The changing messages from White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concerning the delta variant of COVID-19 and the renewed calls for mask mandates and more are part of the "attitude" that has "fostered the lack of trust" in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the government, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Sunday.
"When they think that the people are not smart enough to be able to work with the information, so we don't even have to give it to them because they can't process it, that's not America," Carson told Fox News "Sunday Morning Futures" host Maria Bartiromo. "That's the precursor of some type of dictatorship. We don't want that."
Instead, Carson said experts must give people the "real statistics" on breakthrough cases and allow them to make their decisions on vaccines.
"The fact of the matter is, the vaccines are very effective, and I think if you would give that information and give people the real statistics – yes, there are breakthrough cases but those are generally very mild and the ones who have died which are very, very few," Carson said.
Further, he said the chances of someone dying from the delta variant, if they've been vaccinated, "are about the same as being struck by lightning."
"We don't change everything we do for lighting strikes," Carson said. "People get killed by lighting, but we don't say you have to stay in a house now whenever it rains."
It is natural for viruses to mutate, he added, noting the delta variant is "very contagious but not very virulent. It's not very powerful like the initial class of coronavirus that we dealt with. So we need to take that into account when we are dealing with real science."
Carson also insisted the CDC and the Biden administration must acknowledge natural immunity after having COVID "is every bit as effective as getting the vaccination, and between the two, about 85% of our population has immunity."
When it comes to mandates, he continued, "that's not what America is about. It never should be what America is about. America came into existence because people wanted to escape from governments who mandated things, who tried to tell them how their lives should be little from cradle to grave. We cannot allow it. This is the beginning edge of it and we cannot allow it."
He also said the numbers can be misleading when it comes to reports of the increased spread and deaths from COVID.
"If you had two people who died and now you have four people who died and you say, you know, there's been a 100% increase and this thing is just raging," Carson said. "Or, you could actually give the statistics which would show that we really are much better off than we were a year ago. But you can use that to frighten people and to control people and that's what we got to be careful about."
Carson added he hates to see the CDC's credibility under question, as there are many "really good people there."
"What we've seen recently is the injection of politics into medicine and into science and that has destroyed it tremendously, that trust," Carson said. "It's going to be a long time before that comes back."
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