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See if you can spot the logical fallacy in this New York Post op-ed

By Curt_Anderson
September 9, 2021 10:53 pm
Category: Journalism

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"Joe Biden’s speech on COVID was bizarrely incoherent.

He told the American people without qualification that fully vaccinated people are at incredibly low risk: “Only 1 out of every 160,000 fully vaccinated Americans was hospitalized for COVID per day.”

Then he promised to shield them against the evil people who are threatening their very lives: “We’re going to protect the vaccinated from unvaccinated coworkers.”

But Joe, you just said the vaccinated were already protected!" -- John Podhoretz


I've seen John Podhoretz on television. He could stand to lose some weight and his predilection for ski sweaters doesn't make him athletic or slim. Other than those shortcomings he seems to be a reasonably intelligent and likable enough guy. So I suspect that he knows his criticism of Biden is BS.

Yes, If you are vaccinated it's unlikely that you will be hospitalized with COVID. Your chance of contracting COVID are reduced by about 90%. But that doesn't mean you are entirely immune to COVID. Two of my vaccinated friends were infected with COVID. Neither he nor she were hospitalized, but they were sick. He lost his sense of smell. They had to self-quarantine for a week or so. He had to shut down his medical practice for a couple of weeks.

Podhoretz ignored the fact that in many places COVID patients are inundating hospitals, exhausting the medical staff, monopolizing the available beds and generally putting an unnecessary strain on our health care system.

Podhoretz also failed consider that a large portion of the population cannot be vaccinated: children 12 and under. Also people who are vaccinated but have weakened immune systems because of age or other underlying condition are at greater risk of contracting COVID.

Podhoretz went on to say, "Biden spent a lot of the speech importuning the unvaccinated to get the shot. They should. If they don’t, they’re incredibly stupid, and yes, this means you. But it’s not a crime to be stupid, or to be a foolish parent."

Apparently being a conservative means embracing the right to be stupid. Being stupid is not in itself a crime. But often times doing something stupid infringes on the rights of others. It's stupid to drive drunk. You might make it home without incident, but your selfish stupidity might cause a fatal accident. If you stupidly leave your toddler unattended next to a swimming pool, their drowning could be ruled negligent homicide.

It's a crime to carelessly or wantonly (meaning without thought, aka stupidly) infect others with a sexually transmitted disease in at least some states.

Prisons are full of stupid people who have done stupid things.

But apparently being stupid or writing stupid things doesn't preclude a person from being employed by the New York Post.


Cited and related links:

  1. nypost.com

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