Search This Blog

Friday, July 9, 2021

People Will Die Because of GOP Antivaxxers

Aaron Blake at WP:
It has been three days since President Biden announced an initiative to send people door-to-door trying to get more people vaccinated, and Republicans and their conservative media allies have wasted no time turning those door-knockers into terrifying straw men.

To be clear, there are valid questions about whether this is a good idea or the best use of government resources. But the pushback from some portions of the right has been swift and often over the top — to the point where it could very logically lead to some ugly scenes.

Republican members of Congress and conservative talkers have wrongly pitched the effort as forced vaccination — even repeatedly invoking the Nazis — and lodged baseless suggestions that it would be done using illegally obtained medical information. Others have suggested it’s something akin to government coercion or even a precursor to gun confiscation.

We know relatively little about the nascent effort thus far, but what we do know bears little to no resemblance to these allegations.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) got the ball rolling Tuesday by comparing the effort to “medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations.” Not to be outdone, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) took to Twitter the next day to offer her own Nazi comparison, labeling the door-knockers “needle Nazis.”

Charlie Sykes at The Bulwark:

All of this is having an effect. As NPR reports, “There's A Stark Red-Blue Divide When It Comes To States' Vaccination Rates.”
Some of the least vaccinated states are the most pro-Trump. Trump won 17 of the 18 states with the lowest adult vaccination rates. Many of these states have high proportions of whites without college degrees.
The irony is that many of those who now deride the vaccines also objected to lockdowns, social distancing, and the wearing of masks. In a rational world, they would see the vaccines as a ticket back to normal life.

Instead, at this moment, they have chosen to go full anti-vax. Even with hundreds of thousands of dead, and hospitals again filling up, the lies continue; media types tell them to get clicks and likes; pols spread the lies to raise their profile and bring in cash.

And their recklessness will kill people. This is not hyperbole.

The toll of the lies —the tweets, cable hits, and performative demagoguery — can be measured in human lives. The right’s burst of dishonesty means that more fathers, mothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, even children will die.