The other day, I told a friend of my surprise at how 22 percent of Americans are very worried their children would die or be severely harmed by the coronavirus if they caught it, while the data tell us the risk for a child is in fact minuscule. My friend said he wasn‘t that surprised, for, as he put it, parents worry about their children. We went on to discuss this risk in the context of other possible harms, and in the end agreed this wasn‘t really the proper reaction; children were more likely to die in a car crash, or even just by falling out of bed or down the stairs at home.
But why did my friend initially react the way he did?
In a guest chapter in Dr. Robert Malone‘s new book, Lies My Gov‘t Told Me, security specialist Gavin de Becker discusses how certain dangers become more prominent in our minds, precisely because they are hard to conjure and understand; we tend to focus on the worst case scenario, essentially a highly unrealistic, but also a highly scary possibility. De Becker takes an example from an old interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci to explain this. The subject is AIDS:
“The long incubation period of this disease we may be starting to see, as we‘re seeing virtually, as the months go by, other groups that can be involved, and seeing it in children is really quite disturbing. If the clos econtact of the child is a household contact, perhaps there will be a certain number of individuals who are just living with and in close contact with someone with AIDS or at risk of AIDS who does not necessarily have to have intimate sexual contact or share a needle, but just the ordinary close contact that one sees in normal interpersonal relationships. Now that may be farfetched in a sense that there have been no cases recognized as yet in which individuals have had merely casual contact close to or albeit with an individual with AIDS who for example have gotten AIDS…”
Fauci carries on in the same manner; I‘ll spare my readers the rest of it. But what is he actually saying? In de Becker‘s words: “There have been no cases of AIDS spread by ordinary close contact. But the message people understandably took away from Fauci‘s fear-bomb was quite different: You can catch this disease by less than intimate contact.” As we all know now, Fauci‘s speculations were completely unfounded, but it was fear-mongering like this that drove a prolonged wave of fear of gay men. And as we see, what gives rise to the fear is not the actual message – no spread by ordinary close contact – it is the unfounded, and thus meaningless speculation of possible, might, perhaps …