Patterico's Pontifications

1/21/2022

Yes, DeSantis Did Indeed Falsely Suggest That Vaccines Harm Fertility

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



This is the conclusion of the Washington Post from DeSantis’s remarks yesterday, and I think they’re right:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a foe of vaccine mandates, appeared to suggest Thursday that getting a shot to protect against the coronavirus could cause infertility.

“Think about how ridiculous it is what they’re doing by trying to force the nurses” to get immunized, he said in a speech announcing funding for nursing certification programs. “A lot of these nurses have had covid. A lot of them are younger. Some of them are trying to have families.”

But there is no evidence that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus makes it harder to conceive, according to a study released Thursday of heterosexual couples trying for pregnancy. DeSantis could not be immediately reached for a comment on his remarks.

Some of my conservative friends think that the Post is engaged in a bit of mind-reading here, and that he was talking about the fact that job loss due to a vaccine mandate is difficult for a family contemplating having kids. My friend Joe Cunningham has a post at RedState where he supports this interpretation with the full DeSantis quote, which he believes exculpates DeSantis. Joe’s post is titled The Washington Post Invents a Vaccine Claim Ron DeSantis Didn’t Make. Here is his central argument (visit his post for the full argument and the links):

Nowhere in this quote does DeSantis suggest that getting the COVID-19 vaccine can affect fertility.

The speech, which was given at an event where DeSantis announced $2.3 million for nursing and vocational programs, focused on the critical medical worker shortage seen not just in Florida but around the country. The Post, as well as MSNBC and other outlets, are cutting off a key sentence from the DeSantis quote. A local outlet in Florida gives you the context you need.

“Think about how ridiculous it is what they’re doing by trying to force the nurses with these vaxes you know a lot of these nurses have had COVID, a lot of them are younger, some of them, they’re trying to have families, there’s a whole bunch of things that they have going on and so they don’t want to be forced to do it,” DeSantis said. “You see the shortages in there anyways, and now that is adding to it.”

In one sentence, it’s clear that DeSantis is talking about how vaccine mandates will only make a shortage of nurses worse. Young nurses who are wanting to get married and start families are getting let go because they aren’t getting vaccinated. It’s a controversial policy because on one hand, potentially spreading the virus from staff to patients is a medical and legal nightmare, but on the other hand, you’re looking at a shortage of nurses because of the virus and other circumstances already and letting more go only hurts the quality of care you can give.

DeSantis is looking at the mathematical equation here and deciding that it’s silly to look at a health care worker shortage and think “We need more barriers to work,” which is not an unreasonable conclusion to draw.

Interesting defense, but I think ultimately it does not hold water. Go back to the original DeSantis quote that the Washington Post cited as its evidence, and ask yourself: does he appear to be listing reasons it’s bad for nurses to lose their jobs — or he is listing reasons that people might not want to get vaccinated?

Think about how ridiculous it is what they’re doing by trying to force the nurses with these vaxes. You know, a lot of these nurses have had COVID, a lot of them are younger, some of them, they’re trying to have families, there’s a whole bunch of things that they have going on and so they don’t want to be forced to do it

DeSantis lists three factors he thinks are significant: 1) many of the nurses have had COVID already; 2) many of them are younger; and 3) some of them are trying to have families. The last phrase — “so they don’t want to be forced to do it” — to me is the key context showing why DeSantis is listing reasons people might want to forego vaccines. But even leaving that contextual phrase out of the mix, look at each of the factors.

The mention of their having had COVID is more consistent with him giving a list of reasons they do not want to be vaccinated than it is with him giving a list of reasons that being laid off will be tough on them. Why would having had COVID make it tougher for them to leave their job than someone who has not had COVID? He is citing COVID because he thinks natural immunity is a reason not to get the vaccine.

So is his mention of their being young. It’s easier to get another job as a young person than as an older person. Youth is not factor that aggravates the loss of a job. He cites youth not because he is listing reasons it sucks to lose your job; he is listing reasons people might legitimately (in his view) not want or need a vaccine. “So they don’t want to be forced to do it.” And one of those is that they want to have a family.

It is a suggestion that vaccination harms fertility. And this conclusion is only bolstered by his persistent refusal to say whether he is boosted.

This is a “gutless” (thank you, Donald Trump) pander to anti-vaxxers because of DeSantis’s presidential aspirations. That, too, is consistent with his citing a well-known conspiracy theory about vaccines and fertility.

Nice try at a defense, fellas, but I don’t buy it.

So far DeSantis has refused to comment on this. He may end up denying pushing the conspiracy theory — but if he does, I will see it as a walkback. Inevitably, if a clarifying comment is issued, is will be couched in a complaint about the awful liberal media. It will not be a convincing clarification. He will not explain why he cited COVID or youth as relevant factors. That will be the tell.

59 Responses to “Yes, DeSantis Did Indeed Falsely Suggest That Vaccines Harm Fertility”

  1. COVID-19 vaccination in either partner does not appear to affect fertility, according to new research led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) investigators.
    Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the prospective study of couples trying to conceive found no association between COVID-19 vaccination and fecundability — the probability of conception per menstrual cycle — in female or male partners who received the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

    In contrast, the findings indicate that COVID-19 infection among males may temporarily reduce fertility — an outcome that could be avoidable through vaccination.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  2. Guys, there’s still so much we don’t know about the vaccine and it’s long term effects.

    There are older vaccines that we’re told to avoid getting while trying to have kids.

    So, if you’re young and healthy, for a disease that the risks for hospitalization is extremely small, not wanting to put that at risk is a reasonable stance to avoid taking the vaccine.

    Things are not always black and white.

    I don’t know what DeSantis should’ve said here, but I didn’t interpret it how WSJ did… as, it was definitely an effort by a partisan author trying to find anything to hang DeSantis by his toes.

    Its a toxic mindset.

    whembly (ae61f7)

  3. The study supports the idea that getting a vaccine could mean it would take longer for a woman to get pregnant (logical, as it is a stress on the body)

    These findings indicate that male SARS-CoV-2 infection may be associated with a short-term decline in fertility and that COVID-19 vaccination does not impair fertility in either partner.

    So, males bit not females?

    No, females, too:

    . COVID-19 vaccination was not appreciably associated with fecundability in either partner (female FR=1.08, 95% CI: 0.95, 1.23; male FR=0.95, 95% CI: 0.83, 1.10). Female SARS-CoV-2 infection was not strongly associated with fecundability (FR=1.07, 95% CI: 0.87, 1.31).

    “Not appreciably” and “not strongly” do not equal zero effect.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/psychology/fecundability

    Fecundability
    Fecundability is defined as the probability of achieving a pregnancy within one menstrual cycle or the ability to achieve a live birth from one cycle’s exposure to the risk of pregnancy (ESHRE, 2001).

    So it may impact things in one menstrual cycle. But the effect on fertility over a year or two is extremely minimal.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  4. this got the attention of wapo only cuz desantis said it

    wapo also debunked the covid lab leak theory

    until they undebunked it

    and herd immunity will end covid

    not sure where we are on that anymore

    JF (e1156d)

  5. I have yet to see an argument for avoiding the vaccine that did not have at its basis either ignorance or willfulness. There is, for example, no feared outcome that is remotely close to the Covid death rate in ANY cohort.

    Even if you accept that every report to VAERS correctly attributes a death to the vaccine, the death rate from the vaccine is 1 or maybe 2 per million vaccinations. The death rate among the 0-24 age bracket is about 30 per million.

    Of course, if you believe every report to VAERS, you will believe everything posted to Yelp, too.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. * The COVID death rate among the 0-24 age bracket is about 30 per million.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. What DeSantis implied about vaccines interfering with an attempt by a woman to get pregnant is not totally unsourced. Little things can affect that. But women have many menstrual cycles in which they do not become pregnant.

    JF (e1156d) — 1/21/2022 @ 9:38 am

    [Wapo debunked the idea that] herd immunity will end covid

    not sure where we are on that anymore

    The CDC etc. loyalists are saying there will never be herd immunity but it could become merely endemic, so that, for the most part, life could get back to normal.

    https://www.newsweek.com/omicron-herd-immunity-possible-create-lead-covid-pandemic-endemic-eradicate-1670722

    An endemic disease is one that is limited within certain regions or between certain populations, and its spread can become more predictable. Influenza, for example, tends to be an endemic virus.

    But what of herd immunity—a situation in which enough people become immune to a virus so as to prevent it from reaching new hosts?

    Herd immunity has in the past been optimistically proposed as a pandemic-ending method, though it was also often dismissed. Now, multiple scientists have told Newsweek that herd immunity is not going to eradicate COVID-19, and the virus will be with us indefinitely in some way or another….

    …Erin Mordecai, associate professor of biology at Stanford University…Caroline Wagner, assistant professor of bioengineering and expert in infectious disease dynamics at McGill University, and Chadi Saad-Roy, an ecology and evolutionary biology PhD student at Princeton University…told Newsweek in a joint email: “It appears that immunity against infection with SARS-CoV-2 wanes over time, through a combination of decreasing in-host immunity and antigenic evolution.

    “So, it does seem that the idea of achieving a level of immunity where SARS-CoV-2 will no longer circulate is unlikely.”

    See also:

    https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/is-herd-immunity-to-covid-19-impossible/20047454

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  8. Partial list of Covid symptoms

    If a coffee cup feels warmer than usual in your hands in the morning, You may have Covid. * If you dropped your keys more than normal today, You may have Covid. * If, while running, you notice a pain in your foot from one of the small bones having a stiff joint You may have Covid. * If you think your period was off by a day, You may have Covid. * If your attention is a little off, enough to get honked by a car, You may have Covid * If “the same amount of sugar” tastes a little bit sweeter today, You may have Covid. * If you had trouble getting a jar lid off, You may have Covid. * If anything sounded a little bit louder than usual today, You may have Covid. * If you accidentally locked your keys in the house, It may be because you have Covid. * If the sun really bothers you while driving, especially around sunrise and sunset, You may have Covid. * Did you sneeze? Better get tested for Covid. * If for any reason a certain pair of pants does not fit right today, You may have Covid. * Don’t be a super spreader. If you think you are not one, YOU MAY HAVE COVID.

    Horatio (4bfeb2)

  9. Unlike Trump, who blurts out anything that crosses his frontal lobe, DeSantis is Harvard-trained and he knows exactly what he’s saying, IMO, and his strategy is to out-Trump Trump by cozying up to the line and maybe dipping his toe to the other side here and there.
    He wouldn’t disclose whether he was boosted (and Trump rightfully called him on it) and he’s quietly pro-vax and loudly pro-treatment, and he displayed his Trumpy (but not conservative) chops when he mandated the lower levels of government from instituting mask requirements. Maybe he did question the vaccine’s effects on fertility, but he’s making a deliberate effort to bring some of that Trump Base over to his side.
    Far as I can tell, DeSantis is running in 2024, and wild horses won’t stop his ambition. Us NeverTrumpers should be glad he’s doing it, for the good of the party and country. Put me in the MaybeDeSantis column.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  10. I think that DeSantis speaks fluent Crapweasel and has no difficulty saying something that means one thing to one person and another to a QAnonut, and then plausibly affirm or deny any of the inferences as it may suit him. That’s what I think.

    nk (1d9030)

  11. Heh! I was still typing when you posted your comment, Paul.

    nk (1d9030)

  12. I like that DeSantis stayed Catholic in the lower fringe of the Bible Belt, might get some northeastern EVs b/c of that. But other than that depends on his veep perhaps.

    urbanleftbehind (c073c9)

  13. @12

    I like that DeSantis stayed Catholic in the lower fringe of the Bible Belt, might get some northeastern EVs b/c of that. But other than that depends on his veep perhaps.

    urbanleftbehind (c073c9) — 1/21/2022 @ 10:39 am

    Ric Grenell for Veep!

    whembly (ae61f7)

  14. True, nk, but you do it with more brevity and humor. 🙂

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  15. Pull him out of the turd pile and put him in the coin wash…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. I do agree that Ron DeSanris is attempting to be very strategic in what he says (and for that reason his reference to nurses wanting to get pregnant is not entirely unfounded)

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  17. IMO DeSantis would be a much better President than the guy the Never-Trumpers helped elect. Most of the country is catching up to the Covid stuff he led the way on.

    Waiting for the post about the misinformation spread by pro-vaxxers and pro-mandate types, go to YouTube they have extensive compilations of them that go on forever.

    Obudman (3d65c3)

  18. Guys, there’s still so much we don’t know about the vaccine and it’s long term effects.

    We certainly are accumulating evidence on short term effects; weak efficacy requiring repeated boosters after only a few months yet still permit ‘breakthrough’ infections and does not establish immunity chasing a relentlessly mutating virus. All while ‘boosting’ the coffers of Big Pharma from the Treasury.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. More from RedState:

    The Church of COVID Comes for Ron DeSantis

    https://redstate.com/bonchie/2022/01/21/the-church-of-covid-comes-for-ron-desantis-n510356

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  20. @10. I think that DeSantis speaks fluent Crapweasel and has no difficulty saying something that means one thing to one person and another to a QAnonut, and then plausibly affirm or deny any of the inferences as it may suit him. That’s what I think.

    I think you’re right. Just revisit his rhetoric when campaigning for the governor gig.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  21. Remember when ‘scientist’ Reagan “suggested” trees cause more ‘pollution’ than cars… and he was elected POTUS. Twice.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  22. Covid vaccines cause infertility? Where do I sign?

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  23. Here is another one of stupid Desantis’s “falsely” statements:

    Fact Check: DeSantis falsely claims vaccinated citizens without boosters could be declared unvaccinated and lose their jobs

    The director of the CDC says the Biden administration has no plans to reclassify vaccinated people as unvaccinated if they don’t get boosters

    Andrew Feinberg
    Washington, DC
    Thursday 04 November 2021 23:08

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/desantis-vaccinated-jobs-boosters-citizens-b1951843.html

    Idiot! Wait… what?? Today???

    Biden’s CDC Director Says The Definition Of Fully Vaccinated Is Being Changed To Include The Booster

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3ouM4L_5_6A&feature=emb_title

    Oh.

    BuDuh (e021c3)

  24. #17

    The way you get Biden is to insist on more Trump, Trump forever, why limit such genius to eight years. In other words, look in the mirror, bub. Be glad you didn’t get Bernie instead.

    If you like strong man fascist dictators — well, what was the old saying? America, love it or leave it?

    Appalled (1a17de)

  25. @24. ROFLMAOPIP:

    Newt Gingrich to detail new ‘Contract With America’

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/newt-gingrich-to-detail-new-contract-with-america/2011/09/29/gIQAsNaD7K_story.html

    Old bomb thrower suggests new idea: bomb throwing.

    How imaginative.

    “Hello, Parson– welcome to Hell!” – Ben Rumson [Lee Marvin] ‘Paint Your Wagon’ 1969

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. Don’t be fooled by the GOP’s next ‘Contract With America’

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/20/contract-with-america/

    No fresh ideas.
    No fresh faces.
    No frigging way.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. All while ‘boosting’ the coffers of Big Pharma from the Treasury.

    Because they spent nothing on development of the methods or the actual vaccine, its trials or its production? They produced several billion doses in a few months time.

    Do you think it would have been quicker, faster, better or cheaper if the government had done all the work?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  28. Don’t be fooled by the GOP’s next ‘Contract With America’ (Paul Waldman)

    You have to know that anything that starts with:

    The truth is that if there’s one thing that unites the GOP, it’s that they hate Democrats

    is coming from a hard left columnist who hasn’t talked to an actual Republican in the last few decades about anything. Except maybe to make excuses about why their rent check is late.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. @25: From 2011

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. More Trollbell, DCSCA

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. I think the best response is “Newt who?” to whatever he has to offer. Remember when he ran for prez in 2012? Nobody should.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  32. Paul, that article about Newt was from 2011.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. @30. Yes, Newt certainly is, Kevin; a Johnny Onenote: ‘In case of emergency, break glass and shout Reagan!’

    @32. Yes, and Newtie keeps pitching it. Which is all the more hilarious– as the WP noted YESTERDAY.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  34. I think the best response is “Newt who?” to whatever he has to offer. Remember when he ran for prez in 2012? Nobody should.

    On the contrary. This is MOST memorable:

    https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/sci-fi-cold-open/n13372

    “Newt Gingrich. Moon President!”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  35. The only reason America is facing this confluence of incompetence on so many fronts is the rigged structure of the system and how it is financed by these two major parties- which fewer and fewer voters are affiliated with- and which protects poor performers, inhibits nimble leadership change and discourages fresh faces with modern ideas.

    … which keeps Xi grinning– and Vlad smiling.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  36. is coming from a hard left columnist who hasn’t talked to an actual Republican in the last few decades about anything. Except maybe to make excuses about why their rent check is late.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 1/21/2022 @ 3:28 pm

    😁 Kevin, you have a good sense of humor. Break it out more often, brother!

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  37. @28. In other words, a lefty who’s right.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. I thought it was a simple nod to the fact that even some nurses are vaccine reluctant when it comes to their own bodies and those of potential offspring. About 30% of nearly every nook, niche and cranny of America is vax resistant. DeSantis is their Governor too and has the tools of coercion, persusasion and libertarianism at his disposal. I think he came down on the side of “it is your call”, and I approve that message

    steveg (e81d76)

  39. From: Not an MD
    ““When in the course of human history has the side that’s doing the censoring and trying to shut people up and make them show papers and marginalize a part of the community ever been [the correct side]?” Rodgers said. “We’re censoring dissenting opinions? What are we trying to do? Save people from being able to determine the validity on their own or to listen and to think about things and come to their own conclusion?””

    steveg (e81d76)

  40. Tear it apart all we like, but 30% of the country resonates with Rodgers.
    Do you force the 30% to come to heel, or as their leader (DeSantis) do you do the best for them given their constitutional right to control their own life.

    My guess is the answer from all the former libertarians here is no, bring them to heel

    steveg (e81d76)

  41. TMZ reports Meat Loaf a victim of Covid. He was in the age range, heavy-set and was fielding pre-existing health issues. From the story: ‘Our sources say Meat Loaf has been outspoken about COVID, railing with folks in Australia recently about vaccine mandates. We do not know if he was vaccinated.’

    MEAT LOAF DEAD AT 74 FROM COVID

    https://www.tmz.com/2022/01/21/meat-loaf-dead-dies-singer/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  42. Completely wrong about DeSantis. He is focused on the shortage of nurses. If nurses are vaccine hesitant, no matter the reason, he’s saying we shouldn’t be getting rid of them and being further shorthanded. That’s causing real harm. By focusing on his statements about starting a family you’re missing the forest for the trees.

    NJRob (7c05ea)

  43. “I would do anything for love health, but I won’t do that vaccination?”

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  44. Here’s the deal. If the medical facilities take Medicare, the staff has to be vaccinated. If they’re boutique, I expect the good ones will want to protect their cash-paying rich patients and their assets. So whom does that leave?

    nk (1d9030)

  45. It is well known that death from Covid harms fertility.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. You people will elect another worse than Trump chump, democrat or rino, won’t matter.

    mg (8cbc69)

  47. I expect the good ones will want to protect their cash-paying rich patients and their assets.

    I think the expectation will run quite dramatically the other way.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. To be fair, there are people who will not benefit from a vaccine if they don’t really have an immune system.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. It will be so funny if the anti-vax monster that Trump fostered up until recently ends up boosting Santis over him.

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  50. Yes, and Newtie keeps pitching it. Which is all the more hilarious– as the WP noted YESTERDAY.

    Senior House Republicans are putting together a list of policy pledges to run on in the 2022 elections, and they are consulting with the architect of one of their biggest historical midterm victories.

    “consulting with” does not mean “pitching it”. Obviously reading comprehension is not something you bother with.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. DeSantis

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  52. Now, is Trump in better health than Meat Loaf was? Obviously he is now, but…

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  53. It is well known that death from Covid harms fertility.

    You know, I’ve been thinking about that. It does not need to be permanent infertility. There are miscarriages from abnormal immune responses in the mother’s body. And these vaccines do cause abnormal immune responses in more than a few people, and fertile women notably.

    nk (1d9030)

  54. @50. Dream on.

    No new ideas.
    No new people.
    All cut from the same stale loaf.

    A major party fewer and fewer frustrated voters are affiliated.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  55. Two more signs that DeSantis is running, therefore he must out-Trump Trump to appeal The Base in order to have a shot at the nomination.
    One, he’s proposing election shock troops to monitor and enforce proper voting.
    Two, his “State of the State” address is basically a DeSantis For President ad.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  56. The republican party is full of schiff and the republican voters are flies.

    mg (8cbc69)

  57. he must out-Trump Trump to appeal The Base

    I’ve been rethinking this whole post-election “Trump loyalist” thing too. Google “Parsis India funeral customs”.

    nk (1d9030)

  58. “consulting with” does not mean “pitching it”.

    Except he was featured in Hannity’s A block pitching it again this very night.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  59. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 1/21/2022 @ 12:47 pm

    weak efficacy

    bout 50% versus the Omicron variant as far as not gettting a (noticeaable?) infection.

    requiring repeated boosters

    Boosters create quicker reaction.

    They’ll substitute an Omicron specific or pancoronavirus vaccine maybe beginning in March, probably later, and ay get firther delayed. he vaccine companies would like quicker approval for updated vaccines, like happens with the flu vaccines.

    after only a few months yet still permit ‘breakthrough’ infections and does not establish immunity chasing a relentlessly mutating virus. All while ‘boosting’ the coffers of Big Pharma from the Treasury.

    It really does establish immunity, just not total immunity, and there are only a few “variants of concern”

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)


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