Some Americans who are reluctant to get vaccinated believe they are living through a very different pandemic — one where the approved Covid-19 vaccines are ineffective and dangerous, and where a long list of “miracle cures,” ivermectin among them, are critical to patients’ health and safety.
From the outside, these positions can seem not just dangerous but incoherent. What would lead a person to say they won’t take a vaccine approved by federal regulators, then take an off-label medication because they read about it online?
Of course, not all Americans who are reluctant to get vaccinated have embraced supposed miracle cures: The reasons that people give for not getting a Covid-19 vaccine are varied and complex. But over the past year, among some refusers, a community of intense vaccine denialism has developed and created a sort of psychological scaffolding to support their views. As a group, the most fervent vaccine deniers construct and perpetuate an alternative narrative of the pandemic. And when inconvenient facts — from a news report to a friend’s or relative’s decision to get vaccinated — challenge that narrative, they give them a place to take refuge.
“People listen to people ‘from their group’ and whom they think they can trust,” David Dunning, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, told me. “People really don’t know what science is, and so do you feel you can trust the person giving you advice, rather than appraising their expertise, becomes the thing.”
Read the full article at Vox.