When the pandemic began, it affected both Democrats and Republicans in equal measure. But now that a vaccine is available, it is hitting one group much harder.
Thanks in large part to culture war issues, many Conservative leaning people are refusing to get their shots. And as a result, the hardest hit states are the reddest states in the country.
So far, a number of Republican lawmakers have, despite rising death rates, keep talking about freedom when talking about vaccinations. But behind closed doors, they realize that large numbers of Conservatives dying doesn’t help them electorally.
According to the New York Times, Donald Trump recently told donors that he hoped his supporters would get vaccinated because, “we need our people.”
Of course, the former president won’t say this in public for fear of being booed. During a recent Alabama rally, Trump became sheepish after being booed for pushing vaccinations. “That’s alright,” he said in response to the boos. “You got your freedoms. But I happen to take the vaccine. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know. I’ll call Alabama say, ‘Hey you know what?’ but it is working. But you do have your freedoms.”
Republican lawmakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Their voters have been conditioned to outright reject vaccines or public safety measure. But the large swaths of dead voters could eventually hurt them politically.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.