When he’s right, he’s right.
Consider this a sequel to Friday’s post about the widening gap in vaccination rates between Blue Counties and Red Counties. There is no miraculous explanation for why such a gap exists, but one factor is the willingness of the right to promote anti-vaccines on its activist and media platforms. Case in point: America’s most important COVID vaccine, “The most unjust man in the pandemic” Alex Berenson, addressed CPAC yesterday. (Y Not for the first time.) Berenson spent most of last year insisting that COVID was not as dangerous as experts claimed, as the death toll rose to hundreds of thousands and he has spent most of this year arguing that vaccines are more dangerous than experts claim. The death toll in the newly immunized American population has decreased.
Usually someone who has written “I hate our new president” He would not be granted a hearing at the country’s main conservative conference in early 2017, but political differences can evidently be set aside for the common cause of discouraging right-wingers from getting vaccinated. Which led to this nihilistic spectacle, in which Berenson pointed out that the feds’ effort to achieve 90 percent vaccinations had failed, and drew applause from the crowd.
CPAC crowd cheers for comment on US failure to reach 90% vaccination rate pic.twitter.com/iGX6FD4SaU
– Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) July 10, 2021
I have not heard that he has been invited to major Democratic or liberal conferences to push anti-vaxxism even though it was the Republican Trump administration that pushed the vaccination effort last year with Operation Warp Speed. Why is that? If there is no partisan split on vaccines, why is Alex Berenson a recurring guest on Tucker Carlson’s show but not Rachel Maddow’s?
The day before Berenson spoke, one of MAGA’s favorite politicians tweeted this:
5,946 deaths reported after taking the # COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine is NOT approved by the FDA.
33,631,656 Americans SURVIVED COVID.
But Biden & the Dems are coming to your doorstep to force you to take the vax, schools say your healthy kids need it, and you still think you’re free?
– Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) July 10, 2021
She is slippery. A 95-year-old man who was vaccinated six months ago and then succumbed to old age last week would qualify as a death “after” receiving the vaccine, although there is no reason to believe that the vaccine caused it. Why are some Republican politicians in Congress pushing messages like this, but no Democrats, not even fringe populists on the other side like AOC?
Fauci was asked about the applause from CPAC on CNN this morning. What could he say?
Jake Tapper asks Dr. Anthony Fauci to react to the CPAC Texas crowd cheering that the government has failed to meet its vaccine goals so far.
Fauci: “It’s horrible … I just don’t understand that. I mean, and I don’t think anyone who is thinking clearly can understand it.” pic.twitter.com/4nY7CMor5i
– Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 11, 2021
Today CBS news circulates that the unvaccinated are responsible for 99.7 percent of new COVID cases. That statement has no origin and it seems unlikely to me; For one thing, the CDC said in May that people vaccinated no need for routine testing anymore or after being exposed to someone with the disease unless you experience symptoms. There are probably a lot of asymptomatic infections among vaccinated people that don’t show up in the official figures because vaccinates aren’t bothering with testing now, in general.
But if the case numbers aren’t rock solid, the hospitalization and death numbers are. For The ap, the unvaccinated now account for 98.9 percent of hospitalizations and 99.2 percent of deaths. In the UK, cases are skyrocketing, but hospitals can comfortably cope with the increase as the most vulnerable people do not get sick enough to require medical attention after being vaccinated:
Covid cases continue to rise in the UK as Delta becomes an epidemic, but hospitalizations and deaths are not increasing at the same rate as past waves, even taking into account the delay between cases and hospitalizations; reflecting the fact that more of the most vulnerable are protected through vaccination pic.twitter.com/lpgjb0ddN7
– Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) July 10, 2021
Even the “bad news” from Israel last week, that Pfizer’s vaccine is only 64 percent effective in preventing Delta variant infection, is offset by the good news that it is still more than 90 percent effective in prevent serious diseases. Other studies suggest that Pfizer fares better against Delta than the Israeli data would lead us to believe, although that may be a function of the date a person was vaccinated before becoming infected:
NEW: As we receive more and more studies on vaccine efficacy, it becomes more difficult to summarize your results in a clean summary.
– John Burn-Murdoch (@jburnmurdoch) July 9, 2021
The vaccine is so strong against even the most dangerous variant that the generally hyper-cautious CDC found itself in the unusual position a few days ago of informing Americans that not you need a booster to stay safe.
But despite all that encouraging news, here’s what America’s most influential conservative TV host was using his platform yesterday:
– nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) July 10, 2021
Weinstein is another vaccine skeptic, someone who reclaimed recently on Twitter that “almost all” of the vaccinated people he had spoken to had experienced “frightening symptoms,” a claim totally undermined by polls – and who has been lately pushing ivermectin as another miracle cure for COVID in the hydroxychloroquine mold even though the science on it is uncertain. His point here that vaccination can create evolutionary pressure on the virus to mutate into more dangerous forms is true as far as it goes, but less true with very strong vaccines like the mRNA we are using, especially in people who have received both doses. And, of course, dangerous variants don’t need vaccines to develop. In contrast, the country that Delta gave us has literally 1 billion unvaccinated people.
However, Tucker is encouraged by Weinstein’s point, because he knows that his fans are eager to hear the belittled vaccines and the idea that vaccination could somehow be causing the pandemic. worse it’s irresistible to that mindset. That’s the link between Weinstein and Berenson’s clip yesterday at CPAC: When they were forced to choose between providing solid but unwanted information to their audiences and telling them what they want to hear, no matter how wrong and pernicious, too many right-wing activists and media heroes typically opt for the latter. And not only on the subject of vaccination.
Here’s Adam Kinzinger doing what little he can to counter-program this crap.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger: “Vaccine is safe. Covid is real. Get vaccinated … I ask all GOP leaders to stand up, say ‘get vaccinated’ and call these politicians trash … playing with your vaccine fears for its own selfish gain. ” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/LM6TDfGPqa
– State of the Union (@CNNSotu) July 11, 2021