Wednesday, 19 January 2022

The Self-Inflicted Cull of Covidiot Americans is Working Best on Young, Uneducated Republicans

Global Vaccine Tracking

The astonishing situation the Trumpanzee Republicans have gotten themselves into where the antivaxx fears they've spread to their credulous supporters is encouraging them to die of COVID-19 rather than accept the minute risk of an adverse reaction (many of which have been exaggerated or imagined anyway) is paying off in the USA, where the anti-COVID vaccine take up is lower than any country other than Russia.

As the latest weekly survey of 52,222 Americans shows, vaccine scepticism is at 28% with vaccine take-up at only 66% with just 6% saying they still plan to get vaccinated, although with no shortages and no difficulty getting the vaccine, and with infection levels at a record high, it is unclear why that 6% still haven't done so.

The real success for the right-wing antivaxx movement has been in deterring 20% of Americans from ever getting the undoubted protection that the vaccines give against serious illness and death and making a further 8% hesitant.

Let's recap briefly on how the Trumpanzee right in America got themselves into the idiotic position of encouraging their own credulous supporters to die of COVID-19 in what amounts to a cull of the most gullible and, as figures show, the least well educated of them - in other words, the bedrock of Republican voters:

In the early days of the pandemic, in February, 2020, the acutely narcissistic and notoriously incompetent president Donald J Trump was hopelessly out of his depth and beginning to panic because he had, early in his presidency, in his fanatical zeal to undo everything the first black (and therefore in Trump's white supremacist eyes, illegitimate) president Barak Obama, had achieved in Office, had dismantled the contingencies for just such a pandemic, including stockpiles of PPE for health-care personnel.

Being psychologically incapable of accepting that there were experts in health care and epidemiology who knew more then he did because his narcissistic personality disorder meant he had to pretend to be the best at everything, Trump panicked and began to try to explain his inaction by claiming, despite the evidence, that the growing pandemic was variously, a Democrat Party hoax, a Chinese Communist plot, a mild condition that was no worse than influenza, a virus that would be killed off when the weather got hotter in summer (because either the virus was only in the USA, or the whole world has summer when the USA does, obviously), and a short-term problem that would all be over by April.

He then began promoting wackadoodle 'cures' and preventative measures such as taking antimalarial drugs with known dangerous side effects and no proven efficacy, bullying the epidemiologists and medical experts who contradicted his claims and who were advocating a lockdown and other measure to mitigate the growing disaster, swallowing or injecting bleach and inserting a UV light source into various bodily orifices.

New cases by country (19 Jan, 2022)

Any concern for the welfare of their fellow Americans was swept aside by Republican Party politicians when they realised Trump was deliberately polarising America and making the pandemic a political issue and so threw their weight behind Trump's disastrous and dangerously muddle-headed policies and tried to present them as the right response - i.e., minimise the risks and encourage people to ignore the advice of the experts because they were clearly on the 'other side'.

On top of that, the Christian evangelical megachurches run by unscrupulous, multi-millionaires, were panicking over the loss of income that any lockdown would cost them if they couldn't preach to crowded churches and hector gullible attendees into giving more money. So, the evangelicals, who supported Trump already, believing he would give them the political power they craved, threw their lot in with the anti-science position of the Republicans and began inventing 'religious' reasons not to wear facemasks or observe social distancing. So, not wearing a mask and not getting vaccinated 'on religious grounds' became a prime cause of vaccine scepticism and courts fell into line, declaring it to be unconstitutional to mandate vaccines because that violated the right to religious freedom! After 60 years of campaigning for greed and selfishness by the political and religious right in the USA, the notion of collective responsibility and regard for the welfare of others was presented as somehow 'Socialist' or 'Liberal' and even 'Communist'. And unscrupulous Republican politicians were able to present their opposition to anti-COVID measure as a defence of religious freedoms, and ‘American values’.

Despite catching the virus himself and spending time in ICU where his life was saved by the experts he despised using expensive medication not available to ordinary Americans, Trump's White House became a dangerous COVID hotspot and his disinformation campaign culminated in his doomed re-election rallies turning into super-spreader events where social distancing and wearing a face mask was seen as a sign of disloyalty and an anti-Trump political statement, and so the pandemic ran out of control and the body count mounted until Trump was thrown out of the White House by the largest majority in US polling history, as the first presidential candidate to lose the popular vote twice and one of the few sitting presidents not to win a second term.

And we all know of the failed coup d’état by Trump and his extremist cult to overturn the democratic vote and continue the incompetent reign of someone who is probably the worst American President in history.

So, we now have the situation where, despite the abundant evidence that the vaccines are safe and hugely reduce the risk of serious illness and death, and the evidence that any side effects are exceedingly rare and usually short-term in nature, and the evidence that unvaccinated people are more infectious to others, the political and religious right are supporting and encouraging policies that will harm their own supporters because the political risks of backing out of their rabbit hole and admitting they (and by implication, Donald Trump) got it disastrously wrong and so have been culpable for the deaths of over 850,000 Americans and actively hampering the attempts of the Biden administration to contain the pandemic.

It is clear too that the ludicrous Republican campaign to encourage the self-genocide of its own supporters had been most effective on the younger and least well-educated demographic.

The final chart above shows what little success there has been in countering the disinformation and antivaxx lies coming from the political right and their allies in the pro-Trump QAnon propaganda machine and the extremist evangelical churches, especially with those who had decided not to get vaccinated. There has been some slight movement in those undecided but the 'unwilling' proportion has remained fairly consistent across all demographics.

It seems that this ludicrous self-genocide campaign the Republican's under Donald J Trump's disastrous leadership has blundered stupidly into, may be amongst the most successful political campaigns in recent history. Never before have so many credulous idiots allowed themselves to be fooled into risking serious illness and death to save the face of a handful of cynical political incompetents who put their own political self-interest above the health and welfare of their own supporters.

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