Mitch McConnell Does NOT Want To Kill His Own Voters? How Can He Even Lead A Death Cult Then?
Republican men are reportedly resistant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, presumably because they are widdle babies scared of needles. (It's actually OK if you're legitimately afraid of needles. It happens. Just look away when they're giving you the vaccine.)
Gabriel Smithson, a 52-year-old Republican from Tennessee, told CBS News a few weeks ago that he's not messing around with any newfangled vaccines. He pointed out that one of his children became sick after getting the flu shot years ago, so his family are loud and proud COVID-19 vaccine skeptics. He trusts the polio vaccine because that's been around for a long time (since the pre-industrial days of 1955) but someone had to take the first wave of vaccines. If everyone had waited until 2020, we'd all have polio! But Smithson is no hero.
"This is a brand new vaccine," Smithson said. "I'm not going to jeopardize my health, I'm not going to put my kids in harm's way. ... I don't want to play guinea pig."
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are fully tested. That's how we know they're more than 90 percent effective. Despite what rightwing disinformation claims online, Pfizer and Moderna didn't skip animal trials. What's even the point of releasing an untested vaccine? People might notice if everyone who took it caught COVID-19 and died.
Republican Ron Holloway told the Guardian that he's never getting the vaccine because, well, just look at this shit:
I just feel that God created us, made our bodies in such a wonderful way that we can pretty much do our own immunization ... We're equipped to do that in most cases. I just don't see the need for it.
A recent poll shows that 49 percent of Republican men don't plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, herd immunity doesn't work like the Electoral College or the Senate. If we want to control the virus, we need an actual majority of Americans vaccinated.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell encouraged Republican men — who have expressed much hesitancy about the COVI… https://t.co/4NAcL74sd0— CBS News (@CBS News)1617121659.0
Monday, during a Kentucky event promoting vaccines, Senate Minority (!) Leader Mitch McConnell said there's “no good reason" not to get vaccinated. There's not really a good reason for anything Republicans do, so let's hope McConnell has a more compelling argument.
MCCONNELL: I can stand here as a Republican man, as soon as it was my turn, I took the vaccine. I would encourage all Republican men to do that. There are some other segments that have some reservations, but with regard to Republican men, take the vaccination. Two of 'em are 90 percent effective. One of 'em is 70 percent effective, and I didn't realize until this pandemic began that the flu shot is only 50 percent effective, and a whole lot of people get the flu shot.
The efficacy of the flu vaccine varies annually but on average, it's 40 percent effective. The problem is that not enough Americans comply. During the 2018/2019 flu season, just 49.2 percent of Americans got their flu shots. That's the highest percentage since the 2009-2010 flu season but still well below the 70 percent target for herd immunity.
Comparing COVID-19 to the seasonal flu isn't ideal because the former is more contagious and lethal. The flu doesn't shut down the country. (People, especially actors in live theatre, have still worked while suffering flu symptoms, which as a society we should stop expecting them to do.) COVID-19 is more akin to measles and polio, neither of which you can shrug off and let your vaunted mutant healing factor handle.
Republican motivations for not taking the vaccine seem to range from thinking it'll do nothing to it'll kill you instantly. Neither is the case, but this self-interested ignorance is regularly promoted on Fox News.
Not all vaccine skeptics are Republican men. If there's a stupid party, you know Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is bringing the jello. Greene's spokesperson, Nick Dyer, said the congresswoman is "a perfectly healthy woman and doesn't see a reason" to get vaccinated. That's like never going to the dentist because you still have your teeth.
Greene's fellow Sedition Caucus member Lauren Boebert also refused to model responsible behavior for her constituents. In December, she said:
At this time, I don't see that we are in a class of people that need the vaccination. We are healthy. We're young. I am against any sort of government-mandated vaccination.
Maybe we'd have better luck with these dummies if we told them COVID-19 was an undocumented immigrant invading the sovereign state of their bodies. The vaccine sends microscopic AK-47s into their bloodstream to set things right. CGI John Wayne and Ronald Reagan could record a PSA. Meanwhile, functioning adults can just continue protecting ourselves and loved ones.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."