“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.
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.
Asked today about rising COVID-19 cases, Governor Kay Ivey said more people need to get vaccinated. She said, “These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”
— WBRC FOX6 News (@WBRCnews) July 22, 2021
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.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), whose PAC is selling "Don't Fauci My Florida" merch, pushes vaccines as cases surge:
"If you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chance of you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is effectively zero … These vaccines are saving lives." pic.twitter.com/wBX5ZCda9B
— The Recount (@therecount) July 21, 2021
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.
Let’s not get too excited over Kay Ivey wanting to blame the unvaccinated. She could’ve been promoting vaccination the entire time instead of banning vaccine passports.
— J Laserstein, Esq. 🇮🇱🇺🇸🔯🌊⚖️📜 (@jewwithlaser) July 23, 2021
😏So Kay Ivey, aka MeMaw, wants to take a stand now. It's a bit late now, she should have been calling Alabamians out a year ago and pushing that vaccine when it first came out. You can't open the state up, drop the mask mandate then ignore low vaccination rate in the state.
— albacri12 (@texastrilogy12) July 23, 2021
Ah yes, the same Kay Ivey who if February said: "“We are all for educating people on the COVID-19 vaccine, but from the little we know about this program, it does not seem like the answer." https://t.co/Ap9fu4mHbR
— Jason Bragg (@jasonlbragg) July 23, 2021
This is a hard challenge, but I encourage us to not politicize the turn in rhetoric. Highlight clips like this to DeSantis supporters. I’ll keep my thoughts on his motive to myself if it means getting Floridians & Americans vaccinated. I just pray this isn’t too little, too late. https://t.co/TWyt2TEuxs
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) July 22, 2021
Hum. I wonder what DeSantis is gonna do with all that “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merch now that he’s seen the light and decided to endorse vaccines. I think it’s too late and people aren’t going to listen to him. They did their job too well.
— Sarcasm is my God (@catluvr71) July 22, 2021
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.