The WaPo discusses the grim statistics.
Washington state has managed its Trump Virus cases. It’s also accepting Idaho cases that state’s system is too overloaded to handle. Idaho Governor “Typhoid Brad” Little (I’m going to be using Typhoid Republican nicknames a lot for a while) is still adamant against any sort of mandates — he’s just going to wait for residents to do the right thing. Which worked out badly for one Alabama man. And the people are ending up in hospital from ivermectin poisoning. And the many people being forced to postpone surgeries.
LGM points out there are “huge numbers of basically apolitical or weakly political people who aren’t right wing zealots, but who are right wing adjacent in some way — they live in social/cultural bubbles where the Republican puke funnel is taken to be news rather than propaganda, and therefore it’s easy for them to just sort of slide into genuine vaccine “hesitancy” in the literal sense of the word. If not for the right-wing media, they might be okay. Instead, for some people, getting the vaccine feels like breaking with your community.
Which makes sense, when we have Republicans are telling them vaccines mandates are fascism. Or Erick Erickson, right-wing ass-hat, claiming it’s all a plot to whip up hate for unvaccinated Republicans. Or that Christian conservatives are incorporating vaccine and mask opposition into their Christianity (one anti-vax pastor also thinks math is nonsense).
We’ve always had vaccine mandates in America. One worry is that while Republicans are focused on covid, it won’t stop there. After all, right-wing anti-vaxxing goes back before Trump, and not just on the fringes. Of course, when President Obama said vaccines were good, a lot of Republicans denounced them. Tucker Carlson says the goal of mandatory military vaccination “is to identify the sincere Christians in the ranks, the free thinkers, the men with high testosterone levels, and anyone else who doesn’t love Joe Biden and make them leave immediately.” Breitbart claims that liberals are aggressively pro-vaccine and mocking anti-vaxxers because they want right-wingers to reject it and die … hmm, maybe taking it would be the ultimate way to own the libs?
It says a lot about the right that that’s the best rationale Breitbart can offer. As Roy Edroso points out, it’s bullshit (conservatives had to refuse the vaccine before they got mocked) — and he’s probably right it’s less about encouraging vaccination than giving readers a new reason to hate liberals.
Though it’s not just politics that’s the problem — a lot of online wellness influencers are anti-vax.
It’s hell on the medical personnel dealing with this: “I’m fatigued because I’m working more than ever, but more people don’t have to die,” Erickson told Medscape Medical News. “It’s been very hard physically, mentally, emotionally.” It’s certainly a good thing that at least one doctor spewing misinformation has lost his license.
LGM sums up the Republican position: “People should be free to acquire and transmit to others a deadly and extremely communicable virus, that is causing a catastrophic pandemic, even though this catastrophe could be avoided completely if people chose to take a free and safe vaccine. Furthermore, it’s morally wrong for the government to engage in even the mildest coercion to nudge people toward getting vaccinated, because such coercion interferes with individual liberty, which is always the highest social value in every circumstance.”
Likewise, “That Reeves would dismiss these deaths as bad “timing” says plenty about what Republican governors value — optics over lives.”
Or as John Scalzi says, “They’re killing their own people because of politics. Not anyone else. Not any more. And they’ll keep doing it. For as long as it takes. Because this is how they think they will win.”