Chill Out — The Vaccines Are Working Well

Contrary to some of the sensational media coverage, breakthrough cases are rare.

Currently, corona virus cases are surging largely due to Republican sabotage and vaccine resistance. “While young people and African Americans exhibit vaccine hesitancy, the most problematic group by far is Republicans. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 86 percent of Democrats have gotten at least one vaccine shot, compared with only 45 percent of Republicans. Forty-seven percent of Republicans say they likely won’t get vaccinated, compared with only 6 percent of Democrats.” Max Boot of the Washington Post.

A recent Monmouth University poll found that, “Among those who admit they will not get the vaccine if they can avoid it, 70 percent either identify with or lean toward the Republican Party while just 6 percent align with the Democrats.”

In a recent opinion piece for The Daily Beast, Preston Padden, a former high-level executive at Fox Broadcasting, wrote that Fox News had “contributed substantially and directly” to “the unnecessary deaths of many Americans by fueling hesitation and doubt about the efficacy and safety of lifesaving Covid-19 vaccines.” He singled out the Fox’s highly rated prime-time opinion programs for blame.

From CNN: “The majority Republican audience who watch Fox are less likely to be vaccinated than the public at large.

According to the combined sample, 62% of adults who use Fox News as their main news source have received at least one dose of the vaccine. (This is an Axios/Ipsos poll.) The Ipsos poll found that 70% of all adults had at least one vaccine dose in their polling (very close to what the CDC is showing). Fox News is plenty below that.

The people who get their news from CNN or MSNBC, for example, had a vaccination rate of 83% in the same polling.”

We would’ve won the war against the pandemic but for ongoing GOP sabotage. The pandemic should have been over by now. This surge didn’t have to happen. The pandemic is now the Republicans’ virus and variant.

The best answer to beating the pandemic is for more Americans to get vaccinated. That’s why many in the GOP and their willing accomplices in the right wing media are furiously opposing President Biden’s vaccine rollout.

We have even more evidence the vaccines are safe and effective.

From Axios on July 30:

“Of the 164 million vaccinated Americans, around 125,000 people have tested positive for breakthrough infections and 0.001% have died, according to state data compiled from state dashboards by NBC and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: While “breakthrough cases” have been getting media attention, the low numbers show that the pandemic is mostly a threat for the unvaccinated population.

By the numbers: Only 0.004% of those vaccinated that were later infected have been hospitalized from the virus and .001% have died, per the CDC.”

That data mirrors an August 6 report from the Kaiser Foundation, which found that approximately 1 in 900 vaccinated people had breakthrough infections, odds that would be similar to dying in a motorcycle accident. “In general, it’s very, very rare to get Covid after being vaccinated,” said Dr. Eric Ascher, a family medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “If someone does have that experience, it’s going to be a very mild case, if the person even has symptoms at all.”

The anti-vaxxers have pointed to the Provincetown incident over the July 4 weekend to make their case and to continue to sabotage the U.S. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Dr. Leana Wen in Washington Post on August 5:

“But isn’t that the cautionary tale from Provincetown, Mass. — didn’t revelers letting their guard down lead to around 965 people becoming infected, including many who were vaccinated? The CDC directly cited this outbreak in urging the vaccinated to resume masking.

That’s one interpretation of the data — it’s true that vaccines are not bulletproof armor and breakthrough infections can happen.

Consider, though, that an estimated 60,000 people gathered in Provincetown over the Fourth of July holiday. Restaurants, bars and house parties were packed to the brim. Some of the infected reported prolonged close contact with others. Another conclusion is that this was the ultimate stress test of the vaccines and they passed with flying colors: Only about 1.6 percent were infected, just seven were hospitalized, and no one died.”

Due to the Provincetown incident and other prominent breakthrough cases, the CDC came out with new mask guidance last month. Unfortunately, due to shoddy reporting, many vaccinated Americans came to the mistaken belief that they were vulnerable to contracting the corona virus. The CDC clarified it’s initially clumsy messaging and indicated that the vaccinated once again are being asked to protect the unvaccinated.

Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said on August 1 that the new mask guidance released last week urging fully vaccinated people to wear face coverings indoors in coronavirus hot spots is “mostly about protecting the unvaccinated.”

“Can you clear this up? Do most vaccinated Americans need to wear mask indoors in order to protect themselves and other vaccinated Americans, or is this primarily about protecting unvaccinated Americans, including children under 12 or people who are refusing to get vaccinated?” host Jake Tapper asked Collins on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“It’s mostly about protecting the unvaccinated. That’s where the real serious risks of illness are,” Collins responded.

Progressive blogger Josh Marshall reacted as follows to the CDC’s new guidelines in a very perceptive post: “Masking is coming back largely because of the actions of the unvaccinated and also largely for the benefit of the unvaccinated [Marshall’s emphasis]. The burden of non-vaccination is being placed on those who are vaccinated. That basic disconnect is our problem.

“That disconnect places no effective pressure on the voluntarily unvaccinated while sowing demoralization and frustration and contempt with public authorities among those who’ve gotten the vaccine,” he continued. “No good comes of that combination.”

Meanwhile, the GOP sabotage campaign is escalating on the state level.

Pete Ricketts has come out in opposition to the new CDC guidelines on masks, which are largely intended to protect the unvaccinated a/k/a Pete’s supporters. Ricketts is also opposed to mask and vaccine requirements in our schools. Ricketts has pledged to resist Biden’s effort to end the pandemic.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she has no plans to offer $100 incentives to Iowans to get the coronavirus vaccine. This program wouldn’t cost Iowa one nickel.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order allowing parents to reject school mask mandates. The Trump wannabe is also opposed to vaccine mandates — even on cruise ships.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning vaccine and mask mandates. Texas now has more hospitalizations than at any time since February and has surpassed New York state in the number of Covid-19 deaths.

Why do so many prominent Republicans want America to fail?

Meanwhile, attendees at a recent Republican fundraiser in Alabama, that was headlined by radical Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, cheered lustily at the mention of Alabama’s low COVID-19 vaccination rate. Greene gloated that: “I hear Alabama might be one of the most unvaccinated states in the nation.” The crowd cheered enthusiastically and gave her un-American remarks a huge round of applause.

Is anybody willing to mask up to protect Taylor Greene and her idiotic Alabama GOP friends?

The Democrats need to directly confront GOP radicalism and sabotage. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post indicated that “internal DCCC polling finds 56 percent of likely voters in four dozen battleground districts have serious doubts about Republicans after hearing that they are spreading lies about vaccines to further conspiracy theories.” We need to emphasize that the Republicans are causing more Americans to get sick and die. It’s just that simple.

The 2022 mid-term elections will be here before you know it. This will probably be the most consequential mid-term election in our history. If the Republicans regain control of one or more house of Congress, they will shut off funds for the Biden vaccine rollout in order to appease Fox News and their extreme base. Thousands of people will die — mostly their own followers.

That’s not all that the Republicans would do if they grabbed power again. Already, the D.C. Republicans are talking about shutting down the government and defaulting on the national debt to bully Biden into cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA. The Republican Party in its present state is dangerous and unfit to govern.

Let’s leave it all out on the field in 2022! We can do it!

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.