As new cases of COVID-19 infections rise, the left and right blame each other over vaccine hesitancy. The truth, as always, is more complicated given hesitancy in other nations.
Low vaccination rates among a swath of Southern states is reportedly the leading cause to a surge in coronavirus infections.
- Vaccine hesitancy is not just an American problem, as Russia has had difficulty vaccinating its population, citing “distrust, both of new drugs and government programmes.”
- Cuba is working feverishly to roll out what is being called a “homegrown vaccine” as new cases soar while Australia, despite “lockdown restrictions”, is also experiencing “sharp increases” in new COVID-19 infections.
- The coronavirus’ effects reportedly lowered life expectancy in the United States by a year and half, the largest decline since World War II.
- During a Senate hearing, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and the National Institute of Health’s Dr. Fauci engaged in a heated exchange over the NIH’s role in gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
- CNN focused on the “more infectious” COVID-19 delta variant, saying it is now accounting for more than 4 out of 5 new cases in the United States and used Fauci, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and others to scold those who have decided to not get or wait to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Slate made vaccine hesitancy solely about politics, blaming Republicans for a significant portion of America being skeptical or hesitant, and calling it “vaccine hostility.”
- The Washington Post dove into the new report on life expectancy, noting the drop in life expectancy among Black and Latino Americans was worse than the average while also reporting the decrease unearths the larger impact the pandemic had, such as an increase in overdose deaths.
- OANN reported on the news of “a fully vaccinated White House official” having tested positive for COVID-19, framing the story as the White House confirming vaccines are not 100% effective.
- Indiana Sen. Mike Braun offered his take on the war of words between Sen. Paul and Dr. Fauci at Newsmax, saying “grouchy Fauci” “has been all over the map” in terms of shifting mandates and recommendations with respect to social distancing, masking, etc.
- RedState hit the recent illegal border arrests in their reporting, noting there are nine times as many illegal immigrants with COVID-19 coming to the United States as just two weeks ago.
- Fox News reported on research that suggested the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose but has a slightly lower effectiveness rate than the two-dose regimes, still provides solid protection against the delta variant.
Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote in National Review last week about the state of vaccine hesitancy and the heavy-handed, tone-deaf efforts to convince those hesitant to change their mind.
It’s fairly obvious the media, left and right, cynically have to make this about politics for ratings: The left excoriates those unwilling to receive the vaccine yet as anti-science right-wing rubes. Meanwhile, one of the leading voices on the right, Tucker Carlson, is completely misrepresenting data on coronavirus vaccines, vaccine side effects, and mortality.
Even an important issue like this is not immune to the infectious disease known as politics.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021