The walls are closing in on vaccine and mask deniers

We are now in the third, fourth, or fifth wave of the pandemic in the US, depending on who’s counting. What is undeniable is that following an average low of around 80,000 weekly cases on June 22, we have now reached about 640,000 cases, an eightfold increase. Death rates reached a low of 1,500 on July 5th and have started rising since then, following the expected pattern of death rates lagging infection rates by about two weeks. Almost all this rise is among the unvaccinated and these people tend to be concentrated in places where there is a high level of vaccine hesitancy and outright resistance, mostly in Republican-dominated areas. But there are encouraging signs that those people who have been vigorously campaigning against vaccines and masks and other measures to combat the pandemic are losing the battle.

One sign is that Republican governors like Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Kay Ivey of Alabama have come out strongly in favor of vaccinations. Hutchinson blames the myths that have been propagated about vaccines while Ivey has come right out and said that we can blame the unvaccinated for the rise in infection numbers.

One can understand why governors might be getting more frustrated and breaking ranks. They are the ones who have to actually deal with the stresses on the health care system in their states caused by the surge. The state of Tennessee, that had paused all vaccination outreach at one point, is now faced with a surge of cases and has reversed that policy. People like Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House minority whip Steve Scalise have also urged people to get vaccinated.

It is easy for people in congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz or people on Fox News like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham to grandstand against vaccines and taking precautions because they do not have to deal with the consequences. Governors do not have that luxury, though governors Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbott in Texas still seem determined to sacrifice their populations to their anti-vaccination fervor. Florida has seen record levels of hospitalizations.

A day after it recorded the most new daily cases since the start of the pandemic, Florida on Sunday broke a previous record for current hospitalizations set more than a year ago before vaccines were available.

The Sunshine State had 10,207 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data reported to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The previous record was from July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread, when Florida had 10,170 hospitalizations, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Florida is now leading the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19, as hospitals around the state report having to put emergency room visitors in beds in hallways and others document a noticeable drop in the age of patients.

DeSantis continues to defend those who choose not to get vaccinated but I cannot imagine that he can continue to defy the science for much longer, however reluctant he may be to avoid losing face by changing course. There are just so many deaths that can be laid at your door that you can ignore.

We are also hearing more deathbed conversions where unvaccinated people on life support express regret for ignoring the health advice and plead for vaccinations after it is too late. Apparently some people are coming for vaccines in disguises because they are fearful of what might happen if the people in their anti-vax community learn that they have become renegades.

There are more signs that vaccinated people are fed up with the unvaccinated preventing the return to normalcy and expressing their anger with the unvaccinated and lending support to the federal government and private companies who have now imposed vaccination mandates on their employees or are considering doing so. The number of people getting vaccinated has started increasing and now 70% have had at least one shot.

Even Fox News-friendly lawyer Alan Dershowitz contradicted Ingraham for suggesting that vaccine mandates are unconstitutional, saying that she had no constitutional right to get on an airplane and spread the disease to him, at which point she talked over him and abruptly terminated the interview.

Even Geraldo Rivera got into a shouting match with his fellow panelists on some Fox News talk show because he said he had no patience with unvaccinated people putting everyone else at risk, pointing out that children under 12 are still not eligible for the vaccine and thus are at risk from the unvaccinated. Steve Doocy of Fox’s morning show has also urged people to get vaccinated.

The dead-enders will never give in. But the sudden rise in the number of people getting vaccinated and more conservative voices urging others to do so suggests that the anti-vaxxers are in an ever-decreasing minority.


  1. johnson catman says

    Those republican governors may also be considering that most of the people dying now are the ones that voted for them, resulting in the percentage of those who did not vote for them increasing as a part of the whole.

  2. steve oberski says

    Coming soon to a Republican state in your area, additional voter restrictions for the vaccinated.

  3. raven says

    It’s worse than the walls closing in on the antivaxxers.
    A whole lot of them are dying from the Covid-19 virus.
    100 million Americans are not vaccinated and they will all eventually get the Covid-19 virus.

    Texas GOP Official Mocked COVID Five Days Before He Died of Virus
    H. Scott Apley’s Facebook page was filled with anti-mask, anti-vaccine content until he was suddenly hospitalized on Sunday.
    Updated Aug. 04, 2021 9:34PM ET The DailyBeast

    A GOP official from Texas who regularly espoused anti-vaccine and anti-mask views online has died from COVID-19, five days after posting a meme on Facebook questioning the wisdom of getting inoculated against COVID.

    Dickinson City Council member and State Republican Executive Committee member H. Scott Apley, 45, died in a local hospital around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help Apley’s family with expenses. He was admitted to the facility in Galveston on Sunday with “pneumonia-like symptoms,” and was hooked up to a ventilator as his condition worsened. His wife was also infected, the family said.

    “He leaves behind his wife, Melissa, who is COVID positive, as well as their infant son Reid,”

    This is a story that has happened tens of thousands of times already. It will happen 300 times today.

    “My heart is beyond broken for his family,” Dickinson Mayor Sean Skipworth wrote in a Facebook post.

    Mine isn’t. He was a Plague Rat. He tried and probably succeeded in taking a few people with him who didn’t have to die.

  4. mnb0 says

    “We are also hearing more deathbed conversions where unvaccinated people on life support express regret for ignoring the health advice and plead for vaccinations after it is too late.”
    The same in The Netherlands. The vast majority of corona patients that end up on the IC now are unvaccinated ones. Many who recovered now speak out for the vaccins in public.
    What’s poignant is that those patients beg for vaccins when they are brought into the hospitals.

  5. garnetstar says

    raven @4, I was also going to say, it’s actually the grave that is closing in on anit-vaxxers.

    The latest stories are of conversions: people who are “afraid” finally getting vaccinated. No motivation like seeing people die all around you (not enough, though, for dead-enders).

    Meanwhile, Rand Paul is claiming that Fauci is spreading “dangerous lies”, as if Paul would know. And Newt Gingrich is playing the senility card, talking about he’s worried about Fauci’s “cognitive decline”. Even if Fauci had only one working brain cell left, it’s more than Newt ever had, so, no worries.

    But, the distraction of saying nasty things about Fauci won’t prevent the grave from closing in, and fear of it motivating more antivaxxers. So, useless flailing.

  6. Matt G says

    What continues to amaze me is that even in the face of THE gravest (ha) threat to one’s own self-interest, people continue to refuse vaccines and even deny the very existence of COVID. The human mind truly is the Final Frontier.

  7. garnetstar says

    Also, it’s about time, because we don’t have much time left: the current situation, with the unvaxxed exposing the vaxxed to high levels of Delta, is the perfect one to produce a vaccine-resistant variant. It’s a mathematical certainty, given enough time.

    The vaxxed should be mandated to mask (with N 95 or other respirators, which minimize inhalation of the virus) to prevent being the petri dishes to breed the vaccine-resistant variant. Really, this danger should be broadcast more, to let the vaxxed know that masking isn’t optional.

    P.S. last spring I got good KF-94’s, the South Korean version for N 95’s, for $2.50 each. They last for around 100 hours, and they screen out 96% of inhaled particles.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Here in the United States of Amnesia, how can we best get voters to remember just which party did the(ir ut)most to spread and prolong the pandemic, so that said voters keep it in mind all the way to November of 2022?

  9. says

    These loathsome scum politicized a pandemic thanks to an orange fart who didn’t want any numbers under his presidency to look bad, and now they’re trying to put the genie back into the bottle? Good luck with that.

  10. machintelligence says

    “Alan Dershowitz contradicted Ingraham for suggesting that vaccine mandates are unconstitutional,”:
    He is on strong legal grounds. The SCOTUS ruled on this question in 1905:
    Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. The Court’s decision articulated the view that individual liberty is not absolute and is subject to the police power of the state.
    It is still the law of the land.

  11. friedfish2718 says

    Ah! The totalitarian mind endures.
    Other counties are also having their fourth, fifth, SIXTH wuhan surges!!!
    Wuhan City (origin of wuhan virus) is now in lockdown after 10 people were tested positive for the wuhan (delta variant). Wuhan city has a population of 10 million. China has a totalitarian focus on the wuhan virus.
    Using the criterion of 2 doses as fully vaccinated, as of Aug 1, 2021:
    Country……Vacc. Rate
    S Korea…….15%
    Taiwan…….. 2%
    N Zealand…..15%
    Singapore is no longer publishing Wuhan cases and life is back to normal.
    Sweden has minimal lockdowns and social and economic life has been relatively normal.
    The mortality rate of the delta variant is 20 times LOWER than that of the alpha variant. So Delta is common flu variety.
    What one is seeing is flu seasonality. Coronavirus is just one of the many flu viruses. Every year the WHO recommends a vaccine for a cocktail of about 60 virus strains. The cocktail vaccine does not guarantee that you will not get the flu, only that if you get sick, you will not be very sick. I am not surprised that the wuhan viral load is as big with vaccinated as with non-vaccinated.
    There is a very big campaign for wuhan vaccination but not for common flu vaccine. What one is seeing is flu seasonality.

  12. KG says

    Coronavirus is just one of the many flu viruses. -- friedfish2718@12

    I can’t be bothered to go through the many lies and idiocies in your comment, but this one stands out. Influenza (“flu”) viruses are members of the family Orthomyxoviridae. They have a negative-sense, segmented RNA genome. Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae; they have a positive-sense, unsegmented RNA genome. Coronaviruses are not flu viruses, Covid-19 is not a form of flu. These are not matters of opinion, they are matters of fact, which you could easily have discovered for yourself if you were not an invincibly ignorant numpty.

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