After declining for some. time, there has been an ominous uptick in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the US. It appears that 99.7% of all the new Covid case involve unvaccinated people.
In Mississippi, a state with a low-vaccination rate, health officials urged people to avoid crowds. And in other vaccine-hesitant communities, there are new efforts to push back the Delta variant by encouraging more people to get the shot, Michael George reports for “CBS This Morning: Saturday.”
The NAACP put boots on the ground in Louisville neighborhoods where only 30% of residents have been vaccinated, hoping flyers and conversations get more people to get shots.
The effort comes as cases are rising in 26 states. Hospitalization rates are up in 17 states — 27% in Florida, almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.
The far corners of Utah are hit hard, too.
“We’re seeing people that are extremely sick with it,” said Dr. Greg Gardner, chief of emergency medicine at Mountain West Hospital in Tooele, Utah. “A lot sicker than what they were the majority of the time in the winter time.”
But has that stopped Republicans and conservatives from waging their senseless war on the vaccines? Of course not. These people have sunk so deep into the quicksand of covid and vaccine denial that there is no way they are coming out.
The Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Dallas this weekend has been full of the usual moments from the Republican Party’s most outrageous figures trying to be the most performatively provocative. Notable, however, has been the drumbeat of anti-vaccine rhetoric that has pervaded CPAC’s annual gathering—even as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to build steam across unvaccinated parts of the country.
COVID-19 skepticism—and then vaccine skepticism—has been a regular part of conservative populism since the pandemic started, but the rhetoric on display at CPAC has underscored a growing dissonance.
Others carrying the anti-vaccine torch at CPAC included Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who mocked Biden’s efforts to get more people vaccinated and provide economic relief to states where the economy is still struggling to restart after pandemic-related shutdowns. “We’re here to tell the government we don’t want your benefits, we don’t want your welfare,” Boebert declared, strutting across a stage as she spoke. “Don’t come knocking on my door with your Fauci ‘ouchy’—you leave us the hell alone.”
Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina went further in an interview onstage Friday night, pushing the idea that Biden’s goal to vaccinate more Americans, going house-to-house if necessary, was terrifying government overreach. He suggested that if the federal government cultivated the ability to go door-to-door for vaccinations that would create the kind of infrastructure that could “take your Bibles” (apparently overlooking that the U.S. Postal Service, the Census Bureau and other federal agencies already have the ability to go door-to-door but don’t confiscate Bibles.)
The childishness of the language used by vaccine opponents is something to behold. The ‘Fauci ouchy’? Really? I’d be really curious to see how many of those people who are loudly anti-vaccine have quietly got it themselves. I would not put it past them to act so hypocritically.
Seth Meyers poked fun at the absurd moments during the CPAC conference in Dallas this past weekend
Stephen Colbert also took his turn.
And now come reports that there have been outbreaks of Covid among people who attended summer camps. Many of these were Christian camps. And to no one’s surprise, these are in areas with low vaccination rates.
The U.S. has seen a string of COVID-19 outbreaks tied to summer camps in recent weeks in places such as Texas, Illinois, Florida, Missouri and Kansas, in what some fear could be a preview of the upcoming school year.
In some cases the outbreaks have spread from the camp to the broader community.
The clusters have come as the number of newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. has reversed course, surging more than 60% over the past two weeks from an average of about 12,000 a day to around 19,500, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
JoAnn Martin, administrator of the public health agency in surrounding Pettis County [Missouri], lamented the difficulty in getting people to take the virus seriously and get vaccinated.
“It has been a challenge since the first case,” she said. “You have people who still say it is not real. You have people who say it is a cold. You have people who say what is the big deal. You have people who say it is all a government plot.”
In Illinois, health officials said 85 teens and adults at a Christian youth camp in mid-June tested positive, including an unvaccinated young adult who was hospitalized, and some people from the camp attended a nearby conference, leading to 11 additional cases.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said all the campers were eligible for the vaccine, but only “a handful” of campers and staff had received it. The camp didn’t check people’s vaccination status or require masks indoors, according to the department.
And in Kansas, about 50 people have been infected in an outbreak linked to a church summer camp held last month not far from Wichita.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for overcoming stupid decision making. But these people would not take those either.