Today’s conservatives love false equivalencies. They love to derail debate by comparing two things that may share some similarities but aren’t meaningfully alike. A good example arrived Monday, and of course it came courtesy of repeat dunkable tweeter Ben Shapiro. He was none too happy to learn that 75 doctors in Florida had taken a stand, protesting the out-of-control numbers of unvaccinated people flooding their hospital, creating preventable chaos and death. And the only way he could attack, it seemed, was by likening it to something with a lot of differences.
If this is the new standard — that failure to take measures to alleviate your own health problems are punishable by doctors refusing treatment — the extension of this logic to obesity will certainly be something https://t.co/QBzLZyrOan
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 23, 2021
“If this is the new standard — that failure to take measures to alleviate your own health problems are punishable by doctors refusing treatment — the extension of this logic to obesity will certainly be something,” Shapiro tweeted.
This wasn’t just a false equivalency. It was another conservative-approved argumentative trick: It was a slippery slope argument. That’s where someone brings up a far-fetched end game that will almost certainly never happen. That often involves invoking false equivalency, because it’s a sleazy move.
When Shapiro fired off his latest self-owning tweet, people online were happy to point out his argumentative hiccup. The main problem: COVID is a highly transmissible disease that is overwhelming hospitals. Obesity is doing neither.
Conservatives realize that communicable diseases are not like obesity or car accidents challenge https://t.co/tJy27GByET
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 23, 2021
*If* obesity was contagious, rapidly overwhelming our intensive care capabilities, often fatal within days of acquiring, *and* the risks of transmission, hospitalization, and death could be dramatically reduced with a free shot, then yes, we would mandate that too.
But it's not. pic.twitter.com/OIRnSWfcLR
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) August 23, 2021
Call me when obesity, heart disease and cancer are communicable diseases.
— David Crabtree (@David_Crabtree) August 23, 2021
To the anti-vaxxer loons who are insisting that obese people should be denied medical treatment:
1) There is no obesity vaccine. There is a proven COVID vaccine, you're just refusing to take it.
2) Obesity is not communicable.
3) Obesity doesn't fill ICU beds to 100% capacity.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) August 23, 2021
This flex where anti-vaxxers are trying to compare obesity to the choice to be unvaccinated is so shameful and harmful.
Being obese is not contagious. Nor does it endanger the lives of others.
Take your fat phobia elsewhere ya’ lunatics.
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) August 23, 2021
This is a very good point, Benjamin. I went to the ER at my local hospital last week and it was PACKED with the obese folks just obesing. I got out quick, though, lest I caught it myself. We know how contagious that new strain of obesity is.
— B Reed (@BMReedLaw) August 23, 2021
I don’t think healthcare workers are at risk of contracting obesity from the obese patients they treat.
— Kelmac (@Capt3958) August 23, 2021
Is there a free vaccine for obesity? For drug addiction? For mental illness? For being a hack stooge like you? https://t.co/3VvfRjs7tt
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) August 23, 2021
Perhaps next time Shapiro will think before he tweets. But his fans wouldn’t love him if he did that.