The wrath of the pandemic is falling on Republicans now?

An interesting/sad fact about COVID death rates: there’s been a demographic reversal. Where before black communities suffered most, now white people are dying off faster.

The Post analysis revealed the changing pattern in covid deaths. At the start of the pandemic, Black people were more than three times as likely to die of covid as their White peers. But as 2020 progressed, the death rates narrowed — but not because fewer Black people were dying. White people began dying at increasingly unimaginable numbers, too, the Post analysis found.

In summer 2021, the nation saw some of the pandemic’s lowest death rates, as vaccines, shoring up the body’s immune response, became widely available.

Then came the delta variant. The virus mutated, able to spread among the vaccinated. As it did, an erosion of trust in government and in medicine — in any institution, really — slowed vaccination rates, stymieing the protection afforded by vaccines against severe illness and death.

After delta’s peak in September 2021, the racial differences in covid deaths started eroding. The Post analysis found that Black deaths declined, while White deaths never eased, increasing slowly but steadily, until the mortality gap flipped. From the end of October through the end of December, White people died at a higher rate than Black people did, The Post found.

Maybe now Republicans will start caring? Nope.

The nature of the virus makes the elderly and people with underlying health conditions — including hypertension, diabetes and obesity, all of which beset Black people at higher rates and earlier in life than White people — particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death.

The virus also attacks unvaccinated adults — who polls show are more likely to be Republicans — with a ferocity that puts them at a much higher risk of infection and death.

Of course, the problem is more complicated than that Republicanism is a mark of doom — although I think you could make a case that Republican policies are at the root of wrecking the pandemic response for everyone. There’s a whole array of factors that are killing conservative Americans.

Resilience gave way to fatigue. Holes left by rural hospital closures deepened. Medical mistrust and misinformation raged. Skeptics touted debunked alternatives over proven treatments and prevention. Mask use became a victim of social stigma.

Many Republicans decided they would rather roll the dice with their health than follow public health guidance — even when provided by President Donald Trump, who was booed after saying he had been vaccinated and boosted.

It’s also racism. Deep down, ugly, visceral racism.

Researchers at the University of Georgia found that White people who assumed the pandemic had a disparate effect on communities of color — or were told that it did — had less fear of being infected with the coronavirus, were less likely to express empathy toward vulnerable populations and were less supportive of safety measures, according to an article in Social Science & Medicine.

A growing body of research, outlined in the book “Caste,” by Isabel Wilkerson, shows that even the most anodyne of social exchanges with people of different races, such as glancing at faded yearbook photos, can raise White people’s blood pressure and cortisol levels.

Not all white people, I hope. I’m at a too diverse university, remember.

For some white people, though, it’s all too much, and it’s going to kill them.

As Metzl conducted research for his book in 2016, a 41-year-old uninsured Tennessean named Trevor who was jaundiced and in liver failure told him “I would rather die” than sign up for the ACA. When asked why, Trevor, who was identified by first name only, said: “We don’t need any more government in our lives. And in any case, no way I want my tax dollars paying for Mexicans or welfare queens.”

Oh, Ronald Reagan, you were truly a curse on this country.

Everyone: get vaccinated. Even if you’re a Republican.


  1. Walter Solomon says

    Hate to sound callous but they brought it on themselves through their hate and willful ignorance. Fuck ’em.

  2. hemidactylus says

    There may be a subset of those on the Left who refuse vaccination, whether yoga alternative med, wellness types, greens, or those railing against the machinations of corporate Big Pharma (usually for good reason).

    The Right needs manufactured enemies to divide and conquer impoverished whites and blacks. Using movie depictions ain’t great, but I think of how the plot unfolded in Free State of Jones and how racism unravelled any alliance between escaped slaves and whites who didn’t own slaves and resented the Confederate aristocracy. Post-bellum machinations allowed the aristocracy to use racism to keep whites from pursuing convergent ends with freed blacks. A century later Fred Hampton, who reached out to poor whites identifying as former confederates, was assassinated as captured by Judas and the Black Messiah. Blacks had to remain the enemy.

    The pandemic was convenient for right wing propagandists. It allowed more McCarthyite fury against the ChiComs to be unleashed. It allowed more elaborate demonization of the administrative state represented by the nefarious Fauci figure. Desantis was able to coopt Hollywood with his “Free State of Florida” construction while selling merch mocking the pandemic as the Delta surge ravaged Florida. Trump rightly mocked Desantis for not saying whether he had gotten boosted by the wonderful vaccines Trump was at the time taking credit for.

    Desantis ate some crow and did photo ops with Brandon for much needed federal aid after Ian bulldozed SW Florida. Yet Desantis couldn’t previously transcend his self-defining political division to at least allow municipalities to continue protective public health measures. COVID killed more people than did Ian. He went after mask and vaccine mandates as a common enemy shared with his rabid base who haunted school board meetings with anti-state rhetoric denying the COVID threat. That momentum would mutate into anti-LGBTQ and anti-woke rhetoric.

  3. raven says

    My idiot neighbor was one of them.

    He decided in February, 2022 that the pandemic was over and he didn’t need to wear a mask or worry about the virus. He was also an antivaxxer.

    Shortly after that he caught the Covid-19 virus and died.
    His wife was vaccinated. Nothing happened to her except she is now a widow.

  4. raven says

    There may be a subset of those on the Left who refuse vaccination, …

    There are but very few.

    Most of all natural all the time people decided to get vaccinated, perhaps after watching the GOP catch the virus and die.
    Here is what some of the Pagans and Wiccans recommend. They are all pro-vaxxers.

    The Wild Hunt December 2021 edited for length
    The Pagan Response
    The Wild Hunt recently contacted several Pagan organizations about their responses to COVID-19 vaccinations.

    Covenant of the Goddess
    National Public Information Officer of Covenant of the Goddess (COG), Janine Nelson, said that on the national level, “COG does not have an official position on Covid vaccinations or other vaccinations. Our members follow their own conscience.”

    She said that most members report that they have been vaccinated. Nelson said, “COG has received a few requests from others in the Wiccan Community for vaccination exemptions, but we do not provide those exemptions.”

    The Troth
    Lauren Crow, Communications Officer and High Rede Member of The Troth, spoke about the Troth’s response.

    She said, “The Troth has strongly supported public health recommendations, including vaccinations, to prevent the spread of all diseases, including COVID 19. We have seen firsthand the devastation that this disease has brought to our world and encourage everyone to do their part to bring an end to this pandemic.”

    Aquarian Tabernacle Church
    Lady Belladonna LaVeau, the Archpriestess of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) spoke about ATC’s pandemic response to the pandemic.

    She said “We respect each person’s personal beliefs, and we support natural medicine. However, I am a Navy Hospital Corpsman Veteran trained in emergency pandemic procedures. I also have COPD. So I take the pandemic very seriously.”

    The ATC has encouraged its members to get vaccinated. ATC also took measures to protect its members. They offered online events, and encouraged isolating, social distancing, and masking. LaVeau said most members have been vaccinated.

    “Getting vaccinated is the only ethical choice,” LaVeau continued. She argued that the choice to reject getting vaccinated is a choice to risk killing others. She went on to say, “Not getting vaccinated because you don’t want people to tell you what to do with your body is a moot argument. The Government has already ruled on safety over personal choice, in all of our lives, many times. From seat belts to OSHA regulations.”

    All the Pagans and Wiccans I know are…vaccinated. They didn’t even think twice about it.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    “We don’t need any more government in our lives. And in any case, no way I want my tax dollars paying for Mexicans or welfare queens.”

    Ah yes, anti-government paranoia, toxic individualism, and racism. A deadly combination that will eventually destroy American civilization.

  6. says

    Recent evidence is that COVID can cause neurological complications “comparable to dementia.”

    I know IQ tests are bullshit, but they are going to produce a version that uses negative numbers for unvaccinated republicans.

  7. Larry says

    Oops, looks like I’ve exhausted my stash of give-a-fucks. They’re on back-order. Must be another one of them supply chain problems.

  8. whheydt says

    The only death in the household during this period was NOT from COVID. It was from ALS, for which there is no vaccine, no cure, and minimal not very effective treatments.

  9. brightmoon says

    I used to comment on Christian Forums . I got tired of explaining to conservative Republican ignoramuses why they needed to mask up and get vaccinated. After being censored one too many times, I basically just played Apathy’s old hit F*** You and left the site permanently . They want to believe in pseudoscience and to say f*** the libs even though they’re the ones dying!

  10. blf says

    brightmoon@11, Thank You for making the attempt.

    Sort-of similar here — replace “Christian” / “conservative Republican” with “Anglophones in France” (I live in S.France) — but still a disturbing number of eejits. Many sensible people as well, but the eejits were louder and loonier, albeit (as far as I could tell) a distinct minority. I also eventually largely gave up.

    Then there were the French-speaking le penazis (and other anti-vax / anti-masking) eejits, who goosestepped through the village several times. They got a good loud yelling-at from me and others.

  11. hemidactylus says

    A cold-hearted question, but out of curiosity will it dampen the projected red wave at all?

  12. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Any MAGAts that don’t want to vaccinate are welcome to make it easier on themselves and suck on a bullet.

    To those who say “violins is not the answer”, you just need the nanofabricated barely-visible microscopic ones.

  13. tacitus says

    Many Republicans decided they would rather roll the dice with their health than follow public health guidance

    Yup. I quite often listen to recordings of a weekly conference call between a bunch of right-wing conservatives — religious patriot and sovcit types — and they regularly celebrate not falling for the “globalist agenda” and having their DNA corrupted by the Covid-19 vaccine.

    The leader of this group left his own mother isolated in a care home for over a year because he refused to get vaccinated and wear a mask to visit her. He actually caught Covid-19 for the first time a few weeks ago — at least I suspect he did, because even though he said he was sicker than he’d ever been before in his life, he couldn’t bring himself to name the disease responsible for making him so sick.

    “I would rather die” than sign up for the ACA. When asked why, Trevor, who was identified by first name only, said: “We don’t need any more government in our lives.

    I have a friend who’s not quite as dumb as that, but he was out of work and didn’t sign up for the ACA out of principle, because he’s a small government conservative. A few months later, his colon burst, requiring emergency surgery and a week long stay in the ICU, resulting in medical bills totaling well into six figures. Fortunately for him, the reconstructive surgery to plug everything back together again was scheduled after the start of the following year, so he was able to sign up for the ACA and avoid further catastrophic medical bills. Principle will only get you so far…

    Then there was a former nurse I struck up several conversations with online many years ago, before the ACA. She’d been a cancer patient for many years, had lost her job, and the cost of her permanent chemotherapy treatments had burned through her life savings, all her Medicaid entitlements, and she was now being kept alive with the help of Medicare disability.

    As the poster child for what the social safety net can do to save lives, you’d think she would be a big fan, but no. Even though I pointed out to her that she would have been dead years ago without the financial assistance of those government programs, she firmly believed their very existence were destroying America. When asked how people like her would manage without them, she just claimed that a fully private system would be perfectly affordable for everyone.

    The denial and ignorance knows no bounds.

  14. magistramarla says

    I worry about my youngest daughter and her son in Texas. She married a trump supporting, gun worshiping, anti-vaxer, good old boy there, and none of them have been vaccinated. I feel so sorry for my grandson, but their ignorance is all the poor boy knows.

  15. Larry says

    Even though I pointed out to her that she would have been dead years ago without the financial assistance of those government programs, she firmly believed their very existence were destroying America.

    It’s mindsets just like this that made me throw my hands up in despair and realize that there just ain’t no talkin’ to these people. The neurons in their brains have formed a path that simply can’t be broken regardless of what they see with their own eyes. It just isn’t worth any of the hours I have left to argue with them.

  16. bcw bcw says

    Gotta point out that when the WaPo talks about Whites dying, they mean “THOSE people,” a euphemism normally used only to describe minorities and liberals. Here THOSE White people means Trump MAGA nutters.

    As a White person, I am certainly not in the group that’s dying a higher rate than Blacks. Since MAGA types are more than five times likely to be unvaccinated than Democrats, that also means that their death rate is also about five times higher than the rest of us White folk. [This is a value I extrapolated from vaccination rate versus district voting data as best I could, I don’t know of any explicit data.] Stories like the WaPo’s only barely touch the reality of the consequences of living in the MAGA, White-resentment world.

  17. vucodlak says

    It’s almost fascinating to see someone parading their every insecurity before the world as though they were badges of honor.

  18. vucodlak says

    It’s spelled “non-sequitur,” dearie. I do enjoy the act of performing fellatio, yes, and I see no reason to hide it.

    My mother was a hydra, so that must have been quite the experience.

  19. lochaber says

    I’m not sure what’s more notable, their dedication to repeated low-energy, frankly boring insults, or the variety of spelling errors.

    Or maybe just the dedication to pointless trolling? like who the fuck has that much free time energy, and doesn’t spend it sleeping, hanging out with people, or doing something interesting. Anything but reading, I guess…

  20. llyris says

    What a revolting and pathetic troll. I lost interest, but note the most insulting thing they can think of is to be female. So I can reasonably conclude they are a heterosexual cis male, who spends a vast amount of effort desperately wanting to get intimately close to something he finds completely disgusting. Clearly the roos have been shitting in the top paddock.
    But to other things.
    Raven @3. Omg, that poor woman.
    I don’t know what the response was like in USA but where I live vaccinations are free, pcr tests are free, rat tests are handed out at schools and testing centres free. Up until recently there was mandatory reporting of positive results and a monitoring system for high risk people. The day after my positive rat a doctor from my local hospital rang me to strongly encourage me to take the antivirals he was writing a script for. Free. Still probably a lot cheaper than having me in hospital. Free.
    Hang on..isn’t USA supposedly the home of the free????

  21. Louis says

    I have to say I’m really not sure insults about being female, or homosexual, or what have you are working for this troll.

    I checked, like, a book and everything. Apparently being An Wimminz or even An Ghey is, like totally okay and stuff.

    I KNOW! Who knew?


  22. nomuse says

    53 —
    Back at Fred’s Slacktivist we used to disemvowel them. Made their posts more amusing…and they couldn’t claim they’d been censored, either.