If only I had a magic wand, I would henceforth consign all conspiracy freaks and vaccine refuseniks (78 million in number) to some distant desert isle where they could breathe free upon each other until God sorts them out. I know that sounds harsh, but I am beyond fed up. I suspect you are, too.
Right now, in the wake of the discovery of the variant Omicron, we are suffering fresh breakthrough infections of idiocy that prove, yet again, that the MAGA loons have learned absolutely nothing – despite a death toll of nearly 900,000, driven ever higher by the unvaccinated.
For instance, it’s a disgrace to the human species that Fox News hack Lara Logan can appear on camera and equate Dr. Anthony Fauci with Nazi doc Josef Mengele (she did that yesterday), thereby schooling the network’s credulous couch potatoes that someone who’s dedicated to saving lives is the same as someone who abetted the murder of six million lives. What a message for Hannukah week.
Elsewhere, Texas congressman Ronny Jackson (who was Trump’s White House doctor, and who, amazingly enough, still has doctor creds) tweeted on Sunday that news of the Omicron variant is just a Democratic plot to win the midterms in 2022: “Here comes the MEV – the Midterm Election Variant! They need a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to cheat during an election.”
I tend to doubt that the South African scientists who shared their evidence with the world, in the hopes of saving lives with an early warning, were thinking about what balloting options Americans might have one year from now. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the whole world is in on the Democratic plot.
That’s how the tinfoilers “think” – clearly it’s a tribal disease that defies treatment – as evidenced on Sunday by Kari Lake, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona, who said of the Democrats, “They are going to try and sell us new ‘variants’ for the rest of our lives if we don’t tell them to shove it.” On Saturday, another Fox host, Pete Hegseth, insisted that Democrats will keep cooking up variants on the eve of every election: “You can count on a variant about every October, every two years.” But their logic (and I use the word advisedly) makes no sense. Fox host Rachel Compos-Duffy said (lied) that the Democrats are exploiting variants in order to justify “more lockdowns,” but wouldn’t more lockdowns hurt the Democrats at election time?
There’s no point in parsing these people. They’ve whined that Trump didn’t get any credit for speeding some of the vaccines to market...then they decided to pride themselves on not getting the vaccine. They’ve periodically insisted that Covid is overhyped, that it’s no worse than the flu...but now they’re complaining that President Biden isn’t getting Covid under control. (Yesterday, on the official GOP Twitter account: “Joe Biden promised he would shut down the coronavirus. He failed.”)
Of course he’s having trouble getting Covid under control – because the Covidiots refuse to cooperate. Urging them to do the right thing, to protect themselves and their fellow Americans, clearly hasn’t worked. And requiring them to do the right thing, via federal mandates, triggers rants about their vanishing Freedom. The right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial board complained the other day that “Mr. Biden had no plan to deal with the large numbers of vaccine holdouts.” What, pray tell, would Rupert Murdoch’s minions suggest that he do?
Statistics don’t seem to matter. Only 59 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated – lagging far behind countries like Cuba, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Aruba, and Ecuador – and those who refuse the jabs are disproportionately Republican. (Shocking, I know.) The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation reported in October that the unvaccinated are three times more likely to be GOPers than Democrats, and that the ratio has widened since the spring, when vaccines became widely available. Indeed, the redder the counties (in terms of their fealty to Trump), the higher the Covid case rate.
It’s hard to foresee how we can fight new variants, and curb the virus long term, when so many millions of Americans are a clear and present danger to public health – and still function as dumpsters for conspiracy garbage. Biden said yesterday, “I expect this not to be the new normal. I expect the new normal to be, everyone ends up getting vaccinated and the booster shot.” Good luck with that.
I was thinking that perhaps Fiji, a nation of 300 islands, would be willing to take our Covidiots...But nah. Fiji’s fully-vaccinated rate is notably higher than ours. A MAGA infestation would only lower its quality of life.
Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. Email him at email@example.com