Republicans twice as likely to be unvaccinated against Covid
A new poll shows that twice as many Democrats than Republicans have been vaccinated against Covid. The question is why? And should the rest of us care?
The curse of Trump lives on. A new Monmouth poll shows that Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to be unvaccinated against Covid.
The survey found that 67% of Democrats have already received at least one vaccine dose, compared to only 36% of Republicans.
And nearly half of Republicans say they don’t ever plan on getting vaccinated.
Below, Benjy Renton takes a look at county-by-county Covid-vaccine hesitancy across the country. The darker the blue, the more hesitant the citizenry. It’s easy to see that hesitancy is greatest in Republican strongholds in the south and the near northwest.
Charles Gaba then took this data and directly compared it to his own county data looking at hesitancy and voting patterns. The result? The most anti-vaccine counties are also the most pro-Trump:
And, unsurprisingly, the least hesitant counties voted for Biden:
The question arises: Why is there such a disparity between Democrats and Republicans? And should we even care?
Let’s start with the latter. While I consider myself a good person, it’s not lost on me that my political enemy seems intent on killing itself, or at least its political base. But since we’re the good guys, we don’t actually want to see our political opponents die. GOP leaders, however, don’t seem to share our concern. It’s weird. It’s simple electoral math. You want your voters to survive until the next election. But with Republican leaders, not so much.
Putting aside our magnanimity, there’s a practical reason that we should care about Republican vaccine hesitancy: It’s going to be extremely difficult to reach herd immunity without the GOP on board. The longer Covid continues, the greater the chance that the virus not only infects and harms the unvaccinated, but the unvaccinated Americans provide a perfect petri dish for new Covid variants to arise and spread, putting the rest of us at risk of a new strain less susceptible to existing vaccines.
Now to the question of what is going on in the mind of Republican voters. First off, we shouldn’t presume that Republicans are traditionally more anti-vaxx than Democrats. I had looked into this a year or two ago, and was surprised to find that the pre-Covid anti-vaccine movement was pretty evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.
The obvious explanation of the Republicans’ new-found hesitancy is Trump, and the direction in which he’s taken the GOP. Trump decided early on that Covid was a political loser for him, so he chose top deny — falsely claiming it was that dangerous, falsely claiming it would go away soon, falsely claiming that masks and social distancing weren’t helpful or necessary, and falsely claiming that lots of miracle cures would on the way! Then, Fox News and the rest of the GOP noise machine, in Congress and on the airwaves, followed Trump’s lead and pushed the anti-Covid message for over a year now, to great and devastating effect.
Of course, when Trump caught Covid he didn’t demand his doctors give him the same miracle cures he’s was promoting to the public. Instead, he rushed to Walter Reed and got better medical treatment than anyone in America. Then, this past January, Trump and his wife got secretly vaccinated against Covid, and chose not to tell anyone. Why? Probably because you don’t get vaccinated against a “hoax,” as Trump once called the pandemic, and he knew his supporters would start to question his past rantings about how the virus was no big deal if even Dear Leader felt the need to get the vaccine.
Trump cares about a party of one, himself. He’s happy to lie to the masses, and potentially get them all killed, but when it comes to his own life, the carnival barker takes a back seat to the egoist.
It still boggles my mind that Republican political leaders are willing to kill their own base voters. It’s a testament to how much Trump has corrupted — or, at least, bared the corrupt soul of — the Republican party, but also how corrupt, or just plain dumb and lemming-like, Republican voters are that they would tolerate lies that are literally killing them and theirs.
We throw around the term cult loosely, but am I the only one old enough to remember Jonestown?
Pass the Kool-Aid.
Other interesting stuff
The Justice Department has decided that no charges will be filed against the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed an Insurrectionist on January 6th. Good.
Geraldo Rivera had a momentary epiphany and realized he’s been working at the wrong TV network all these years:
Another Republican Senator, this time US Senator Tom Cotton (R-Bitter Queen), is angry at yet another woman of color. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has had enough:
Aaron Rupar @atruparCotton explodes at Dick Durbin after Durbin asks him to allow Clarke to finish her responses https://t.co/Da0PduNtN9
A good Twitter thread from my friend Craig Spencer on how Washington has been handling the concerns over the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Craig thinks the FDA is doing the right thing:
And your regular reminder that my dog Sasha is simply adorable:
If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, enjoy the weekend!