Carrot Or Stick? Pick
This afternoon, the Washington Post reported an interesting observation: "Survey data can’t prove conclusively whether using Facebook affects vaccine acceptance and resistance. However, the data can indicate whether people who get their news from Facebook have higher or lower vaccination rates than those who don’t. In the Covid States Project survey we conducted, we find a surprisingly strong relationship. If you rely on Facebook to get news and information about the coronavirus, you are substantially less likely than the average American to say you have been vaccinated. In fact, Facebook news consumers are less likely to be vaccinated than people who get their coronavirus information from Fox News." Surprised?
60% of Americans over 18 are fully vaccinated-- but the distribution is very much skewered away from areas with lots of Trump supporters and QAnon believers. The dozen states with the worst vaccination rates are all Trumpist hellholes. These states-- along with the percentage of fully vaccinated adults and their 2020 Trump totals-- from bad to worst:
Missouri- 41% (Trump vote- 56.8%)
South Carolina- 40% (Trump vote- 55.1%)
Oklahoma- 40% (Trump vote- 65.4%)
North Dakota- 40% (Trump vote- 65.1%)
West Virginia- 39% (Trump vote- 68.6%)
Tennessee- 39% (Trump vote- 60.7%)
Georgia- 38% (Trump vote- 49.2%)
Idaho- 37% (Trump vote- 63.8%)
Louisiana- 37% (Trump vote- 58.5%)
Wyoming- 37% (Trump vote- 69.9%)
Arkansas- 36% (Trump vote- 62.4%)
Mississippi- 34% (Trump vote- 57.6%)
Alabama- 34% (Trump vote- 62.0%)
On a more granular level, lets look at some of the super-Trump counties-- counties where almost everyone voted for Trump. Every one of them is a 10-alarm pandemic fire where very few people are fully vaccinated (to put it mildly)-- just like above, first number is the percentage of people over 18 who are fully vaccinated and the second number the percentage of morons who voted for Trump is 2020:
Douglas, Missouri- 16% (Trump vote- 83.2%)
Newton, Missouri- 18% (Trump vote- 76.6%)
McDonald, Missouri- 19% (Trump vote- 81.1%)
Little River, Arkansas- 20% (Trump vote- 71.8%)
Baker, Florida- 20% (Trump vote- 84.7%)
Howell, Missouri- 20% (Trump vote- 80.3%)
DeKalb, Missouri- 21% (Trump vote- 77.7%)
Oregon, Missouri- 21% (Trump vote- 80.0$)
Texas, Missouri- 22% (Trump vote- 82.9%)
Fulton, Arkansas- 22% (Trump vote- 77.4%)
Smith, Mississippi- 22% (Trump vote- 77.5%)
Miller, Missouri- 23% (Trump vote- 81.1%)
Lincoln, Arkansas- 23% (Trump vote- 70.3%)
Darwinism in action!
As you know, various jurisdictions and even businesses have tried incentivizing un-vaxxed people to roll up their sleeves for a jab, using lotteries, sometimes for millions of dollars, full scholarships, beers, and all kinds of things people want. It works... a little. Now Biden is asking states to use federal relief money to offer the un-vaxxed in their states $100 if the get poked (as New Mexico, Ohio and Colorado have already done and as NYC is doing starting today).
Reporting for NY Times late yesterday, Alan Rappeport wrote that Biden "is also stepping up efforts to get companies to give their employees time off to get the vaccine. The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said that employers can claim tax credits to cover wages paid to workers who take family members to get vaccinated or care for members of their households who are recovering from the vaccination. Self-employed workers are also eligible to receive the tax credits."
There are already people whining that it isn't "fair" because they already had their shots and they didn't get the money so why should anyone else. It's not the same short-sighted, selfish way some people look at ending student debt.
Ultimately, though, this soft approach is only going to go so far and governments are going to have to utilize what they really, really don't want to use: a stick-- making the un-vaccinated as uncomfortable as possible to force them into getting the shots. Google and Facebook, as well as Los Angeles, New York City and California already announced their employees have to be vaccinated in order to go back to work. And many jurisdictions, school and hospitals have said all employees have to be vaccinated.
The tougher approach, having been more widely deployed in Europe is working and also... causing riots. Riots? Sure, remember... 85% of the unvaccinated think the coronavirus has been exaggerated for political reasons and 51% of unvaccinated people believe the U.S. government is using the vaccine to microchip the population-- something 1 in 5 of all Americans believe:
The U.S., once again, had the most new cases yesterday-- in fact, more than the second (India) and third (Indonesia) worst hit countries combined... 92,485 new cases. And Florida is on fire-- the DeSantis pandemic caught up with 17,589 more Floridians yesterday. It's not so bad that DeSantis is determined to go down with the ship; it's horrible that he's dragging so many Floridians down with him.
I was dreaming in my dreaming
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleeping it was broken
But my dream it lingered near
In the form of shining valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
That the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It's decreed the people rule