I admit that I have taken the coronavirus very seriously from day one. Flying back from Seoul in early January 2020-- long before anyone was using the word "pandemic"-- I wore an N-99 mask on the plane. I'm still wearing it. I'm probably the first person you know who got their third vaccine. (My doctor recommended it 2 months ago.) So... I'm not like Marjorie Traitor Greene at all. Yesterday, the QAnon crackpot from backward northwest Georgia poo-poo-ed concerns about a collapse of the hospital system by demonstrating conservative empathy: "We can't live forever."
Performing on a neo-fascist propaganda radio network Real America's Voice, Traitor Greene fed conspiracy theories circulating on the far right fringe: "I've talked to local hospitals here in my district in here in my state. Yes, the waiting rooms get full, but guess what? The waiting rooms are full of all kinds of things, not just COVID. But they're seeing about 30 percent of those numbers being COVID cases... Everybody needs to get back down to common sense and remember that, you know, we're human, we can't live forever, we're going to catch all kinds of diseases and illnesses and other viruses, and we get hurt sometimes."
Yesterday, Georgia had the 4th most new cases in the U.S.-- 7,016-- bringing the state's total to 1,245,399, which comes to 117,298 cases per million residents. Georgia was also 4th in one day deaths yesterday (another 35), growing by nothing compared to DeSantis' 140 a day just south of the Georgia border. But what about Traitor Greene's own district. There is no breakdown by congressional district but there are breakdowns by county. GA-14 voters live in 12 mostly backward districts northwest of Atlanta. All of them voted for her and voted for Trump. Each of the counties-- largely unvaccinated-- has had terrible increases in daily case averages and triple digit increases in hospitalizations over the last two weeks. Floyd County, which Republicans count on to help them run up massive margins to offset Atlanta, had an increase of 460%, one of the worst in the state. This chart shows two things, the 2 week change in hospitalizations and the percentage of votes that went to Trump in 2020:
Paudling- 104% (Trump- 63.9%)
Floyd- 168% (Trump- 69.9%)
Whitfield- 111% (Trump- 69.8%)
Catoosa- 112% (Trump- 77.2%)
Walker- 130% (Trump- 78.9%)
Gordon- 127% (Trump- 80.7%)
Polk- 142% (Trump- 78.1%)
Murray- 111% (Trump- 84.1%)
Haralson- 111% (Trump- 86.5)
Chattooga- 186% (Trump- 80.2%)
Dade- 130% (Trump- 81.6%)
Pickens- 118% (Trump- 82.2%)
Yep... too stupid to realize they were scammed by Trump, too stupid to keep themselves and their families safe by getting vaccinated and what happens? They wind up sick and stuck with one of the stupidest and most unAmerican members of Congress. Good luck with that GA-14!
Meanwhile. Hawaii is on a very different track, eager to protect its citizens from the contagion. Two mainlander tourists were arrested on Sunday at the airport, trying to enter Honolulu with a forged vaccination card. USAToday reported that the two traveller were seeking to avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine by showing the fake vaccine cards. The two were arrested and arraigned yesterday. they face a year in prison and $5,000 in fines, ridiculously light punishment.
Despite threats from right-wing politician Greg Abbott, currently serving as governor of Texas, all four of Texas most populous counties has mandated mask wearing in public schools, as local officials work to protect children and teachers from the delta variant and from Abbott's Party of Death. The Texas Tribune reported this morning that "Harris County became the latest county Thursday afternoon to require mask-wearing in schools in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order forbidding cities, counties and school districts from enacting their own mask mandates. Hours later, the Houston school board voted unanimously to issue a mask mandate. Public schools, private schools that don’t have a religious affiliation and child care centers must require students, teachers and anyone else inside their facilities to don masks, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told local superintendents in a letter Thursday-- citing an order by Harris County Public Health."
“There’s an unwritten contract between parents and their schools-- and it's that when our children are under the care of their schools, they do everything they can to keep them safe,” Hidalgo wrote.
Harris County joins Dallas, Bexar and Travis counties-- where officials enacted orders this week requiring masks in public schools.
The new mandate from Harris County comes hours after its county attorney sued Abbott to win greater local control over the pandemic response, alleging the governor overstepped his bounds-- a legal strategy that has led to temporary wins for Dallas and Bexar officials who sought to regain some power to re-enact mask mandates.
The mask mandate was approved by the Houston school board unanimously on Thursday. Some of the state's smaller school districts are also mandating masks. The Texas Tribune also reported that Brownsville and Edinburg are the latest school districts to implement a mask mandate for all students, staff and visitors during the upcoming school year, according to local media outlets. And the Brownsville Independent School District also voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott over his executive order that prevents mask mandates from being implemented in schools, according to KRGV. The districts announced their mandates Thursday after passing unanimously through each respective school district’s board. 'In these uncertain times I want to take every precaution available to us,' Edinburg School Board President Mike Farias said in a statement to KRGV. 'And I’d rather err on the side of caution than on the side of negligence. I am for mandating masks temporarily until the numbers go down.' The districts-- both in the Rio Grande Valley-- are part of a slew of school districts across the state that are looking to defy Abbott’s executive order."
Vaccination rates in Texas are high in counties that voted for Biden and low for counties that voted for Trump. These are the 10 Texas counties that were strongest for Biden along with their vaccination rates, followed by the 10 Texas counties that were strongest for Señor Trumpanzee along with their vaccination rates. Statewide the rate for fully vaccinated adults is 45% The disparity is clear:
Travis Co.- Biden 71.6% (55% vaccinated)
El Paso Co.- Biden 66.8% (58% vaccinated)
Presidio Co.- Biden 66.0% (72% vaccinated)
Zavala Co.- Biden 65.4% (39% vaccinated)
Dallas Co.- Biden 65.1% (44% vaccinated)
Dimmit Co.- Biden 61.8% (50% vaccinated)
Webb Co.- Biden 61.1% (61% vaccinated)
Brooks Co.- Biden 59.2% (48% vaccinated)
Jim Hogg Co.- Biden 58.8% (44% vaccinated)
Bexar Co.- Biden 58.2% (48% vaccinated)
Hidalgo Co.- Biden 58.0% (54% vaccinated)
And now the Trump counties. None is even a third vaccinated-- and each gave over 90% of their votes to a con-man from New York.
Roberts Co.- Trump 96.2% (22% vaccinated)
Borden Co.- Trump 95.4% (24% vaccinated)
Glasscock Co.- Trump 93.6% (32% vaccinated)
Armstrong Co.- Trump 93.1% (29% vaccinated)
Wheeler Co.- Trump 92.4% (29% vaccinated)
Sterling Co.- Trump 91.4% (26% vaccinated)
Shackelford Co.- Trump 91.1% (28% vaccinated)
Loving Co.- Trump 90.9% (17% vaccinated)
Oldham Co.- Trump 90.9% (25% vaccinated)
Jack Co.- Trump 90.4% (28% vaccinated)