The Republican governor of Alabama has said it is “time to start blaming unvaccinated people” for the increase in Covid-19 cases, amid concerns that months of misinformation about the need and effectiveness of the Vaccines are fueling a resurgence of coronavirus infections in several states.
Kay Ivey said vaccines are “the greatest weapon we have to fight Covid” adding that an increase in new coronavirus cases in Alabama is due to the reluctance of many people in the state to get vaccinated.
Only about a third of eligible people in Alabama have been vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in the US.
“People are supposed to have common sense,” the Alabama governor said. “But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated, not the vaccinated. It is the unvaccinated people who let us down. “
Ivey added that almost all new hospitalizations and deaths due to Covid are unvaccinated people. “These people are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain,” he said.
Criticism from those who are eligible to be vaccinated and have chosen not to receive the vaccine despite the fact that vaccines are available follows a concerted effort between conspiracy theorists and others on social media and conservative media outlets such as Fox News. to cast unsubstantiated doubts about the safety need for vaccines despite a large body of evidence about their ability to protect people from the worst effects of the virus, including death.
Some of these falsehoods have been accepted by elected Republicans, while other high-ranking members of the party have refused to actively endorse vaccine adoption, citing a personal choice.
Others, like Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, have voiced their support for vaccines from the beginning, albeit in a discreet way and without publicly calling more boisterous voices that seek to sow doubts.
And in Alabama and neighboring Mississippi, for example, reluctance to get vaccinated may be due to economic factors, as well as politics or the simple fear of a new vaccine.
But also, for many black residents, they struggle to overcome a historical distrust of the government and the healthcare system due to a history of not just neglect but racist medical abuse, such as the government-sponsored decades-long Tuskegee study, where African American men were forced to participate in a syphilis experiment.
Ivey’s comments on Thursday came as it became known that more than nine out of 10 Covid Deaths in the US are now people who have not been vaccinated.
Yet only 56.2% of eligible Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, just 51% of Republicans said in mid-June that they had received at least one dose of vaccine, compared with 83% of Democrats, according to an AP-NORC poll.
But in recent days, some top conservatives have started calling for vaccines following a spike in infections in several states.
In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis this week pointed to data showing that the vast majority of hospitalized patients with Covid-19 had not received injections. “These vaccines are saving lives,” said DeSantis, who recently began selling campaign merchandise, mocking masks and medical experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top public health official in the US and adviser to the president of USA
The White House, which is trying to push for higher vaccination rates, said it is beginning to see a slight increase in uptake in some states, such as Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada, where Covid cases are on the rise.
A doctor in Birmingham, Alabama, recounted how patients who died from Covid begged to be vaccinated, even though it was too late to do so then.
Rising infections have flooded some hospitals in the southern US, prompting an increase in calls for people to take available vaccines.
“The fourth increase is real, and the numbers are quite alarming right now,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said on a New Orleans radio show. Edwards, a Democrat, added: “There is no question that we are going in the wrong direction and we are going there in a hurry.”
More than 600,000 people in the US have died so far from the Covid-19 pandemic, the worst death toll in the world, and Republican strategists have warned that voters can blame the party if this total continues to rise. with more outbreaks of Covid. .
“I think they have finally realized that if their people are not vaccinated, they will get sick, and if their people are not vaccinated, they will be blamed for the Covid outbreaks in the future,” he said. Republican pollster Frank Luntz.
But surveys of those who are not vaccinated have shown that many have chosen not to take the blows.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism