The U.S. is 59% fully vaccinated, but there is a wide disparity between states that are doing well and starts that are doing badly, let alone the primitive rural counties where fewer than 20% of the morons are vaccinated and the counties where better educated and more intelligent people live and where vaccination rates are approaching 90%. These are the 5 best vaccinated states (along with each state's best vaccinated county):
Vermont- 72% (30.7% Trump)
Grand Isle Co.- 72.3% (36.8% Trump)
Connecticut- 72% (39.2% Trump)
Middlesex Co.- 77% (41.0% Trump)
Maine- 72% (44.0% Trump)
Cumberland Co.- 79% (30.7% Trump)
Rhode Island- 72% (38.6% Trump)
Newport Co.- 72% (34.1% Trump)
Massachusetts- 71% (32.1% Trump)
Nantucket Co.- 93% (26.1% Trump)
...and now the least vaccinated states (along with each state's least vaccinated county):
West Virginia- 41% (68.6% Trump)
Doddridge Co.- 4.6% (84.5% Trump)
Wyoming- 45% (69.9% Trump)
Crook Co- 26% (88.6% Trump)
Idaho- 45% (63.9% Trump)
Idaho Co.- 27% (81.4% Trump)
Alabama- 46% (62.0% Trump)
Winston Co.- 20% (90.3% Trump)
Mississippi- 47% (57.6% Trump)
Smith Co.- 31% (77.5% Trump)
You don't need me to tell you what those correlations mean. But I will ask you to note that the counties with the most morons voted for Trump ingrate numbers and have refused to be vaccinated.
Now in Europe, Austria is one of the least vaccinated countries-- 65%, which is not only significantly better than the U.S., but is better than 42 American states, many of which are not mandating any health measures to protect their citizens. This morning Reuters reported that "Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full COVID-19 lockdown... Germany warned it may follow suit, sending shivers through financial markets worried about the economic fallout... Health Minister Jens Spahn... urged people to reduce their social contacts, warning that vaccinations alone would not reduce case numbers."
Austria said it would require the whole population to be vaccinated as of February.
Roughly two-thirds of Austria's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in western Europe. Its infections are among the highest on the continent, with a seven-day incidence of 991 per 100,000 people.
"We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated," Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told a news conference, saying the lockdown would start on Monday and the requirement to be vaccinated on Feb. 1.
"It hurts that such measures still have to be taken."
...As cases rise again across Europe, a number of governments have started to reimpose limits on activity, ranging from Austria's full lockdown, to a partial lockdown in the Netherlands, to restrictions on the unvaccinated in parts of Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Hungary reported 11,289 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, its highest daily tally, and will make booster shots mandatory for all healthcare workers and require mask wearing in most indoor places from Saturday.
...Much of the Austrian public is also sceptical about vaccines, a view encouraged by the far-right Freedom Party, the third-biggest in parliament. It is planning a protest against coronavirus restrictions on Saturday.
Today the NY Times noted that Austria lockdown for unvaccinated idiots "showed that increasingly desperate governments are losing their patience with vaccine skeptics and shifting from voluntary to obligatory measures to promote vaccinations and beat back a virus that shows no sign of waning, rattling global markets at the prospect that still tentative economic recoveries will be undone. Some European countries, including Germany, which once seemed a model of how to manage the virus, are now facing their worst levels of infections in the nearly two years since the pandemic began. The surge, health authorities say, is being driven by stubborn resistance to getting vaccinated in deep pockets of the population, cold weather driving people indoors, loosened restrictions and possibly waning immunity among those previously vaccinated... The announcement drew an immediate threat of violent protest this weekend by leaders of anti-vaccine movements and the far-right Freedom Party, which compared the government’s latest mandates with those of a dictatorship." Austria's Freedom Party is like a cross between out own GOP and the original Nazi Party.
Many European countries have already instituted mandates in all but name only-- requiring strict health passes as proof of vaccination, recovery from infection or a negative test to partake in most social functions, travel or to go to work. Many already require children to be vaccinated against measles and other illnesses to attend school.
...Austria’s new vaccine mandate will take effect in February, in the hopes that as many people as possible will be motivated to sign up for their initial inoculations, but also booster shots, Austria’s health minister, Wolfgang Mückstein, said.
The health ministry said that Friday’s announcement was only the first step in drawing up a law that would establish the mandate, a process that would involve civil society and a careful review. Details about how the law would be carried out and enforced would not be available until the process had been completed, it said.
...The unvaccinated had offered the virus, which fleetingly seemed beaten back, a toehold from which to spread back across the continent, epidemiologists say.
The low vaccination rates in Eastern Europe, such as in Romania and Bulgaria, have had disastrous consequences, with hospitalization rates as high there as at any time since the virus first erupted into view.
Italy, which shares a border with Austria, has attributed a spike in cases in its northern regions to contagion from the north. Those northern Italian regions have in recent days asked the national government to tighten restrictions against the unvaccinated, including a more robust health pass.
The current Italian health pass, known as the Green Pass, was until recently the toughest measure in Europe and was a prerequisite for work. It requires either vaccination, a swab every other day or recent recovery from Covid.
When the pandemic first began to take hold in the U.S., I started predicting that our poor ignorant and badly-led country won't get serious about ending the mayhem until over a million-- more likely two million-- Americans were dead of COVID. As of this morning, at least 789,155 Americans have died-- probably more because Florida and several other states monkey around with the statistics to make it seem that fewer people have died. Because of the extreme politicalization of the pandemic by Trump and his followers, I want to say it is likely to be much closer to 2 million deaths than a mere 1 million deaths. The U.S. has pathetically weak political leadership.