Is Scott Adams now trying to attack Covid vaccines?

His latest arc is that Dilbert’s tech company has switched to being a “Big Pharm” company. Today’s strip has Dilbert saying that their latest tests show that their drugs kill people, and PHB says they’ll bribe their way to government approval. At any other time, I’d say he was just lampooning a different industry, but given the timing and his leanings, I’m not so sure.

His main intention is to “trigger the libs”.

My member berries told me that hating Big Pharma and corporations IS a liberal outlook.

This could go in different directions.

“Big Pharma BAD” is a mantra embraced across the political spectrum.

If there’s an antivax agenda behind this, I haven’t seen evidence of it.

Frankly, it isn’t much of a stretch; ‘Big’ pharmaceutical corporations are the premier example of corporate capitalism run amok, and as much as people were outraged by the antics of Martin Shkreli and the exploitation of addiction economics by Perdue Pharma, these were really differences of degree over typical corporate pharmaceutical practices rather uniquely examples of profit over ethics and the well-being of the end users of their products.

Scott Adams, on the other hand, has long been completely nutballs long before he was a Trump booster and alt-right conspiracy theorist going back to the point at which he claimed his success was due to some kind of positive affirmation influencing reality weirdness instead of just having captured the cultural zeitgeist about the inanity of corporate employment in a badly drawn cartoon. No explanation for why the animated series based on his cartoon tanked (Adams claimed it was reverse racism at the UPN network hating on white male cartoonists) or why Drew Carey appears to be the living embodiment of Dilbert.


Just a note that it is possible to be a Trump booster and not be an anti-vaxxer. My own family is an example.

Hmmm. I’m not sure about that comic. The boss character is both an asshole and stupid, and I’m not sure which characteristic is to the fore here.

In the early part of the pandemic before vaccines were widely available, I would have interpreted that comic as asshole boss having just exploited some privileged connection to get the vaccine that everyone wants and needs before everyone else. An unremarkable asshole-boss-who-doesn’t-care-about-the-peons theme.

But in February 2021, when vaccines are widely available? I’m really not sure that we can interpret this as pro vaccine at all. This could be interpreted as stupid boss gets vaccine and stupidly thinks he’s protected while everyone else is in a toxic soup. And the punchline “thank you for your concern” = fuck you credulous lib idiots don’t tell me that I must get vaccinated to be safe.

How fast did the US get vaccines? As a 43 year old in the UK I got my first one in May 2021, the absolute earliest it was available for me, and I was under the impression the UK was pretty much at the vaccine rollout forefront.

True, that’s one possible interpretation. Adams hasn’t been shy about sharing his beliefs, so if he’s antivaccine I’d expect to see examples of his mouthing off about it.

As for Big Pharma, it is possible to be critical of its abuses while accepting that numerous pharmaceuticals and vaccines have saved lives and prevented a great deal of suffering. That nuance escapes a lot of people, including those who tell us we should mistrust and avoid vaccines, because, y’know, Vioxx.

I’m low risk in my 50’s, and I got my first shot exactly when that comic came out, Feb '21. There were certainly long wait times at that stage and supply was disorganized, we did not follow a strict and consistent scheme of eligibility. I think it’s fair to say it had just become widely available, if not easily available, at that date.

I guess that date is right on the cusp of when either interpretation that I suggested for that comic is possible.

Just an opinion, from someone living in Louisiana and who was then under 50 years old:

I’d set the “COVID vaccine widely available” marker in mid-April 2021. By then, getting a vaccine was as easy as falling off a log – and the scarcity issues were largely worked out.

At the risk of being political, I suspect the vaccine being “as easy as falling off a log”, was due to your location. Here in Massachusetts in mid April 2021 there was vaccine available, but you essentially had to camp on your computer every day around noon (I think) when they released the vaccine schedule for 1 week out and frantically click hoping you could get a reservation before they filled up in 3 minutes or so. The fact that MA is currently at 79% vaccinated while LA is still at 57% would seem to bear that out.

Pretty darned fast at first. The very, very first were either late Dec 2020 or early Jan 2021 (my parents had theirs in January). But that was age limited.

Anybody over 18 could have gotten a first dose by May of 2021 if they wanted across most of the country. We peaked at that point and it became an issue of trying to convince people to get theirs.

Also, there’s the issue of lag; I don’t know how much time it takes a cartoon to travel from drawing board to newspaper but it’s not zero.

That makes sense to me.

One thing, also, that helped with obtaining the COVID vaccine – at least in the New Orleans metro area – was that many small clinics and independent pharmacies (i.e. not part of a national chain) were able to provide the shots. It was much more difficult to get an appointment with WalMart, Walgreens, CVS, etc. than it was to go to the nearest small independent pharmacy (which we still have in numbers). Everyone was hammering the chain pharmacies’ websites and overlooking their local walk-in clinics and independent pharmacies.

Trump himself is not an anti-vaxxer. He got the Pfizer and has been telling people at rallies to get vaccinated.

Well, when the crowds aren’t booing him for admitting to getting vaccinated. Of course, Trump used his influence as president to undermine medical experts on their other public health recommendations.

I’m actually a little shocked that Scott Adams still has any particular relevance. I haven’t even seen a Dilbert cartoon in years when they use to adorn the walls of cubical farms and coffee cups like mud on a pig.


Trump is pro-Covid-19 vaccine but has a long history of antivax rhetoric.

“Despite not making overt anti-vaccination statements as president, Trump had published dozens of tweets linking vaccinations with autism in the past, such as one in 2014 that read: “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!” Research has found that Americans who voted for Trump in 2016 were particularly prone to anti-vaccination attitudes and that these attitudes were exacerbated by his tweets.”

So what? Trump was never an anti-vaxxer and was hoping to high heaven a vaccine would come out before the election. Those peoples opinions on the vaccine wasn’t influenced by him.

Funny thing, though. Prior to Covid I always felt that the one thing liberals and conservatives had in common was thinking people who refused to vaccinate themselves and their children were nut jobs.