Right-wing activist Matt Couch appeared on “The Todd Coconato Show” last week, where he declared that rather than getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and taking steps to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, people should be intentionally exposing themselves to the virus as a form of “self-inoculation.”
Couch, who earlier this year was forced to apologize for and retract his coverage of the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich after being sued by members of Rich’s family, insisted that people should do what soldiers did during the Revolutionary War when they intentionally infected themselves with smallpox in order to build immunity to the virus.
“For the geniuses out there, let’s look at the smallpox that hit our troops in the Revolutionary War,” Couch said. “In 1777 … George Washington wrote to Dr. William Shippen, who was one of the main doctors in Philadelphia, about smallpox and how it was killing the troops. Do you know how they beat smallpox? Real simple: self-inoculation.”
“They didn’t beat smallpox by from hiding from it, from wearing masks, or running from it,” Couch continued. “They would make like an incision on their arm or their leg so they would get smallpox, and they knew that they were gonna lose some troops. So, when you hear what our founders did to win the Revolutionary War, and you realize that they self-inoculated—both Benedict Arnold and Benjamin Franklin, they basically expressed fears that the virus would be the Army’s ultimate downfall if they didn’t do the self-inoculation—and they listened to smart people. We didn’t have virologists back then, folks, but they were smart enough even then to figure this out. So, you know, Pastor Todd, if they can figure this out in 1777 and we’re having a problem with it now, it makes no sense.”
“Self-inoculation,” as Couch calls it, was really an early form of vaccination, and the “smart people” like George Washington knew that it was an effective way of preventing the spread of smallpox among the troops, which is precisely why he mandated that all soldiers be inoculated.
There is no small irony behind the fact that Couch is praising the effectiveness of vaccinations during the Revolutionary War while using it as an argument as to why people today should not get vaccinated.