Monday, 12 September 2022

Covidiot News - More Success For the Pro-Trump Covidiot Self Genocide Campaign

Concern by employee demographic
Risk of COVID-19 Exposure Still a Concern for U.S. Employees

News of the continuing success for the pro-Trump Repugnicans in their effort to minimise the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic to try to cover up Donald Trump's incompetent handling of the crisis when president, comes in the form of a Gallop poll, showing the much lower level of concern about COVID19 exposure at work by Republican voters compared to Democrat voters.

Although overall concern remains fairly high at 33%, there is a wide difference between Democrat and Republican voters. While 51% of Democrat voters were very or moderately concerned, only 14% of Republican votes were, and while only 19% of Democrats were not concerned at all, this figure rose to 61% for Republicans.

Quite obviously, there is a significant risk of contracting the virus when working in close proximity with others and for those without the protection of a vaccination or whose antibody level may have fallen to a low level and in need of boosting.

Overall concern about exposure to COVID-19 at work
Under normal conditions, it would be puzzling that so many people are unconcerned, but the conditions in the USA are far from normal, produced as they were by the irresponsible behaviour of the former president, and the inability of Republican politicians to admit they got it wrong for fear of a political backlash from Trump's carefully cultivated cult-like following.

As the Gallop report points out:
Party affiliation is also a strong predictor of employee attitudes about the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at work. About half of Democratic workers (51%) are very or moderately worried, compared with half as many political independents (26%) and even fewer Republican workers (14%). These partisan differences have existed for most of the pandemic, and the gap remains as wide as ever.
Overall, too, women tend to have more concern than men, with those very or moderately concerned splitting 41% for women and 26% for men. Those not concerned at all split 32% to 45% respectively. This difference has been fairly consistent throughout the pandemic.

Concern by job type
Concern by age group was fairly consistent across all groups with the 55-years-old and over group being slightly less concerned compared to younger adults but the differences were probably not statistically significant.

The demographic breakdown takes no account of vaccination status and the poll was conducted before boosters for the Omicron variants became available. However, confidence that the vaccines will protect against new variants is very low, with 5% very confident, and 39% moderately confident.

There were also significant differences between different job types, with those working in education and health being more concerned than those in blue or white colour jobs. Although concern amongst those employed in education has remained fairly consistent throughout the pandemic, concern has tended to decline in healthcare workers. It is not clear to what extent improved PPE/treatment/vaccines has contributed to this fall, but 42% remain very or moderately concerned. With the pandemic now in its third year, that is a very long time for healthcare workers to have worked with a very high or moderately high concern for their own health as a consequence of their employment.

Global new cases
Outbreak evolution for the current most affected countries

Source: Johns Hokins Corona Resource Center (19 Sep 2022)
The difference in the level of concern between Republicans and Democrats is a direct result of the early campaign by the Trump camp, to try to cover his incompetent handling of the crisis by trying to minimise it and to abuse and vilify the scientists who were advising the president to take a more proactive role in containing it.

Trump's inability to understand the science, his refusal to take responsibility for dismantling the measures his predecessor had put in place, and his narcissistic personality disorder led to the highest case numbers and highest number of deaths of any comparable economy and vastly more than some third-world countries with far worse health services than in the USA.

The subsequent antivaxx campaign by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists also contributed to lower levels of vaccine take-up by Republicans voters compared to Democrats, and the tendency to minimise the seriousness of the situation contributed to lower levels of availability of vaccines in Republican areas.

The consequence was that when the Omicron wave hit, hospitalisations and deaths were overwhelmingly higher in Trump-voting areas than in Democrat areas; a difference that prompted some commentators to liken it to a self-inflicted genocide against the least educated, most gullible and more right-wing leaning voters. Paradoxically, those stupid enough to be unconcerned about the pandemic are those most likely to suffer from it, those most likely to continue to transmit it and those most contributing to the evolution of new, even more dangerous variants. The puzzle is, why people continue to support a party and a former president whose policies were almost designed to harm the health and welfare of those who support them. Lambs being led to the slaughterhouse spring to mind.

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