COVID is ripping through the United States again. And that, James Downie writes, is just fine with Republicans:
In the last two weeks of June, the United States averaged between 11,250 and 13,500 new coronavirus cases per day — the lowest numbers since the virus began spreading widely across the country in early 2020. As of Saturday, it was 31,464 cases per day. With multiple vaccines widely available, this rise was entirely preventable. The backsliding is due in part to Republican politicians and right-wing commentators who have spread misinformation about the virus, as well as colleagues too scared to confront them.
On “Fox News Sunday,” . . . Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) correctly framed the problem as “choosing between vaccination or accepting higher rates of death.” Yet, bizarrely, he blamed distrust of the vaccines not on the many Republican voices raising doubts about them, but on “partisan comments coming out of the White House regarding next Jim Crow laws, or people like Senator Schumer and the White House not cooperating on a bipartisan bill.” How exactly Americans make a mental link between infrastructure negotiations and a lifesaving vaccine went unexplained.
And, over at Fox News, the lies just keep coming:
In this vacuum of silence, right-wing voices such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have spread lie after lie about vaccination efforts. And Republican governors such as Kristi L. Noem (S.D.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.) and Mike Parson (Mo.) have encouraged “personal responsibility” or sown fears about government efforts to vaccinate more Americans. Never mind that those governors got their shots months ago. Never mind that, according to some estimates, nearly half of South Dakotans have been infected, or that Florida’s daily case average has quadrupled in the past month. The residents of their states will have to bear the risks, for the good of the governors’ poll numbers.
But other poll numbers are truly depressing:
The most recent Washington Post-ABC poll found that 29 percent of Americans probably or definitely won’t get vaccinated, up 5 points from the last survey, in late April. Forty-seven percent of Republicans said they likely or definitely wouldn’t get vaccinated, compared with just 34 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats.
The Republicans have a lot of blood -- and ignorance -- on their hands.
Image: AZ Quotes