Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed Saturday that the U.S. would not have been able to eradicate smallpox or polio if misinformation had been a factor.
Fauci spoke with CNN’s Jim Acosta about the White House’s plan to push back on what it deemed “misinformation” on coronavirus vaccines, arguing that scientists may have failed to convince people to get vaccinated against smallpox or polio if they had been forced to navigate through social media misinformation. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Torches Biden Admin For Vaccine Policies, Says They’re No Longer ‘Pro-Choice’)
“He says misinformation has gotten so bad that the era of defeating a disease like polio in this country may be long gone,” Acosta began as he introduced the interview.
“Disinformation and misinformation is really, really a problem,” Fauci told Acosta, alleging that when he spoke with people in the community about the reasons they did not want to get the coronavirus vaccines, many of those reasons were rooted in false information.
“The numbers that you mention, Jim, are striking. You can’t run away from those. 99.5% of the deaths that occur from COVID-19 are among unvaccinated individuals. That’s a striking statistic,” Fauci continued.
“And yet, people don’t believe that, though. But, Dr. Fauci, people — there are people out there who don’t believe it,” Acosta pushed back, claiming that some on Fox News, in particular, were “outright hostile” when it came to the coronavirus vaccine.
“Do you think we could have eradicated polio or defeated the measles if — if you had Fox News, night after night, warning people about these vaccine issues that are just, you know, bunk?” he asked.
“Well, that is a very good point, Jim,” Fauci replied. “If you look at the extraordinary, historic success in eradicating smallpox and eliminating polio from most of the world. And we’re on the brink of eradicating polio. If we had had the pushback, for vaccines, the way we’re seeing on certain media, I don’t think it would have been possible, at all, to not only eradicate smallpox. We probably would still have smallpox. And we probably would still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information that’s being spread, now. If we had that back, decades ago, I would be certain that we’d still have polio in this country.”