Some, like Mr Paul, have clung to unproven or totally disproven theories about the virus, vaccines, masks, and other issues related to the pandemic, resulting in higher levels of skepticism towards getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and following public health guidelines in many conservative communities
Given the context one wonders what is meant by “disproven theories”. As for “unproven theory” the author a Mr John Bowden appears to be unaware that in science a theory is always precisely “unproven”! That is why it is called a theory! Rand Paul has cited studies which such as one done in Denmark which show that mask wearing does not provide significant protection to people wearing them. Currently he is arguing that the requirement for people to be vaccinated under US mandatory vaccination schemes who have already had Covid is unscientific. He has correctly pointed out that the evidence in general is that natural immunity is as good as vaccine acquired immunity. His own position on this is the coherent argument that telling people obvious untruths – such as they need medically to get vaccinated even if they have had Covid will lead to more resistance to vaccination not less. The video below of Rand Paul (who is a surgeon) shows Rand Paul calmly, rationally and scientifically arguing that people who have had Covid should not be ordered to have a vaccination. He is obviously in favour of medically responsible vaccination and says so.
Another concern which Rand Paul has is giving vaccines to children. As he says the risk to children from Covid is statistically tiny but there are certain risks from vaccines. So on this basis he questions giving vaccines to school-age children – which is US policy. Is this Rand Paul “clinging to unproven theories”? No; this is scientifically and medically valid – not just valid but the salient point. Studies have been done which show that for Pfizer there is a greater risk of hospitalisation from young people from the vaccine than from Covid. For Astra-Zeneca there is a greater risk of death. Medically and scientifically Paul is on solid ground. What he is criticising is the way the health bureaucracy is making decisions on some kind of political or expedient grounds. This scientific and medically wise questioning is precisely what the Independent journalist is trying to mislead readers into believing is Paul “clinging to unproven theories”. The UK’s decision to vaccinate children even against parents wishes is a perfect illustration of this. The clinical Committee JCVI on this advised against giving vaccines to children on clinical grounds but were, entirely predictably, overruled by Chris Whitty (who is already implicated in the multiple Covid scandals including the crazy attempt to go for herd immunity and hide from the public that they were doing this and lying to elderly people about when they would get the second dose of a vaccine). The point Paul is making is that decisions are being made not on the basis of bureaucratic expediency and this is not a good way to proceed.
The “journalist” writing in the Independent is unscientific. He is writing pure tosh. He cannot have any sense of responsibility to the truth or to the health of the population. And this is where we are at. These dishonest liberals are imposing a creepy unscientific totalitarian state on you. And you get it delivered in the terms of this shoddy third-rate ‘journalism’. Enjoy!
Afterthought. As an observer of the political scene what I find interesting about this is how the journalist is automatically, and probably unthinkingly, following the line of the state bureaucracy even to the extent of dissing and abusing a scientific dissenter. This is what happened in the USSR. We are indeed sailing into a totalitarian state. (In fact it is a cult but more on that later).