No one’s laughing at “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah’s new take on coronavirus vaccine maker Moderna.
Noah questioned Bancel’s intentions as he alleges that the pharma boss may not be the most “objective source” for pandemic predictions.
“On the one hand, almost all the Omicron cases have been mild so far,” the 37-year-old host began in a clip shared to social media. “But on the other hand, the guy who stands to gain millions of dollars from new vaccines says we need new vaccines, huh?”
As a parody of Bancel, Noah mocked, “If we don’t make a new vaccine, this disease could be with us Ferrari … I mean ‘forever.’ Sorry, I was thinking of something else” — suggesting that the French billionaire businessman might be prioritizing his bank account over epidemiological concerns.
Some viewers were evidently incensed — not at the thought of padding Bancel’s wallet, but of Noah’s cynicism. Said one Twitter user: “This seems to be spreading an anti-vax point of view.”
Others, however, appeared to be in full accord, though perhaps not the sort that Noah had intended.
As one skeptic pointed out, “Holy cow!!! You guys can finally see it. Pfizer CEO also said we would need these vaccine’s every year.”
Meanwhile, Rafael Shimunov, a Queens-based political activist with a following of nearly 53,000, aimed to clarify Noah’s statements, saying, “To all the covidiots who think this means Trevor Noah has joined your death cult: you can be suspicious of Big Pharma AND believe in vaccines and science just like you can be suspicious of Big Tech while using your phone to read this.”
It was earlier this week that Bancel confessed fears of a “material drop” in COVID-19 vaccine efficacy against newer strains of the disease, such as the Omicron variant, which has been detected in more than 30 countries so far, including 10 reported cases throughout five states, including New York, as of Friday, according to multiple state health officials.
“There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level … we had with Delta,” he told the Financial Timies.
“I think it’s going to be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to … are like, ‘This is not going to be good,’ ” he added.
The World Health Organization has thus far classified Omicron as a “variant of concern.” Meanwhile, WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan hoped to allay panic in a recent statement, Reuters reported on Friday, noting that it’s not yet anywhere near as threatening as the Delta variant.
“How worried should we be?” she said. “We need to be prepared and cautious, not panic, because we’re in a different situation to a year ago.”