It shouldn’t probably come as a surprise that Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, just announced that he won’t get vaccinated, coincidentally or not, after his family TV channel broadcasted against the anti-coronavirus vaccine.
In a time when almost all heads of state around the globe are working day and night to ensure their people will get the COVID-19 vaccine, the OTV Channel broadcasted against it.
In that interview, the owner of DiagnosTechs, Dr. Maroun Khoury, explicitly said that the concept of the COVID-`19 vaccine is just a political ploy and “a complete nonsense.”
He went on to say that any person with common sense should not take it.
“I refuse, just like any person with common sense, the idea of a vaccine for COVID-19 at this current time,” Dr. Khoury said. “You don’t need a medical certificate. You just need some logic,” which signifies that this is his personal opinion and not his medical one.
In fact, Dr. Khoury was among the many doctors who urged Health Minister Hamad Hassan to accept the vaccine, as he stated, but only because the repercussions are major if he went against the World Health Organization’s word, he claimed.
“However, I won’t be taking it. I won’t be giving it to my children nor to my wife,” Dr. Khoury said in a firm tone. He even urged the Lebanese citizens to not rush in taking the vaccine.
Instead, he offered them to consider depending on the power of God; a statement that comes in contradiction with the call of Pope Francis who has recently urged the Church’s adherents around the world to take the vaccine.
“Focus on your health and strengthen your faith,” Dr. Khoury said as an alternative to the vaccine.
As if a conspiracy theory is what the OTV host wants the public to consider, she asked if Lebanese citizens are being used as “lab-rats” for the most recent approved COVID-19 vaccine.
To note here, Lebanon is not the first country that will receive the vaccine. In fact, other countries have already started vaccinating their population, which makes her insinuation absurd.
To that question from the host, Dr. Khoury replied with an unrelated answer: “Usually, when we encounter a cancer patient, we offer the patient a choice to take a medicine with multiple side effects, and usually we have 10% of patients refusing to take that option.”
He then went on to weirdly imply that nations are forcing the vaccine on the Lebanese, although it is the Lebanese state that went after Pfizer to secure 2 million shots of vaccine, and not the other way around.
“When we look at how nations are forcing down the vaccine on us without even checking for its side effects, it says a lot,” the doctor implies. “The study of the vaccine should be completed before given out.”
To support his argument, Dr. Khoury surprisingly used American citizens as a reference point for rational thinking, mentioning that only 42% of the American population is willing to take the vaccine.
It is to understand here that the American movement against vaccination of any form and type is decades old. Their adherents are numerous. Add to that the many conspiracy theories that have been flooding the internet, scaring off the masses.
From his point of view, the Lebanese doctor considers that the vaccine is rushed, saying: “The fastest vaccine that came out was produced between 4 to 6 years. We are nowhere near achieving a proper vaccine for COVID-19.”
This is not the first time Dr. Khoury goes against certain methods used in Lebanon and all countries to combat the pandemic.
In the early days of November, during an interview with OTV as well, the Lebanese doctor even warned against the PCR tests, stressing that they should be immediately stopped, and only rely on the symptoms of the patients.
However, as it is proven, some people can be carriers of the virus without showing any symptoms and hence affect others around them.
In fact, medical experts have confirmed that asymptomatic cases are dangerous and could transmit the virus.
It is also a fact that no vaccine is 100% effective on everybody, whether it took years to achieve it or nearly 11 months as with some current ones, which governments worldwide had to exceptionally speed up, with doctors and researchers working around the clock.
This case is indeed an exceptional one since we are dealing with a global pandemic and a virus that has started to mutate.
It will be only reasonable that Lebanon doesn’t take the risk to leave the virus at its free will by people only taken precautionary measures, as the doctor advised. As we’ve witnessed, these measures haven’t been enough to stop the virus from spreading out of control.
In brief, the COVID-19 is not a normal case that can wait several years for a vaccine. It is a global pandemic that has affected so far 81,460,480 people and killed 1,777,961 – as of the time of writing. (reference Worldometers.)
It is also to note that coronaviruses aren’t new. “Even though this particular viral strain only recently emerged as a new human disease, coronaviruses have been around for a very long time,” wrote Rachel Ewing of Penn Medicine News, based on the 40-year studies of the American Microbiologist Dr. Susan Weiss.
“Coronaviruses generally have been a major focus of her research for four decades,” she noted about Dr. Weis, who is the director of the Penn Center for the Research on Coronavirus and Other Emerging Pathogens, and a Microbiology Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.
According to Dr. Weis, there is a long history of research starting as early as the 1930s, which has built a large knowledge base, as well as technical tools for investigating these human pathogens.
Therefore, the creation of these new vaccines did not just start from scratch but based on decades of existing studies and research.
These days, people are divided in opinions on whether to accept the vaccines or reject them based on one of the many conspiracy theories circulating around.
However, for OTV to broadcast an anti-coronavirus-vaccine opinion of a doctor, whom the host presented as having been “always right,” is quite intriguing, especially that it goes against the Lebanese state’s decision to implement a vaccination plan nationwide.
Lebanon has already invested millions of dollars in the Pfizer vaccine, which is expected to arrive in February. The Ministry of Health has already announced its plan to vaccinate around 30 percent of the Lebanese population, having paid for 2 million shots.
As opposed to the OTV broadcast of the doctor’s statements, the Pfizer vaccine has been determined to be 95% effective against the virus that causes COVID-19.
After that broadcast, one gets to wonder whether the people will heed the Lebanese Ministry of Health and get vaccinated, or the doctor and refuse the vaccine.
With Lebanon’s president now opting for the latter, announcing that he doesn’t want to get vaccinated, it could be expected that many, especially his followers and his party’s members, will take a similar stance.
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