Spending too much time watching politicians talk will cause you to notice a mechanical gear-shift in your brain. This happens when the brain-groove prompts you to repeat an anecdote, or point that they’ve made so many times. The subconscious may sometimes rebel against the monotony of alienation with prefix clauses such as “That’s why it likes to say” or “I always relate the story that” but pre-sets almost always override these human instincts to achieve the desired political outcome.
It was the same for President Joe Biden’s antiproductive slogan “pandemic among the unvaccinated”, which was introduced by the White House COVID-19 Respond Team in July and that the president continued to recite inaccurately until December 14.
In an interview on local television, News Center 7 asked the president if he planned to continue his fight against his challenged employer vaccination mandates in court. Quickly, the politician brain sped into gear.
This is the pandemic of unvaccinated. It is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Notvaccinated. The vaccinated are not the ones who have been vaccinated. NotBiden stated that vaccinated. This was the exact same day as an omicron-based variant of the vaccine produced a positive-case rise of 16 percent in New York City’s highly vaccinated. This is the problem. So everyone talks about “freedom” and doesn’t want to take a shot, or test it. Guess what? Let’s not forget patriotism. You can make sure you are vaccinated so that the disease doesn’t spread to others. You could do that.
That is quite remarkable. New York City’s single-shot vaccine rate of 92 percent (for adults) and 83 percent (“rivals any other number in the world”) “is unmatched.” Politico’Jack Shafer pointed out last week that my booster self and teenage vaccinated self still spent Christmas in quarantine. The Poynter Institute’s fact-checkers PolitiFact generously rated Biden’s “vaccinated…do not spread the disease” claim as only “mostly” false, despite epidemiologist quotes like “[the]This statement is false” and vaccinations can infect people.
The problems associated with the “pandemic among the unvaccinated message” predates the version that made it absurd. Biden, one week later after he had broken serial administration promises, announced that an employer mandate was being implemented. This announcement came while Yasmin Tayag used language like “We have been patient but we are losing patience.” Yasmin Tayag, a science writer, wrote “And your refusal has cost us all” AtlanticThe headline of the piece was “Stop Labeling it a Pandemic Of the Unvaccinated”
Tayag warned that “Bullying people not vaccinated isn’t going work in the long term,” in a piece in which he examined the field of behavioral science, a subject to which the White House doesn’t seem to pay much attention. The way that mandates are presented drives a wedge between unvaccinated people and those who have been vaccinated. This strategy may backfire if it is intended to inoculate as many people as possible to attain herd immunity.
What has happened to mandates in actual practice? The New York TimesOn December 18, a study of all 50 US states was published. It found that government orders have not given the expected boost in state and local vaccine rates as some experts had predicted. Contrary to popular belief, “In many locations the number of adults who have received at least one shot increased at a slower rate after the states and cities issued mandates than in the national time period.”
Lisa Cooper from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity stated that mandataries might be useful for individuals who just find the vaccination inconvenient but do not have any legitimate reasons to avoid it. Times. But then there are people with strong opinions against it, or who really have significant struggles. The mandates will not do any good for them.
It Times notes that—at least until and unless Biden’s employer mandate passes legal muster—the vast majority of government vaccination orders take place in Democratic-voting, high-vaxxed polities: “In almost all of these states and in all of the counties surrounding the cities with mandates, a majority of the residents voted for President Biden. The West Coast and the Northeast are the most popular places for statewide mandates. States banning certain mandates can be found in clusters in the South.
How can vaccine mandates be used to move needles on vaccination? The most absurd of these hypotheses is not easy to dismiss. One of the most dangerous hypotheses is COVID-19. It was rebranded as “pandemic” and targeted that group with penalties for not complying. This allowed political opponents and tech companies to be made to pay while encouraging virtuousness among vaxxed.
These dynamics were evident in the creation of our rebrand. That was the same week the White House COVID-19 Response Team started telling people vaccinated that this pandemic was only for them. OtherPeople, Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General of India called for an “all-of-society effort” to counter “health misinformation.” Then Biden accused Facebook and all other social media platforms of “killing people”.
Biden also announced his mandate for vaccines in the same week, and also accused prominent GOP officials of being “cavalier about whether or not children live or die.” The president stated that “Republican governors of states such as Texas and Florida do everything possible to undermine public health standards that protect people.” tweeted. “They play politics with the lives and well-being of their citizens, particularly children.” “I refuse to succumb to this.”
Biden’s speech about his vaccine mandate was filled with frustration for Americans still waiting to have a shot as well as for those politicians who weren’t fully supportive of his COVID policies. Here’s a selection
The nearly 80,000,000 Americans still unvaccinated frustrates many of us. […]
It is the pandemic of unvaccinated. This is due to the fact that, even though America has an unparalleled and successful vaccine program, and despite having free vaccines available at 80,000 locations for nearly five months, almost 80 million Americans have yet to receive the shot.
To make things worse, elected officials are actively trying to stop the fight against COVID-19. Instead of encouraging people not to get vaccinated, and encouraging them to cover up, they are ordering mobile morgues that will transport the COVID-affected in their local communities. This is absolutely unacceptable. […]
The remaining 25% [of unvaccinated people] can cause a lot of damage—and they are. Unvaccinated people overcrowd hospitals and infective care units. This leaves no place for anyone suffering from a heart attack or other serious health issues. [pancreatitis]Cancer, or a combination thereof. […]
[W]hat makes it incredibly more frustrating is that we have the tools to combat COVID-19, and a distinct minority of Americans—supported by a distinct minority of elected officials—are keeping us from turning the corner. Pandemic politics as I speak of are making people sick and causing people who have not been vaccinated to die.
This cannot stop us from protecting the majority of Americans who are doing their part to protect the American people and want to live normal lives. […]
Let’s just say that we are going to shield vaccinated employees from their unvaccinated colleagues.
This message is mixed and bordering on schizophrenic. The unvaccinated are at risk.It doesn’t jive with Protect vaccinated workers from the unvaccinated. Biden made a speech emphasizing the need to get vaccinated. He said that unless we address those anti-vaxxers, getting vaccinated will not be a way back to normal living. The president tells one voter that it’s okay to be upset at another, rather than encouraging social cohesion associated with high rates of vaccination.
Inputting The Lancet last month under the headline “Stigmatising the unvaccinated is not justified,” epidemiologist Günter Kampf laid out the practical drawbacks to Biden’s approach.
Kampf said that people who have been vaccinated are at lower risk for severe diseases, yet are still part of the pandemic. Therefore, it is wrong and dangerous for us to refer to a pandemic of unvaccinated people. Both the USA and Germany in the past have created negative experiences through stigmatizing certain parts of their population for their skin color or religion. “I call upon scientists and high-ranking officials to end the insensitive stigmatization of people who are not vaccinated, including our patients and colleagues. They also need to make extra efforts towards bringing together society.
It The pandemic of those who are not vaccinatedFramed actively promoted one of the most ineffective and destructive societal responses to COVID-19. Making the simple fact that you have contracted the virus an ethical play falling heavily along partisan lines. It is the idea that if you “do everything right” and adhere to all regulations, then you’ll be spared.
The self-flattering narrative about the collapse of this nation is now, after a regional/stinky virus that has been ravaging media and Democratic centers for the third straight winter (as forecast) is being discredited. According to a headline in a Newspaper, “Thousands of people who followed the rules are going to be covid.” Washington Post “Wellness” column last week. They shouldn’t be embarrassed. That is a lovely sentiment.
There are many ways to save lives. I think there is a better way than to make people feel guilty, punish them, or blame the population for the condition. Perhaps you could start with behavioral science.
Outgoing National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins did an interview with NPR this month that included this startling admission: “I do think we need to understand better how—in the current climate—people make decisions….To have now 60 million people still holding off of taking advantage of lifesaving vaccines is pretty unexpected. At least it makes me think, “Boy! There are some things about human behaviour that I don’t believe we have invested enough in understanding.” Boy!
The next step is for politicians and public officials to consider telling the entire truth.
It’s not just Biden busting the fact-check-o-meters; it’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, as Jacob Sullum pointed out just today: “Time and again during the COVID-19 pandemic…Walensky has proven herself untrustworthy. The latest example is Walensky’s slippery response to criticism of a study that she has repeatedly cited to justify the CDC’s controversial recommendation that K–12 schools require students to wear face masks as a safeguard against COVID-19.”
The science of outside transmission, science of outdoor eating, science of public health, have all been narrators that are not reliable about what they know. Public health officials tend to favor their restrictions. It is morally more important to respond specifically and factually about vaccine hesitancy than demonization and compulsion.
This doesn’t mean sugarcoating the vastly different outcomes among the Covid-positive vaxxed and unvaxxed—far from it. I find this graph far more convincing than listening to yet another boring Joe Biden speech.
However, the above information should serve as a warning to Americans who have been vaccinated: On balance it looks like we are going to be able to get out of this micron infection. Instead of venting anger at those who are becoming seriously ill, perhaps we can live like we’re in an epidemic and try to convince our loved ones that the mild cough and week of indoors living is better than any other alternative. Although politicians might not be capable of shutting off the internal rhetorical divide, weren’t they supposed to do better?
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