Vaccine Skeptics Unsure If Shot In The Arm Worth The Hassle Of People Not Dying
For one brief shining moment, it seemed like conservatives weren't going to be idiots about a COVID-19 vaccine. The mad MAGA king went all in on a vaccine almost a full year ago. He even called it Operation Warp Speed, even though in reality, the one with all the coronavirus, “warp speed" is fundamentally impossible. Whatever, President Tribble Head wanted a vaccine, and he wanted it fast, fast, fast!
We were as surprised as anyone else but Operation Warp Speed didn't turn out like that WALL to nowhere.The Food and Drug Administration voted to recommend emergency approval of the Pfizer vaccine in December, with Moderna not far behind. Vaccines for everyone! Hooray! This is quite the victory for people who enjoy breathing out in public, but almost a year since the former White House squatter launched Operation Warp Speed, his most faithful supporters aren't interested in the vaccine. Collective enthusiasm for the Spice Girls lasted longer.
Arizona Republican state Rep. Mark Finchem fits the profile of many vaccine skeptics, by which we mean he's a fucking moron. He tested positive for COVID-19 in December, but he won't take any of the available vaccines because he "distrusts the federal government and top public health officials, he's heard mixed messages about the vaccines on social media and television news, and he worries about long-term side effects."
Here's what Finchem, who doesn't live in a van by the river, told Pew Stateline:
I'm very suspicious that what they put in the [vaccines] is nothing more than a cocktail ... Time will tell, and I hope I'm proven wrong.
Drug cocktails, such as the ones used to treat cancer and AIDS, are in fact medically effective. Maybe Finchem thinks the COVID-19 vaccine is just a fancy Long Island iced tea, which admittedly no one should put in their bodies.
Not all vaccine skeptics are white Republican men, but they are the most resistant to reason and the least possessed of any civic responsibility. North Dakota Republican state Rep. Rick Becker doesn't want to be bothered because he “knows he's healthy," just like everyone is before they contract COVID-19. He boasts that he has no preexisting health conditions and his refusal doesn't affect anyone else. The man is a doctor ... well, a plastic surgeon, but even the guys from "Nip/Tuck" knew how herd immunity worked.
Last month, Frank Luntz aired a focus group session with Republican vaccine skeptics. These geniuses flat-out don't trust the very people who should convince them a vaccine is safe. They don't like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who they consider a “liar," a “flip-flopper," and “opportunistic," and they definitely don't trust politicians, especially Democrats.
Spotify’s Joe Rogan encourages "healthy" young people not to get a coronavirus vaccine. His show is Spotify's most… https://t.co/0C28FjJoFl— Alex Paterson (@Alex Paterson)1619539936.0
However, if vaccine skeptics don't trust doctors or politicians, they at least trust Joe Rogan, who is neither of those things. Random idiots have apparently sought the podcaster's counsel on this subject. Here's what he told them:
ROGAN: I think you should get vaccinated if you're vulnerable.
Everyone's vulnerable to COVID-19, even Superman. Seriously, there's kryptonite in that shit.
ROGAN: I think you should get vaccinated if you feel like — my parents are vaccinated. I've encouraged a lot of people to get — and people say, do you think it's safe to get vaccinated? I've said, yeah, I think for the most part it's safe to get vaccinated. I do. I do.
Glad we have the thumb's up from the nation's top infectious disease podcaster.
ROGAN: But if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I'll go no. Are you healthy? Are you a healthy person? Like, look, don't do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. You should — if you're a healthy person, and you're exercising all the time, and you're young, and you're eating well, like, I don't think you need to worry about this.
Yeah, that's all bullshit.
Even if you're young and healthy, you could still spread the virus to people who aren't. Herd immunity is a key component of vaccine effectiveness. Otherwise, there's a good chance you can make even fully vaccinated people sick. That should matter to you or maybe you're just a total sociopath like Peter D'Abrosca. The former Republican candidate for Congress from North Carolina declared in an op-ed for American Greatness that I Won't Take The Vaccine Because It Makes Liberals Mad.
My primary reason for refusing the vaccine is much simpler: I dislike the people who want me to take it, and it makes them mad when they hear about my refusal. That, in turn, makes me happy.
Maybe it's petty, but the thought of the worst people on planet earth, those whom I like to call the Branch Covidians, literally shaking as I stroll into Target vaccine-free, makes me smile.
My cousin, who was not much older than I am, died from COVID-19 recently. He lived in South Carolina, where there are a lot of Republicans who share D'Abrosca's contempt for liberals and anyone who just wants to survive this pandemic. Almost 575,000 Americans haven't, including my cousin. We've long since reached the point where “vaccine skeptic" is just a fancy term for “selfish asshole."
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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."