In July of this year, the rate of COVID infection rates and hospitalizations hit an all-time low as the vaccination rates climbed. In May, the Center For Disease Control And Prevention eased their mask- wearing protocols for the vaccinated. The Associated Press quoted Biden saying, “Today is a great day for America. If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask,” he said, summarizing the new guidance and encouraging more Americans to roll up their sleeves. “Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do.”
Biden’s competent, comprehensive handling of the pandemic included a massive roll-out of vaccines to states and cities, with an organized online system that initially set up appointments for senior citizens and high risk individuals and gradually expanded to the general population. The Administration conveyed the latest scientific information about the vaccine on it’s website and minus Fox News, media outlets kept the public informed about its safety and efficacy. Democrats in Congress got vaccinated to model patriotic, responsible public health behavior. Because of Biden’s competence leadership, Americans returned to baseball stadiums, bars, restaurants, and the workplace fully vaccinated without wearing masks, until the no- vaxxers sabotaged the recovery.
In stark contrast to President Biden’s efforts to end the pandemic, the Republican party continues to politicize the effort to vaccinate the majority of Americans and persists in their dangerous rebellion against the CDC’s urgings for the continued mask-wearing protocols. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is irresponsibly pandering to Trump’s no mask, unvaccinated supporters by threatening to enact legislation to block schools from implementing mask mandates. He is also sending contradicting messages to Floridians for voter appeal. While extolling the virtues of the vaccines, he has launched a line of merchandise ridiculing masks and pandemic medical experts. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Florida is recording more Covid-19 cases than any other U.S. state, as hospitalizations in some areas increase at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is mirroring DeSantis’s crusade to enact policies that make Texans vulnerable to COVID infection. Forbes Magazine reported that Abbott “issued a new Executive Order that makes it harder for local officials to limit capacities at businesses, require face mask use, or require Covid-19 vaccination? Abbott defended his action on Twitter saying ” I issued an executive order providing uniformity in Texas’ COVID response—we must rely on personal responsibility, not gov’t mandates.” These Republican governors and others like them are facing potential responsibility for COVID related deaths in their states. Clearly they are counting on the anti-pandemic stance to win them re-election in 2022.
Despite the Republicans commitment to thwarting any successes of the Administration, Biden announced positive news this week when over $1 million vaccinations happened in one day. Some former reluctant Republicans are now. advocating for vaccines and sensible masking like Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Senator Mitch McConnell, and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. Justice vehemently is urging people to vaccinate explaining;
“The red states probably have a lot of people that are very, very conservative in their thinking and they think, ‘Well, I don’t have to do that.’ But they’re not thinking right.”
Maybe if health insurance companies begin excluding coverage for insureds who refuse to vaccinate and then become infected with the Delta variant, people will rethink their resistance. The medical bills for a hospitalization, placement on a ventilator, and medications could financially ruin a family for life.
The Washington Post reported, “people who haven’t been vaccinated say they probably or definitely won’t get vaccinated — and that the divide fell sharply along party lines. According to the survey, 86 percent of Democrats have received at least one vaccine shot compared with 45 percent of Republicans.” Unfortunately, Trump and the Republican party have decided to pander to conservative red-state voters hoping they will help them regain control of our government, and damn how many people have to die for them to accomplish that goal.