Coronavirus (1195) New York Times: Far-right extremists aim to stop COVID vaccine programme

26 March, 2021

Below are extracts from a New York Times article, March 26, 2021. Read in full: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/26/us/far-right-extremism-anti-vaccine.h...

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Adherents of far-right groups who cluster online have turned repeatedly to one particular website in recent weeks — the federal database showing deaths and adverse reactions nationwide among people who have received Covid-19 vaccinations.

Although negative reactions have been relatively rare, the numbers are used by many extremist groups to try to bolster a rash of false and alarmist disinformation in articles and videos with titles like “Covid-19 Vaccines Are Weapons of Mass Destruction — and Could Wipe out the Human Race” or “Doctors and Nurses Giving the Covid-19 Vaccine Will be Tried as War Criminals.”...

The marked focus on vaccines is particularly striking on discussion channels populated by followers of QAnon, who had falsely prophesied that Donald J. Trump would continue as president while his political opponents were marched off to jail...

Apocalyptic warnings about the vaccine feed into the far-right narrative that the government cannot be trusted, the sentiment also at the root of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot...

Maligning the coronavirus vaccines is obviously not limited to extremist groups tied to the Capitol riot. There is deep partisanship over the vaccines generally.

One third of Republicans surveyed in a CBS News poll said that they would avoid getting vaccinated — compared with 10 percent of Democrats — and another 20 percent of Republicans said they were unsure...

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Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA project on COVID-19, supported by University of Edinburgh

https://www.hifa.org/projects/covid-19

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health movement (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org