In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread. And among those diseases could be COVID-19.
Antivaxxers are sometimes violent, often abusive, and always wrong.
Unfortunately, Republican politicians and conservative media figures are increasingly joining up with the anti-vaxxers. There is a great deal of overlap between MAGA World and the antivax movement.
By April 2021, a majority of U.S. adults (56%) self-reported they had already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Among the 43% of adults who said at that time that they had not yet been vaccinated, about four in ten (42%) identified as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents and about one-third (36%) identified as Democrats or leaned that way, while 16% identified as independents who didn’t lean toward either party. The partisan divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated adults became even more evident as larger shares of the population received COVID-19 vaccines. Now, six months later, in October 2021, one-quarter (27%) of U.S. adults say they have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, but the unvaccinated population is now disproportionately made up of those who identify as Republican or Republican-leaning, with six in ten (60%) identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning (compared to about four in ten of the U.S. total adult population1) and just one in six (17%) calling themselves Democrats or Democratic-leaning.