Something's up: Why are Republicans suddenly pushing the Covid vaccine?
Republicans in Washington and at Fox News have suddenly embraced the Covid vaccine, openly-begging their followers to get it. Why? What happened to finally change their minds?
Years ago, I nicknamed myself Cassandra because I have a knack for reading the tea leaves and seeing trends that other people don’t see (while not being able to monetize this gift!). Well, my Cassandra genes are kicking in again, this time about the Delta variant.
As I think I mentioned the other day, something is up. The other day it was a suspicion; now it’s confirmed. Official Republicandom in Washington has done an about-face on Covid and vaccines, and they’ve suddenly become super-duper pro-vaxxers. Mitch McConnell is begging people to get vaccinated, though he was pretty good before. But Fox News’ Sean Hannity wasn’t. Nor was Florida’s GOP Governor, Trump wannabe, and 2024 presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis. Both are now imploring people to get vaccinated.
And I just saw this from GOP Senator Chuck Grassley as well:
And this one is really weird, Steve Scalise, a member of the House Republican leadership, just this weekend went to get his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The question is: Why? What so motivated Republicans in the last week that they decided to do an about-face on vaccines, AND run to get vaccinated themselves?
Now, some are saying it’s the stock market drop the other day, which analysts say was due to fears about Covid re-shutting down the economy. But that mini-crash happened on Tuesday. This stuff started days before that. So it wasn’t JUST fears about the market.
Maybe they got a briefing about just how bad Covid was going to be for their constituents. But, I’m sure they got that briefing last year too, and for a year-and-a-half Republicans couldn’t have cared less how badly Covid was going to hit their own voters.
It’s also possible — likely, even — that Republicans saw polling data that suggested that their lack of seriousness about Covid was going to cost them taking back the House and Senate in next year’s mid-term elections. That gets us closer to the kind of thing that motivates politicians — their own political survival.
Also, Fox News’ new tune could be due to fear of a class-action lawsuit from the families of the Covid dead and wounded — I have no news about such a suit, just a Cassandra-hunch. (It should be noted that Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson are still spreading Covid denialism on Fox, as is Hannity on his radio show.)
But even polling and possible lawsuits aren’t enough to explain why Steve Scalise would run to get the Covid vaccine this past weekend, after refusing for 18 months and counting. For Scalise to finally get vaccinated, that means something scared him — personally. It scared him about his own health.
This makes me think that the House Republicans just got one hell of a scary briefing about the Delta variant and the havoc it’s about to wreak on their constituents, and their poll numbers, and most importantly, that things are about to get so bad that their very privileged congressional lives are now at risk if they remain unvaccinated.
(Keep in mind that as a recent as a month or two ago, only 45% of House Republicans said they were vaccinated, while 100% of congressional Democrats confirmed they were. I did a TikTok on that topic this morning.)
I’m worried. Not about the Republicans. But my spidey-sense tells me that it’s starting to feel like March of 2020 all over again: where we kept hearing bad news about this new virus, but we also thought, maybe it won’t be THAT bad. Remember how each day the news and concern got exponentially worse? I’m starting to worry that Delta is going to be a lot worse than anyone is telling us. Though, the good news is that it’s mostly going to hit the unvaccinated. (And my mask is back on in the grocery store.)
And finally, before anyone says this isn’t news — we always knew that Covid was deadly if you remain unvaccinated, and we knew for a while that Delta was going to be bad — then why did the GOP suddenly see the light in only the past seven days? Republicans have been getting the same warnings we got, and they didn’t care until now. That means something NEW happened. They received NEW information. And it was information a quantum level more serious than what they’d heard before. And I’d like to know what it was, because it’s starting to scare me too.
I also did a 3-minute TikTok two nights ago about this same topic, if you’re more a visual person.
A few fun things to lighten the mood after all that…
This video is both glorious and hilarious
I cannot believe I’d never seen this video. Amazingly well done.
That’s it for today. Next update might be tomorrow, or this weekend’s Week in News. Stay tuned and stay safe. JOHN