CBS panel berates 'perverted idea of freedom,' suggest unvaccinated embrace a 'freedom' to kill

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Wednesday’s “CBS Mornings” had harsh words for Americans who have chosen to remain unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

A panel featuring author and podcast host Michael Lewis discussed what they considered the United States’ struggle with handling COVID-19, noting Lewis previously claimed the U.S. was less prepared than it was in March 2020.

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“You got to first accept that you failed. When you have 4% of the world’s population and 20% of the deaths, and you have more resources going and more knowledge on how to deal with it, something was wrong,” Lewis said. “And on top of that, people have dug in their heels. Like I think in the beginning of the pandemic, the country could have been led. Could have been led to a different place. Instead, it’s — it’s divided if you come in now, and you try to, I don’t know, close schools in response to something more dangerous.”

People gather in support of continuing the school mask mandate outside the Loudon County Government Center prior to a Board of Supervisors meeting.

People gather in support of continuing the school mask mandate outside the Loudon County Government Center prior to a Board of Supervisors meeting.
(Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

When Lewis mentioned a kind of “stubbornness” by unvaccinated Americans, co-host Tony Dokoupil asked, “Isn’t it people do know something, and there are two political strains here. Some people are valuing freedom over a pure public health approach.”

“There’s some truth to that, but what — freedom — freedom to do what?” Lewis responded. 

“Do whatever they want,” Dokoupil commented.

“Freedom to infect other people and kill them?” Lewis said with Dokoupil and co-host Gayle King agreeing to his comment. 

A person holds a sign during the anti-vaccine mandate protest ahead of possible termination of New York City employees due to their vaccination status. 

A person holds a sign during the anti-vaccine mandate protest ahead of possible termination of New York City employees due to their vaccination status. 
(AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, File)

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Lewis continued to call out what he considered a “perverted idea of freedom” felt by Americans.

“That’s a very perverted idea of freedom,” Lewis said. “I think that there was this false dichotomy that was introduced very early on that we were choosing between like the economy and health. And the truth is it was never a choice. If you’d let this thing run in the beginning the way it ran in New York, you would have had neither. I mean, the — the constraints on the freedom actually enabled the economy to motor along a bit. So I think — like that wasn’t explained.”

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Earlier on in the show, King made similar comments when she stated she didn’t trust people to take “personal responsibility” to protect themselves from the virus. 

“I just don’t trust the personal responsibility. I don’t think people tell the truth about it. Now you can go to restaurants, you can go anywhere. They’re not asking to see your vaccines anymore. So, you’re in a room with a bunch of people, you don’t know if they’re vaccinated, not vaccinated,” King said.

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