Author Michele Weinstat Miller thanked Neil deGrasse Tyson for swaying a friend of her into getting vaccinated, but the celebrity astrophysicist says it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that inoculations are a good thing.

“I want to thank you because an anti-vaxxer friend who admires you has decided to get vaccinated after your endorsement (my repeated talks opened her mind, but your endorsement did it),” reads Miller’s unverified account, without naming the friend.

Her new book “Gone by Morning” is drawing comparisons to the work of Mary Higgins Clark.

Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Tyson said he was glad to help “tip the scales,” though he added that in this case, he’s working with the same data as everyone else.

“People shouldn’t get vaccinated because ‘Tyson said so,’” he wrote on Twitter. “They should get vaccinated because of evidence that it’s effective & safe.”

To Tyson, who frequently promotes the value of science and education, vaccine hesitancy could be a result of a flawed education system.


“Or maybe school needs to spend more time on what science is and how and why it works,” he added.

Earlier this month he reminded “Anti-vaxers, anti-maskers, climate hoaxers, flat-Earthers, etc.” that next time they question the value of science, they should consider that fact that they’re sharing their half-baked conspiracy theories on “stupefyingly advanced technologies” created by the scientists.

Tyson also tweeted on Tuesday that vaccinations could become a factor in choosing the direction of the country. By his calculation, Republicans are dying from COVID at a much higher rate than Democrats. The Brookings Institute reported in late July that the states with the lowest vaccination rates overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump.

The 62-year-old scientist’s popular Twitter account is a popular forum for debate. As an educator, Tyson said it’s important for him to engage or at least acknowledge people who disagree with him.

“If you keep blocking trolls, you’re left with a false view of the totality of what people are thinking out there,” he told the Daily Beast in 2020.

In that same interview, deGrasse said he had nothing to add to a 2019 investigation that delayed the shooting of his TV show “Cosmos” after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

“We should all be glad that there is such a thing as due process in this world,” he remarked.

The Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History said after deGrasse was investigated that he would be keeping his job there.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: