“Too Little, Too Late” New Republican Push For Vaccines Falls Flat

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is hitting the United States, with cases rising and doctors renewing their warnings about the deadly virus. The seriousness of the outbreak has even Republican politicians and public figures begging their constituents, fans, and other listeners to get vaccinated. `Unfortunately, while they may (hopefully) convince some folks to make a better-informed choice, the predominant feedback is that they’ve already done lasting harm.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Many Republican leaders and elected officials have fought to undermine trust in the vaccine, as well as opposing other protective measures, like masking, social distancing, and limiting the size of group gatherings, As the Delta variant hits, we see them trying to straddle a line, pushing people to accept a lifesaving preventative while also still playing up their own anti-government narratives.

Here’s Governor Kay Ivey, of Alabama. She’s a Republican, and she has opposed mask mandates and boasted about ending the pandemic boost to unemployment and getting her state “open for business.” Now she says that the unvaccinated are responsible for the current state of things, that they’re “choosing a lifestyle of self-inflicted pain,” and that they have a responsibility to themselves and everyone else to get vaccinated.

Also, check out Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida, who gave a speech this week telling the people of his state that almost everyone currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is unvaccinated, and that the vaccine is safe and effective.

Of course, this is the same DeSantis who, just a few months ago, was claiming “government overreach” and boasting about not enacting shutdowns, and about ordering an end to any local mandates.

This is why for many people, the new push (after over 600k people in the U.S. have lost their lives to the virus) isn’t exactly impressive.

As you can see from a handful of Twitter responses, people aren’t forgetting that these governors opposed protective measures before they embraced them.

Oops. Did they forget that the internet is forever?

Regardless, DeSantis, Ivey, and other public figures who appeal to the right-leaning voters, may convince some of the vaccine-hesitant, and perhaps as the crisis grows, they’ll even make more efforts to avert it. In the meantime, the public isn’t impressed with this first small step.

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