Noam Chomsky Says Anti-Vaxxers Have Responsibility To 'Isolate' Themselves

News & Politics
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Damir Mujezinovic

As one of the worst and deadliest pandemics in history, the coronavirus pandemic has killed millions of people around the world.

No cure is available for COVID-19, but a number of vaccines have proven to be extremely effective and safe. Vaccine hesitancy remains a major issue, at least in the United States, with millions of Americans refusing to get their shots.

Experts and policymakers have tried to persuade the hesitant to take the vaccine, but with little success.

According to linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, anti-vaxxers should not be forced to get vaccinated, but they should be "isolated."

Here's What Chomsky Said

According to a viral video clip that's been circulating online -- causing Chomsky's name to trend on Twitter -- the famous philosopher said that the right response to anti-vaxxers is not to force them to get vaccinated, but "to insist that they be isolated."

Anti-vaxxers, he argued, have the freedom to refuse the vaccine, but they also have the responsibility to isolate themselves as to not harm others.

"If people decide, 'I am willing to be a danger to the community by refusing the vaccine,' they should then say 'well, I also have the decency to isolate myself.'"


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Chomsky stressed that anti-vaxxers have the right to refuse the shot, but don't have the the right to "run around harming people."

"That should be a convention. Enforcing is a different question," he noted, adding that an effort should be made to make people understand how dangerous it is to remain unvaccinated.

But Chomsky also said that stricter policies against anti-vaxxers may be necessary at some point.

"If it really reaches the point where they are severely endangering people, then of course you have to do something about it," he said.

Smallpox Vs. Coronavirus

To illustrate his point, Chomsky said that if smallpox became rampant again and people started "running around" unvaccinated, something would have to be done.

"We're not at quite that situation but it's a similar one," Chomsky posited.

"So I think we should first attempt to establish conventions that will be understandable by people with some moral capacity... try to convince them that it's your right to refuse to get the vaccine, but then it is your responsibility to isolate yourself, so you don't harm others," he concluded.

Vaccine Hesitancy

Unsplash | Daniel Schludi

More than 50 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to research from Gallup, partisanship appears to be the most significant correlate of vaccine hesitancy.

Forty-six percent of Republicans say they don't want to get vaccinated against coronavirus, compared with just six percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independent voters.

Unsurprisingly, 79 percent of Democrats say they have a lot of confidence in science, compared with 45 percent of Republicans.

As The Inquisitr reported, anti-vaxxers tend to believe in conspiracy theories about COVID-19.