Frank Luntz Knows Who Turned Republicans Against COVID Vaccine, And It Is Joe Biden
Trump voters are the snowiest of flakes! Evanescent and ethereal, floating several feet above the earth, melting at 27 degrees. These fuckers will kill us all.
This weekend Republican pollster Frank Luntz aired a focus group session with Republican stalwarts to discuss "vaccine hesitancy," which a fancy way of saying "prioritizing a generalized fear about your own well-being over ending a scourge that's killed more than a half million Americans, confined us to our homes, left millions with long-term health problems, and is still killing thousands of people every week." And while there are certainly groups whose historical relationship with the medical profession would naturally lead them to be suspicious about novel treatments, middle class white people ain't one of 'em.
The Washington Post has the whole video, if you want to get stabby on a Monday.
"We want to be educated, not indoctrinated," whined the same people trying to cut public education funding and institute mandatory flag worship in American schools. Indeed, one of Luntz's subjects, "Sue from Iowa," had herself worked as a pharmacist for the drug company Merck, which helped produce one of the vaccines, and was still "hesitant" because DEEP STATE EVIL.
"I know their vaccines are good products, I trust them," said Sue, who presumably both understands the science of vaccines and knows that they aren't implanting a microchip from Bill Gates. "What I don't trust is the government telling me what I need to do when they haven't led us down the right road." See, if the government tells her to do something, she's less likely to do it. Because Sue is a freethinking rebel. Or possibly a sociopath, jury's still out.
In fact, there are a lot of possible sociopaths in the GOP tent. A third of Republicans told CBS/YouGov they wouldn't get the vaccine at all, with another fifth still on the fence. Those people will ensure the virus has plenty of new hosts to chew through as we all start returning to normal activity this summer. Thanks, assholes!
According to Luntz's Mensa meeting, these Republican holdouts just want someone to rub their pink bits in exactly the right way before they agree to help America get to herd immunity. No more Dr. Fauci, whom they describe as a "liar," "flip-flopper" and "opportunistic," and whom they blame for the disastrous virus response under Trump. No more PSAs from politicians, whom they distrust implicitly.
"It actually kind of annoys me," Debbie from Georgia reported of the PSA with all the living presidents but Trump getting jabbed on camera. Although the group did appreciate Chris Christie's personal account of getting sick, couched as it was in a confirmation of their own biases.
"We really shouldn't be all marching in lockstep like lemmings to go and do what the government tells us to do," said the former New Jersey governor. "They've screwed up too many times for us to do that. But I really do believe the facts that I've learned, and the experiences I've had, should make at least everybody … think hard" about the vaccine.
Yes, please do think hard about it, you selfish assholes.
Meanwhile, Frank Luntz, who dumped strychnine by the gallon into America's political well, is shocked, shocked he tells ya to find that Americans view coronavirus through a self-destructive political lens.
"It makes me really mad at both administrations because people are going to die," the longtime pollster said, blaming Trump for downplaying the risk of the virus — and President Biden for downplaying the Trump administration's work on developing a vaccine.
"You credit Trump for the effort he put in. And then move on," Luntz added. "What harm can be done by saying something nice? Even though we all know Trump wouldn't do it himself."
Did you catch the sleight of hand there? You see him shove an entire salami down his trousers? Luntz is mad at Trump for refusing to level with Americans about the danger of the virus, which is a thing that actually happened. We all saw the former president refuse to wear a mask, treat lockdowns like a crazy Democratic plot to tank the economy, and force the states to compete with each other for PPE and ventilators because he was so contemptuous of Deep State experts that he dispatched a feckless band of 27-year-old MBAs to solve a national supply chain problem.
And Luntz is mad at Joe Biden for refusing to lie about it and give Trump credit for something he had almost nothing to do with. We all saw Trump create this vaccine hesitancy by publicly leaning on drug companies to cut every corner and forgo rigorous testing in a blatant effort to rush vaccines to market before the November election. Perhaps there would be more faith in the safety of the vaccines if we hadn't witnessed the FDA issue emergency use authorizations for quack treatments like hydroxychloroquine — causing an actual shortage of the medicine for lupus patients who depend on it — and serious government consideration of using dangerous poisons like oleandrin to "cure" a virus because the MyPillow guy said it would work.
How would Biden's praise of Trump after the fact affect the safety of the vaccine? Mr. Luntz does not explain. Nor does he explain why he thinks anything President Biden says about his predecessor would counteract the flood of lies being vomited out of Fox News into the gaping maws of its Republican viewers. All Frank Luntz knows is that both sides are to blame here.
In the end, there was one bright spot, though. When IRL doctors told these fine Americans that doctors themselves were all getting the shots because they gauged the known danger from COVID to be worse than the unknown danger of the vaccine, it made participants more likely to consider getting vaccinated. You just couldn't tell the participants that the doctor in question had been originally appointed by Barack Obama to head the CDC.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.