Ron Johnson Unclear On Why *Everyone* Needs A Vaccine
There are some things that should no longer need to be explained to 66-year-old elected officials. We shouldn't have to tell them, "Hey, wash your hands when you finish using the bathroom," and if we do have to tell them that, we shouldn't have to explain why. We shouldn't have to explain that they have to look both ways when crossing the street or why the sky is blue. Because a 66-year-old is not a child and has, we would have to assume, heard these things before at some point in their life. It is almost unimaginable not to have heard these things.
It is similarly unimaginable that a 66-year-old elected official would not understand how vaccines work or how herd immunity works by now, particularly since we have been talking about this shit since Jenny McCarthy first started going around claiming that her son developed autism from a vaccine. It has come up multiple times in the last several years, following every major measles outbreak. It has been discussed since the COVID-19 vaccine was just a twinkle in our eye. It would be very, very difficult to avoid absorbing this information.
And yet, we have Senator Ron Johnson of the great state of Wisconsin, who is not quite sure we need to be pushing vaccines on everybody.
In an interview with rightwing Wisconsin radio personality Vicki McKenna on Thursday, Johnson shared his thoughts on the vaccine, which he claims is just another example of the desire of those on the Left to control people's lives for no apparent reason — which was what the two geniuses decided that all this "climate change" stuff was about earlier in the discussion. From their warped perspective, conservatives just want to be left alone to live their lives and have their families and have their businesses and employ people, but all the mean liberals want is to come in and control their lives. For sport, probably.
Johnson explained that while he was a big supporter of Operation Warp Speed (as it was a Trump joint), he thinks that because it's not proven, only the most vulnerable people should get it, but it shouldn't be pushed on everybody.
"The science tells us the vaccines are 95% effective, so if you have a vaccine quite honestly what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?" he asked. "What is it to you?"
The answer, again, is well-known to anyone who has been paying attention in the last twenty years. Vaccines don't actually always work on everyone and there are people with compromised immune systems who cannot take the vaccine, so achieving herd immunity is our best shot at making things safe for everybody. Those of us who can take it need to, not just for ourselves, but for them. But on top of that, we are now seeing that when the virus runs rampant, it evolves into new variants that might evade the vaccines we have, endangering everyone all over again. Maybe "evolution" is the sticking point for his understanding here?
"You've got a vaccine and science is telling you it's very, very effective." he continued. "So why is there this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine? And it's to the point where you're going to shame people, you're going to force them to carry a card to prove that they've been vaccinated so they can still stay in society. I'm getting highly suspicious of what's happening here."
And how exactly would we "shame" the kind of people who wouldn't want to get a vaccine? If someone doesn't care whether other people live or die, then why would they care if other people knew they didn't care if they lived or died? Is that somehow worse?
The vaccines are the reason we can return to public life, and they are the price of admission. That is how much it costs to get in, and if people don't want to pay up, they don't get to take advantage of the fact that other people have. We can't afford to care about their feelings, even if they are capable of feeling shame — which, again, seems extremely unlikely.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse