t expect Collins to explain.

Earlier this year, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson tried to ask Collins about the VAERS data. Collins’ “dismissive reaction to my concerns was more than troubling,” Johnson wrote later.

Love Your Neighbor?

Something Collins does like to talk about is “loving your neighbor.” But his version of Jesus’ command is a club used to beat others. If you don’t get vaccinated, he will accuse you of not “loving your neighbor.”

But who is our neighbor? According to Jesus, those despised by the leaders of society are our neighbors. Read the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.

And who is despised right now in America? Surely not the vaccinated. They are celebrated. Instead, it’s the few people who for whatever reason feel they can’t be vaccinated.

Are these people Collins’ neighbors? If so, does he owe any obligation to them?

Across America right now our fellow unvaccinated citizens are being fired from their jobs as well as being denied unemployment benefits. How are they supposed to live? Other unvaccinated Americans are losing their access to medical care.

Does Francis Collins think these cruelties are examples of “loving thy neighbor”?

Apparently so. When President Biden announced his national vaccine mandate, Collins expressed no misgivings. He expressed no concern for the unvaccinated. Instead, he lavished praise on President Biden for adopting “a very forceful, muscular approach” in trying to impose an unconstitutional mandate.

Praising a “forceful, muscular” leader while ignoring the plight of the truly oppressed: Not only is this not an example of loving thy neighbor, it is pretty near the opposite. Francis Collins might want to re-read his Bible.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
Discovery Institute