Will The Omicron Variant Wipe Out Trump's Base?
If deranged and low-IQ Trump voters want to commit suicide by pandemic, God Bless... Bonus: America will be so much better off without them. And since most of them are lazy, unproductive bums, they can be beneficially replaced by refuges from Afghanistan and hardworking immigrants from Haiti and Mexico. But there's a tragedy playing out across the Southern-- Trumpist-- states that really is inexcusable. These moron Trumpists are willfully and needlessly exposing their young children to to the deadly virus as well... all in the service to a sick and meaningless faux-ideological worship of a conman.
Katie Sheered and Dan Keating reported on rising pediatric rates among unvaccinated children in the South this morning. This is especially true in the most backward Trumpified counties of the most Trumpified states, Mississippi (47% vaccinated), Alabama (46% vaccinated) and Louisiana (49% vaccinated), with West Virginia and Wyong close behind. These states are among the other bastions of Trumpism that "have fallen behind the rest of the nation in vaccinating children as the threat of a winter surge casts a pall over the holiday season. Those states also rank near the bottom for vaccinating adolescents and adults, and have among the nation’s highest overall covid-19 death rates, according to a review of state vaccination and death data by the Washington Post. Their slow uptake of children’s-- as well as adults’-- vaccines have heightened fears that another pandemic wave could hit hard as families gather for the holidays and spend more time indoors."
While states like susceptible to Trump's con, like Vermont, have already vaccinated a third of newly eligible children, "Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana have only immunized about 3 percent of children in that age group. Mississippi and Alabama have the highest overall covid-19 death rates in the nation."
“I can’t tell you how discouraging and depressing I find that,” said Mark Kline, senior vice president, chief medical officer and physician in chief at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “Two-to-three percent-- that’s heartbreaking actually, when you stop to think that virtually all ... the hospitalizations, and certainly the deaths that we’re seeing now, are all preventable.”
Kline said his hospital has seen many parents eager to get their kids vaccinated, but he has also counseled families that are split over the decision and tried to answer questions from those who are hesitant or skeptical.
Among the bottom 10 states for vaccines given to younger children, eight are in the South: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Delaware and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina are the only Southern states dispensing the shots at or above the national average.
Some other states have also seen low children’s immunization rates. Wyoming and South Dakota-- which along with their neighbors in the Upper Midwest have recently seen infections spike-- have vaccinated about 6 percent and 11 percent of young children, respectively.
Public health experts speculate that recent drops in cases, especially in the South following the summer surge caused by the delta variant, may have convinced some parents they can afford to wait.
...[C]oronavirus cases have recently been rising among children. According to data collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of new infections in children jumped by 32 percent over the two weeks ending Nov. 18, after heading downward for several weeks, a troubling sign ahead of the colder weather.
Most children’s cases are mild with far fewer resulting in severe illness and hospitalization than in adults, but they are as likely to spread infection as adults. A small number of children who contract coronavirus are also at risk of developing a serious condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, that often leads to hospitalization.
...Nationally, nearly 70 percent of adults and more than 60 percent of children ages 12 to 17 have received at least one vaccine dose.
Health officials in some of the slower states said that they are facing an uphill battle combating misinformation and, in some cases, strong anti-vaccine sentiment.
In Louisiana, where Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) supports adding the coronavirus vaccine to the required panel of inoculations for all K-12 students, health officials are tackling opposition to vaccine mandates. On Monday, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) vowed to fight the health department proposal, which he said had “fatal flaws.”
Meanwhile, state public health officials are urgently trying to convince parents to get their kids vaccinated. On Sunday, the state health department distributed 470 shots, mostly to children, during a vaccine clinic held inside a video arcade and bowling alley. Louisiana is also giving $100 gift cards to anyone who gets a first dose before the end of the month.
“Without many more families getting their children vaccinated, we know many children in our state remain unprotected and we know that our state remains vulnerable to future, equally devastating surges,” said Aly Neel, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Health Department.
In Alabama, just under three percent of young children have received the first dose of their coronavirus vaccine.
“We are disappointed in those numbers, we would certainly like for them to be higher,” said Karen Landers, an assistant state health officer and pediatrician. Landers said that Alabama hospitals have had to implement surge protocols after children’s wards and children’s hospitals were overwhelmed during earlier pandemic waves.
“We'd rather not do it again,” Landers said. “I want people to get vaccinated. Our state has suffered terribly. People have died. We don’t want our citizens to suffer anymore.”
Last night, just after midnight, NY Times reporters Jason Horowitz and Richard Pérez-Peña wrote that the world is freaking out over the new Omicron variant discovered in South Africa. It's the first big deal variant since the Delta variant emerged a year ago. And there is widespread concern that we're in for another terrible wave, with "mutations that might make it more contagious or more virulent, or make vaccines and other preventive measures less effective-- though none of those effects has yet been established... [T]he WHO warned in a statement that 'preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant' in people who have already had Covid-19."
Moments after the Horowitz, Pérez-Peña report, The Times ran another piece on Omicron, this one by Carl Zimmer, that claimed "vaccines are expected to provide some protection against Omicron because they stimulate not only antibodies but immune cells that can attack infected cells, Dr. Hatziioannou said. Mutations to the spike protein do not blunt that immune-cell response. And booster shots could potentially broaden the range of antibodies people make, enabling them to fight against new variants like Omicron... [V]accines would most likely remain vital weapons against it, both by slowing down its spread and making it more likely that people who do get sick only have mild Covid-19 instead of needing to go to the hospital."