Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV): Choosing Not To Be Vaccinated Is Tantamount To A Death Wish

"COVID-45" by Nancy Ohanian

And what do these miserable, congenitally unhappy Trumpists have to live for aside from owning the Libs? Their lives are brutish and unfulfilled; it;'s just a shame that they're causing normal people to get sick too.

Israel's vaccination rate is one of the highest in the world. About 60% of the population has had at least one shot-- and they're taking the real stuff, not the bogus vaccines from China, Russia and India. New cases have dropped from 10,000 in January to single digits, which caused the government to end all social distancing mandates. So guess what happened. Sunday Israel reported 321 new cases; Monday there were 496 new cases and yesterday another 427. It's not 10,000... but it's not single digits either. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday combined saw just 1 new death. So what's happening?

According to Reuters Israel has reported that the Pfizer vaccine's effectiveness has fallen from something like 95% to 64%-- although it is still at 93% effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalizations. Israel is stepping up its vaccination drive.

And that, of course, is where we have our problem here in the U.S. The good news is that U.S.-- with 8,239 new cases yesterday-- isn't even in the top 10 among countries with new daily infections. The countries with over 10,000 new cases yesterday:

  • Brazil- 62,504

  • India- 43,344

  • Indonesia- 31,189

  • U.K.- 28,773

  • Colombia- 26,721

  • Russia- 23,378

  • Argentina- 21,590

  • Iran- 16,080

  • South Africa- 15,500

  • Spain- 14,137

  • Bangladesh- 11,525

I'm installing a new roof. Yesterday the team who remove the solar panels came over. I asked the foreman if he had been vaccinated. He hadn't been. Since there was no need for anyone to come inside, I let it ride. Normally I get as far away from anyone unvaccinated as I possibly can.

Last night Nathaniel Weixel, writing for The Hill, reported how the divergence between new cases in Trump counties and normal counties is big and growing. He wrote that "According to data across 2,415 counties analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the vaccination gap between counties that voted for Trump in the 2020 election and those that voted for President Biden has nearly doubled in less than two months."

As of May 11, an average of 28.5 percent of people in Trump counties were fully vaccinated, compared with 35 percent in Biden counties. As of Tuesday, the rate is 35 percent for Trump counties, compared with 46.7 percent in Biden counties.
Some GOP governors have been issuing urgent pleas for their citizens to get vaccinated, but polls show Republicans, especially men, are disproportionately more likely to say they will never get vaccinated.
“The solution is the vaccinations,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said during a Sunday appearance on CNN's State of the Union.
But he acknowledged the partisan divide has made it difficult to boost the vaccination rate in his state, which is toward the bottom in the U.S. rankings. According to data compiled by the New York Times, only 42 percent of residents in Arkansas have received at least one vaccine dose.
“In a rural state, a conservative state, there is hesitancy, and we're trying to overcome that,” Hutchinson said. “We got the early vaccinations out because people were anxious. They were in a very vulnerable population. Our cases went down dramatically. And that slowed the vaccination rate. The urgency diminished. And now it’s picking up again.”
Asked about vaccine hesitancy on ABC's This Week, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said people need to realize choosing not to be vaccinated is tantamount to a death wish.
“When it really boils right down to it, they’re in a lottery to themselves. We have a lottery, you know, that basically says if you’re vaccinated, we’re going to give you stuff. Well, you’ve got another lottery going on, and it’s the death lottery,” Justice said.
Only 44 percent of West Virginians have received a vaccine dose, according to The Times.
Jennifer Kates, a KFF senior vice president and director of global health and HIV policy, said a partisan divide isn't the only factor driving the vaccination gap, but it is the most prominent.
The deep-blue state of Vermont has the highest share of its population with at least one vaccine dose, at 74 percent, followed by Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Connecticut.
The states with the lowest vaccination rates are all deeply red; Mississippi, at 36 percent, is the worst in the nation. None of the other four states that round out the bottom five-- Alabama, Idaho, Wyoming and Louisiana-- have given more than 40 percent of their entire population a single dose.
A Washington Post-ABC poll found that, nationwide, 86 percent of Democrats have received at least one shot of a vaccine, compared with 45 percent of Republicans. The poll found that 38 percent of Republicans overall said they will definitely not get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Kates said if there continue to be pockets of holdouts, the virus may never be fully neutralized. New variants could continue to arise and spread among the unvaccinated.
“We're going to potentially have ongoing cycles of the pandemic in this country and beyond,” Kates said.
The states with low vaccination rates are most at risk from the highly contagious delta variant, which has now been found in all 50 states. Administration health officials have said they expect the delta variant to become the dominant strain in a matter of weeks.
...Last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said there are about 1,000 counties in the country that have vaccination coverage of less than 30 percent, primarily in the South, East and Midwest.
“In some of these areas we are already seeing increasing rates of disease. As the delta variant continues to spread across the country, we expect to see increased transmissions in these communities, unless we can vaccinate more people,” Walensky said.
Public health officials and experts are worried the divergent vaccination could create two Americas: one where most people are vaccinated and another where low vaccination rates could lead to case spikes.
“As a nation as a whole we are doing very well,” Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said in an interview Sunday on Meet the Press.
“But we have a big country with disparity in the willingness to be vaccinated. So ... it's going to be regional. And that's the thing that will be confusing when people look at what we do. We're going to see, and I've said, almost two types of America.”
Fauci urged people to put aside their political differences.
“We're dealing with a historic situation with this pandemic. And we do have the tools to counter it. So for goodness' sakes, put aside all of those differences and realize that the common enemy is the virus,” he said.

I hope Fauci's entreaties work but I doubt they will-- not until there are a million dead Trumpists. These people have inflicted a plague of gun violence on us-- and now political violence. They have frayed the ties that bind us together as a nation. They are ignorant, racist, resistant to science and expertise, filled with hatred, selfishness, paranoia and bigotry. I hope everyone who isn't one of them gets vaccinated-- and that God sorts out the rest.