Sorry To Be The ‘Woke Mob’ Here But If You Remain Unvaccinated, You’re More Likely To Get And Die Of COVID-19
So, as you know, there's a perfectly safe vaccine that keeps COVID-19 from killing you. It's free and everything, but the MAGA-verse believes the vaccine is spiked with magnetic razor blades. They are wrong and the results are both clear and deadly.
The New York Times reports that the "gap in Covid's death toll between red and blue America has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point."
In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from Covid, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened.
Now, please don't shout “Hooray!" because that's gross. We should never accept needless death, even when it's a result of someone's own incompetence. Besides, horse-paste-chugging Donald Trump supporters aren't the only ones living in “heavily Trump counties." The COVID-spreader-in-chief won 58 percent of the vote in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. My family is all vaccinated and deserve far better odds than this.
Although my family takes every precaution — two masks for church, an extra three masks for potential crazy white person exposure at the grocery store — Trump supporters are marching headlong to a non-socialist, fully police-funded demise. Almost 40 percent of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, defiantly so at this point, while just 10 percent of adult Democrats are unvaccinated, likely for some Phoebe Buffay hippie reason.
Democratic health care analyst Charles Gaba tracked this phenomenon on his blog. During the summer, as the Delta variant surged across the nation, counties that had overwhelmingly voted for Trump had about five times as many deaths per hundred thousand as Biden counties. Gaba posted last month:
In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June. ... In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.
Republican anti-vaccine rhetoric is straight-up killing people, but Republicans managed to beat Democrats senseless in Virginia over Toni Morrison, who has not killed anyone. CNN interviewed some suburban white women from Virginia who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 and Glenn Youngkin in 2021. They claim they flipped because of dissatisfaction over pandemic school closures and resulting learning loss. However, Republicans have exclusively prolonged the pandemic, arguably for their own political gain. We'd likely have put all of this behind us in the summer, with no immediate concerns about opening schools, if Republicans hadn't enabled anti-vax conspiracy theorists.
The right wing accused "Sesame Street" of “propaganda" when it encouraged childhood vaccination, just as it had almost 50 years ago. It's not enough for Republicans that they refuse to vaccinate themselves against a deadly disease, they fiercely object to the sane half of the nation promoting public health.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, refused to get vaccinated and lied about it to his teammates, whose health he endangered. He reportedly subjected the appeals panel to 500 pages of Facebook/YouTube quack “research" about why he shouldn't be considered unvaccinated, even though he is. Now he has COVID, which more easily happens when you're unvaccinated.
He also said this gibberish out loud:
RODGERS: I didn't sign a piece of paper that gave away my rights to live a normal season of life and I felt like I protected myself in a way that not only protected myself and my teammates.
Pretty sure this asshole signed a contract at some point.
RODGERS: I've tested over 300 times before finally testing positive. Like I said, it was probably from a vaccinated individual. I don't think that many of the policies are rooted in science.
What do you say to this bullshit? The unvaccinated are now blaming vaccinated people when they step into a COVID rake. That is obviously not how science works.
Oh, and of course, he had to go and bring Dr. Martin Luther King into this:
RODGERS: The great MLK said you have a moral obligation to object to unjust rules, and rules that make no sense. In my opinion, it makes no sense to me.
Yes, Dr. King said, "One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." However, he also never claimed, as Rodgers did, that he was “in the crosshairs of the woke mob." He wasn't a spoiled, entitled brat. There's obviously a moral distinction between refusing to sit in the back of the bus and physically blocking the entrance to a newly integrated school so Black children can't enter.
I sincerely wish obvious facts and data could make a difference at this point, but too many Americans are addicted to a shared and lethal madness.
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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."