Same GOP Stupidity, New Variants
There's a new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, out in the world. Not to be confused with Unicron or Galvatron, the evil Transformers voiced by Orson Welles and Leonard Nimoy respectively, and despite conspiracy theories based on idiots never learning the Greek alphabet, outside of incel culture or Joe Rogan. This new variant will inevitably make it here and cause some sort of havoc, due to the same issues we've been dealing with since 2020.
Let's see what the Sunday shows had to say about it.
CNN's 'State Of The Union'
National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins appeared on most the Sunday shows to try to get people to do the right thing and get vaccinated or boosted in the face of this new variant.
\u201cThere's no reason to panic, but it\u2019s a great reason to get boosted,\u201d NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins says about the Omicron variant.\n\nWhile scientists aren\u2019t sure if it causes severe illness, \u201cwe do think it's more contagious when you look at how rapidly it spread.\u201d #CNNSOTUpic.twitter.com/S22bIdcROy— State of the Union (@State of the Union) 1638109214
On that very same show, Dana Bash asked Arkansas GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson if he would institute vaccine mandates, as his state has the eighth lowest vaccination rate in the country, with at least half of the state still unvaccinated.
.@DanaBashCNN on Arkansas having 8th lowest vaccination rate in the country: "Is it time to acknowledge that your approach isn't working?"\n\nGov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): "Not at all ... In Arkansas, that information-based education is what is working ..."pic.twitter.com/fV2UatfmUC— The Recount (@The Recount) 1638109282
Is it really "working," governor? Because since President Joe Biden instituted his vaccine mandate for federal workers, nine of 10 federal workers and military personnel are vaccinated. I'm not a mathematician, but 90 percent seems higher than 50 percent. Considering how Hutchinson said the Delta variant has "been tough on us" and "we don't welcome a new variant," you would think he would finally take proactive measures. But just like with "trickle down" economics, being disproven constantly will never make Republicans change the religious dogma of their failed policies.
NBC's 'Meet The Press'
Speaking of fanatical religious zealotry and dogma, Chuck Todd had on Mississippi GOP Governor Tate Reeves to spew disproven vaccine misinformation with little pushback. Here is the video, cued up to Gov. Reeves's appearance.
When asked if he will reinstitute their Covid state of emergency after it expired this weekend before news of the Omicron variant, Reeves played cute with the numbers to make it look like Mississippi is more prepared than it is:
REEVES: We're certainly monitoring this new variant. We don't have all the data that we need to make decisions at this time. [...] This is a state of three million. [...] So our case numbers are way down. Our vaccination numbers continue to rise. We have 1.6 million Mississippians that have been vaccinated. That's not enough. But in talking to our state health officers, we believe that somewhere between 80-85% of Mississippians have some level of immunity, either natural immunity or immunity from having taken the shots.
Mississippi has 1.6 million out of 3 million population vaccinated. That's nearly half of its population unvaccinated, like Arkansas, but Reeves tries to play like they are more prepared for what could be a more contagious variant by doing the Aaron Rodgers immunity play to fudge the numbers up to 80-85 percent. Watching these states basically do nothing as the inevitable next wave comes to ravage their citizens is infuriating in its predictability.
But Reeves wasn't done showing he doesn't understand science, as answered questions about the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban, which the Supreme Court will hear arguments on this week. So Chuck Todd just let Reeves say this crazy shit:
Chuck Todd didn't exactly push back as Tate Reeves recited right-wing talking points to defend Mississippi's abortion banpic.twitter.com/s7Nc05ooKZ— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1638114709
Todd let Reeves lie about the efficacy of vaccines while making scientifically disproven claims on fetal development, all the while giving Reeves the "appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective with us" treatment.
'Fox News Sunday'
GOP Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, who we've spoken about before and who claims he's "Wyoming’s Doctor," seems to be utterly confused on how booster shots work.
BARRASSO: The president has divided the country because of the mandate. Now you have a couple of governors saying, oh, two shots isn't enough. Now you have to have three.
Despite Barrasso being an orthopedic surgeon and not a virologist or a general practitioner, it's pretty clear he understands how vaccines work. So, in a world where yearly flu shots are a thing, his alleged ignorance is as genuine as faux folky costumes worn by Mitt Romney or Kelly Loeffler in campaigns.
Have a week!
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Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.