Phil Garber
5 min readJan 28, 2021



The Bloody Truth

The survey results have been tabulated and show that three out of four phlebotomists will not get vaccinated for COVID-19 and that is fairly significant because phlebotomists draw your blood and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone with COVID-19 to touch my blood.

That’s an important finding because vaccines are our best hope to end the pandemic and save millions of lives, including those who get their blood tested by phlebotomists.

Well the survey wasn’t exactly scientific and it only involved four phlebotomists at the facility where I go for blood work. They are very nice people but three of them showed they are no more immune than the rest of us from being taken for a ride and believing unsubstantiated reports from far right sources.

The three said they don’t trust the vaccine and upon further questioning, they each said they didn’t believe that the vaccine has been adequately tested and was rolled out too quickly, and when asked how long is long enough, the three had no good answers and basically they did not want to be guinea pigs. Not wanting to get into an argument that I could not win, I did not note that more than 2 million health care workers have gotten the vaccine so far and that as far as I know, there have been no reports of mass deaths or illnesses.

None of the phlebotomists said they were generally against vaccines nor did they point to any of the popular conspiracy theories that the vaccines are part of a plot by George Soros, Bill Gates and Elon Musk to control America by injecting homing devices with the vaccine or that the vaccine will give you COVID-19, although that is impossible because the vaccine does not contain live virus.

They each also said they don’t expect they will get the virus, a bit of magical thinking, at which point I realized further questioning of their reasoning would be entirely futile so I didn’t ask any more questions but instead shrugged my shoulders, gave a polite smile and said goodbye as I said under my breath “morons.”

The trio of anti-COVID-19 vaccine phlebotomists do wear masks, so that is good, and they even keep their noses covered but I cannot for the life of me understand why they would not want to take anything that even remotely may protect them from the virus, especially being in the health care profession, while the reality is that the vaccines are believed to be more than 90 percent effective.

I could understand if I was talking to a non-health care worker like a UPS delivery driver or the clerk at the Walgreen’s though I believe everyone should get the vaccine as soon as it’s available but health care workers are a top priority, for obvious reasons, as they could kill someone if they spread the virus and especially in a job where many of the people they meet have compromised health issues.

The phlebotomists three are not alone, in fact, they have a lot of company as a December survey undertaken by the Pew Research Center, that showed that nearly 40 percent of Americans say they will definitely not or probably not get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them. Gallup polls put the number at 37 percent.

I believe that many, many Americans have lost faith in our institutions, including the health care profession, and they are willing to accept any information that might support their view that American institutions are corrupt, a bit of a circular argument you might say.

It is easy to mine the internet for information to substantiate any fears and the vaccine is no different. There are any number of dangerous, rumor mongering, wingnut, opportunistic, unethical right wingers and websites that are peddling their drivel and planting seeds of doubt about the vaccine and in turn, are undermining the life and death battle to stem COVID19.

For example, Dr. Simone Gold is the founder of something she calls “America’s Frontline Doctors,” a group that most definitely does not represent America’s front line doctors. Gold, who had President Trump’s ear, and no surprise there, as she was with the mob that invaded the Capitol where she urged that nobody should get the COVID-19 vaccine because it is an “experimental biological agent deceptively named a vaccine; you must not allow yourself to be coerced.”

And of course, Fox News had referred to COVID-19 as “just like the flu” while Fox News host Tucker Carlson described Dr. Anthony Fauci as “a malignant buffoon,” though everywhere else outside of the right wing orbit Fauci is considered one of the nation’s most respected epidemiologists who was not on Trump’s “A” list as a sycophant. told its readers that they should be very wary of the vaccine because it has been promoted by Fauci, who has been “a spectacular failure at his job.”

Libertynation. com, another pro-Trump font of confusion, reported that the vaccines offered to fight COVID-19 have had “no long-term safety trials and adverse events, including transverse myelitis, bell’s palsy, and death” though this is contrary to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from every reputable scientific source on the planet.

“With widespread reluctance to get the vaccine and serious questions about safety and efficacy arising, the media has pivoted to urging compliance — justifiable concerns be damned,” the website reported even though the mainstream media has not reported problems with safety and efficacy., yet another of the rabbit hole sources of misinformation, concluded that people should not put any credence in President Biden’s order to sharply increase the amount of available vaccine because Biden “really seems to have a problem with numbers” and that “he seemed to lose steam in the middle of talking about securing additional vaccines to deal with the Wuhan coronavirus. Then his numbers began to go crazy.” conflated the vaccine fears with the argument over abortions, rationalizing that Biden is wrong about the vaccine just as he has been wrong about abortions and “the science of when life begins. You ignore their lives and permit their deaths. You do it to appease the violent abortion industry. Please open your eyes. There’s already blood on the hands of your administration.”

And not to be outdone, said there is great reason for concern about the vaccine because Biden has weaponized the pandemic for political reasons, unlike Trump who practiced “restraint in relation to the power of the federal government under the guise of COVID-19 action. No president in our lifetime was ever more reluctant to weaponize the opportunity to expand government; Donald Trump stood the gap.”

And further muddied the waters with the specious argument that the vaccine has been sped out too quickly and possibly unsafely, because “President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to turn the tide of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, telling Americans that he had a superior plan to the one that was being executed by the administration of President Donald Trump.”

To my phlebotomist friends, please stay out of the silo and listen to reason and get the vaccinations.



Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer