The NY Times reported that something in the neighborhood of 150,000 Americans have died from COVID since June 1, when there was no rational reason to be unvaccinated. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel is pretty sure the current vaccines aren't going to be as effective against the Omicron variant as they have been against Delta and other strains. "I think it’s going to be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to . . . are like, 'This is not going to be good.'" Meanwhile, this morning, China's foreign ministry announced that China expects to hold the 2022 Winter Olympics "smoothly" and on schedule (Feb 4-20). They plan to test all athletes and support personnel daily. Good luck with that. And China isn't the only place where delusionalism-- is that a word?-- is gaining a foothold. Last night, Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell wrote that "Once upon a time, states debated whether to pay people to get vaccinated. Now, some red states are paying people not to get vaccinated, by cutting checks to workers who quit or are fired because they refuse covid-19 shots." It's like Republican governors and state legislators want their own base to get sick and die.
We've spent the last few months showing how low IQ causes COVID, given that people with very low IQs are too mentally feeble to recognize a con man and both voted for Trump and refused to be vaccinated. The correlation between high Trump support and low vaccine acceptance in counties across the country is perfect and iron-clad. Yesterday, Philip Bump noted in his Washington Post column that Red America has seen the highest rates of cases and deaths, and the lowest rate of vaccinations. It is red America, Donald Trump-voting America," he wrote, "that has seen the worst effects of the pandemic. With divergent vaccination rates, with the unvaccinated population that’s most at risk being made up of Republicans at three times the rate of Democrats, that gap is poised to grow."
If we break down monthly case and death figures by county vote in 2020, we see that Trump counties have been hardest hit by the pandemic on a per capita basis since last year. If we throw in vaccination rates, we see that it is those same counties that have been the slowest to get vaccinated. As of April of this year, the most red and most blue counties in the country began to diverge on vaccination rates. As of writing, data compiled by The Washington Post suggests that the counties that voted most strongly for President Biden are fully vaccinated at a rate 40 percent higher than the rate in the counties that voted most strongly for Trump.
Those are cumulative. If we look at how the monthly total of cases and deaths has compared to vaccination rates over time, the picture is different. Since June, the number of cases in the most-blue counties has grown more slowly than the number of cases in the most-red ones. The gap on deaths is even wider-- even as the vaccination rates have moved in the inverse relationship.
...According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the unvaccinated are at far more risk of those worst-case outcomes-- which might help explain why more-vaccinated blue counties saw slower growth in deaths during the fourth wave than cases. Hence Biden’s call Monday to get vaccinated with the new variant looming.
But the problem, as always, is that the people who disproportionately need to be convinced to get vaccinated are also those least likely to follow Biden’s lead.
Is this just a natural unfolding of Darwin's theory about survival of the fittest? Trump supporters are too stupid to understand they've been sold a bill of goods and are too stupid to take precautions against a deadly pandemic. So they're dying off. That's tragic and horrifying on a personal basic-- but perhaps less tragic for the national gene pool. Yesterday, on a per capita basis, the death rate among American states was worst in West Virginia, the state that was second only to Wyoming in 2020 Trump support. The states where vaccination rates are lowest-- along with their 2020 Trump electoral support:
West Virginia- 42% fully vaccinated (68.6% Trump)
Idaho- 45% fully vaccinated (63.8% Trump)
Wyoming- 46% fully vaccinated (69.9% Trump)
Alabama- 46% fully vaccinated (62.0% Trump)
Mississippi- 47% fully vaccinated (57.6% Trump)
North Dakota- 49% fully vaccinated (65.1% Trump)
Arkansas- 49% fully vaccinated (62.4% Trump)
Tennessee- 49% fully vaccinated (60.7% Trump)
Louisiana- 49% fully vaccinated (58.5% Trump)
Georgia- 49% fully vaccinated (49.2% Trump)
The U.S.A. is now close to 60% vaccinated and just 46.9% of voters picked Trump in 2020. And among the states that rejected Trump most fully, vaccination rates are very high:
Vermont- 73% fully vaccinated (30.7% Trump)
Rhode Island- 72% fully vaccinated (38.6% Trump)
Connecticut- 72% fully vaccinated (39.2% Trump)
Maine- 72% fully vaccinated (44.0% Trump)
Massachusetts- 71% fully vaccinated (32.1% Trump)