Several weeks ago (March 10), a letter to the editor argued that it was a “moral concern” that fetal cell tissue (actually, it was cells descended from tissue lines derived in the 1980s) was used in developing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against COVID-19. I disagree.
I do think there is a real and important moral concern in their suggesting that the vaccine not be used for this reason. This vaccine may save millions of lives, with no harm to any living creature.
I wonder if these letter writers realized or cared that drugs developed with fetal cell tissue were used in treating Donald Trump when he had a severe case of COVID-19. He received these drugs in an experimental antibody cocktail. He called the treatment “miracles coming down from God,” even though its development relied on cells derived from human fetal tissue.
For years, Republicans have blocked potential life-saving research that might use otherwise discarded fetal tissue. Yet they didn’t object on moral or religious grounds when drugs developed with this kind of research were used to save one of their own.