Vaccine Passports Should Be The ONLY ID Accepted At The Polls
You may have noticed that over the last few weeks, I've been spending hours collecting and collating data that shows the remarkable correlation between counties that voted for Trump and counties that have the lowest vaccination rates. Yesterday a new Fox News survey shows that 86% of Biden voters are already vaccinated and just 3% say they don’t plan to get vaccinated, while just 54% of Trump voters are vaccinated and a whopping 32% say they don’t plan to get vaccinated.
It isn't totally Trump's fault. People too stupid to be vaccinated are the kind of people who are attracted to his brand. But he isn't making things any easier. Writing for the Daily Beast before dawn morning, Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley reported that although Trump advisors and friends have been urging Trump to do so, he just keeps "refusing to mount anything resembling a real effort to get his supporters vaccinated... Trump has simply said he doesn’t feel he needs to do any 'favors' for Biden, given how much Biden is 'destroying' the country-- and that if Biden wants to ask him to do something, the sitting president is welcome to ask... [He] released a written statement last month sympathizing with anti-vaxxers because, according to Trump, 'people are refusing to take the Vaccine because they don't trust [Biden’s] Administration, they don't trust the Election results, and they certainly don’t trust the Fake News, which is refusing to tell the Truth.'"
As of today, the New York Times reports that 50% of American adults are fully vaccinated. That number is woefully less in the counties that were the strongest for Trump. Below is a list I compiled of 2 counties in every state-- the county where Trump did the best in 2020 and the county where vaccinate rates are lowest. In some cases-- like Alabama, Arizona and California-- it is the same county. [Alaska isn't divided by counties and West Virginia, Georgia, Virginia, Vermont and Hawaii don't report county COVID stats so I've left those states out.]
Alabama (44% vaccinated, Trump 62.0%)
Winston Co.- Trump- 90.3% (15% vaccinated)
Arizona (56% vaccinated, Trump 49.0%)
Mohave Co.- Trump- 74.9% (31% vaccinated)
Arkansas (47% vaccinated, Trump 62.4%)
Searcy Co.- Trump- 83.7% (28% vaccinated)
Miller Co.- 9% vaccinated (Trump- 72.1%)
California (65% vaccinated, Trump 34.3%)
Lassen Co.- Trump- 74.5% (27% vaccinated)
Colorado (66% vaccinated, Trump 41.9%)
Kiowa Co.- Trump- 88.0% (31% vaccinated)
Crowley Co.- 17% vaccinated (Trump- 72.6%)
Connecticut (76% vaccinated, Trump 39.2%)
Litchfield Co.- Trump- 51.7% (64% vaccinated)
Tolland Co,- 57% vaccinated (Trump 43.2%)
Delaware (64% vaccinated, Trump 39.8%)
Sussex Co.- Trump- 55.1% (54% vaccinated)
Kent Co.- 41% vaccinated (Trump 47.1%)
Florida (60% vaccinated, Trump 51.2%)
Holmes Co.- Trump- 89.0% (22% vaccinated)
Idaho (50% vaccinated, Trump 63.8%)
Bear Lake Co.- Trump- 87.9% (35% vaccinated)
Idaho Co.- 23% vaccinated (Trump 81.4%)
Illinois (60% vaccinated, Trump 40.5%)
Edwards Co.- Trump- 84.2% (30% vaccinated)
Alexander Co.- 22% vaccinated (Trump 56.8%)
Indiana (56% vaccinated, Trump 57.0%)
Franklin Co.- Trump- 80.8% (25% vaccinated)
LaGrange Co.- 19% vaccinated (Trump 76.3%)
Iowa (62% vaccinated, Trump 53.1%)
Lyon Co.- Trump- 83.2% (34% vaccinated)
Davis Co.- 30% vaccinated (Trump 73.9%)
Kansas (58% vaccinated, Trump 56.2%)
Wallace Co.- Trump- 93.3% (30% vaccinated)
Neosho Co.- 19% vaccinated (Trump 72.3%)
Kentucky (57% vaccinated, Trump 62.1%)
Leslie Co.- Trump- 89.8% (37% vaccinated)
Jackson Co.- 22% vaccinated (Trump 89.2%)
Louisiana (48% vaccinated, Trump 58.5%)
Cameron Parish- Trump- 90.7% (13% vaccinated)
Maine (75% vaccinated, Trump 44.0%)
Piscataquis Co.- Trump- 62.0% (51% vaccinated)
Somerset Co.- 49% vaccinated (Trump 60.3%)
Maryland (72% vaccinated, Trump 32.1%)
Garrett Co.- Trump- 76.9% (41% vaccinated)
Somerset Co.- 39% vaccinated (Trump 56.6%)
Massachusetts (75% vaccinated, Trump 32.1%)
Bristol Co.- Trump- 42.6% (52% vaccinated)
Hampden Co.- 50% vaccinated (Trump 39.5%)
Michigan (60% vaccinated, Trump 47.8%)
Missaukee Co.- Trump- 75.9% (39% vaccinated)
Hillsdale Co.- 31% vaccinated (Trump 73.1%)
Minnesota (66% vaccinated, Trump 45.3%)
Morrisson Co.- Trump- 75.8% (37% vaccinated)
Wilkin Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump 67.9%)
Mississippi (45% vaccinated, Trump 57.6%)
George Co.- Trump- 87.9% (26% vaccinated)
Smith Co.- 22% vaccinated (Trump 77.5%)
Missouri (52% vaccinated, Trump 56.8%)
Mercer Co.- Trump- 85.8% (26% vaccinated)
Douglas Co- 17% vaccinated (Trump 83.2%)
Montana (55% vaccinated, Trump 56.9%)
Garfield Co.- Trump- 90.0% (16% vaccinated)
McCone Co.- 15% vaccinated (Trump 84.7%)
Nebraska (63% vaccinated, Trump 58.2%)
Grant Co.- Trump- 93.3% (14% vaccinated)
McPherson Co.- 10% vaccinated (Trump 91.1%)
Nevada (56% vaccinated, Trump 47.7%)
Eureka Co.- Trump- 88.0% (21% vaccinated)
Storey Co.- 17% vaccinated (Trump 66.3%)
New Hampshire (69% vaccinated, Trump 45.4%)
Belknap Co.- Trump- 54.3% (52% vaccinated)
New Jersey (72% vaccinated, Trump 41.4%)
Ocean Co.- Trump- 63.5% (44% vaccinated)
Cumberland Co.- 37% vaccinated (Trump 46.3%)
New Mexico (70% vaccinated, Trump 43.5%)
Lea Co.- Trump- 79.0% (% vaccinated)
Union Co.- 18% vaccinated (Trump 77.6%)
New York (70% vaccinated, Trump 37.7%)
Lewis Co.- Trump- 68.7% (42% vaccinated)
Allegany Co.- 35% vaccinated (Trump 68.2%)
North Carolina (54% vaccinated, Trump 49.9%)
Yadkin Co.- Trump- 80.0% (36% vaccinated)
Perquimans Co.- 20% vaccinated (Trump 65.5%)
North Dakota (40% vaccinated, Trump 65.1%)
Slope Co.- Trump- 89.0% (9% vaccinated)
Ohio (58% vaccinated, Trump 53.3%)
Holmes Co.- Trump- 83.2 % (14% vaccinated)
Oklahoma (52% vaccinated, Trump 65.4%)
Cimarron Co.- Trump- % (21% vaccinated)
Oregon (67% vaccinated, Trump 40.4%)
Lake Co.- Trump- 79.5% (31% vaccinated)
Pennsylvania (64% vaccinated, Trump 48.8%)
Fulton Co.- Trump- 85.5% (27% vaccinated)
Rhode Island (73% vaccinated, Trump 38.6%)
Kent Co.- Trump- 42.1% (64% vaccinated)
Providence Co.- 65% vaccinated (Trump 37.6%)
South Carolina (51% vaccinated, Trump 55.1%)
Pickens Co.- Trump- 74.6% (36% vaccinated)
Saluda Co.- 23% vaccinated (Trump 67.0%)
South Dakota (61% vaccinated, Trump 61.8%)
Harding Co.- Trump- 92.0% (13% vaccinated)
Tennessee (49% vaccinated, Trump 60.7%)
Scott Co.- Trump- 88.4% (27% vaccinated)
Moore Co.- 17% vaccinated (Trump 81.6%)
Texas (56% vaccinated, Trump 52.1%)
Roberts Co.- Trump- 96.2% (22% vaccinated)
King Co.- 14% vaccinated (Trump 95.0%)
Utah (60% vaccinated, Trump 58.1%)
Piute Co.- Trump- 88.7% (29% vaccinated)
Juab Co.- 26% vaccinated (Trump 86.7%)
Washington (70% vaccinated, Trump 38.8%)
Lincoln Co.- Trump- 73.2% (41% vaccinated)
Garfield Co.- 36% vaccinated (Trump 71.8%)
Wisconsin (64% vaccinated, Trump 48.8%)
Florence Co.- Trump- 72.5% (39% vaccinated)
Taylor Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump 71.6%)
Wyoming (47% vaccinated, Trump 69.9%)
Crook Co.- Trump- 88.6% (22% vaccinated)
Campbell Co.- 20% vaccinated (Trump 86.8%)
So, in at least a dozen states, the county that voted most heavily for Trump, was also the county with the lowest vaccine rate. Delaware and Rhode Island have too few counties to yield any meaningful stats, but in all the other states, the counties that have the lowest vaccination rates were among Trump's top counties AND the counties that went for Trump by the biggest percentages also have the lowest vaccination rates. This proves that Trump voters tend to be morons and should not be voting on anything that impacts normal people. Most Americans agree:
This morning, Felicia Sonmez and Hannah Knowles, writing for the Washington Post, noted that Republican governors like Greg Abbott, Kristi Noem and Ron DeSantis-- 3 self-styled 2024 presidential contenders-- have become the ugly faces of the new COVID wave. It's not because the wave is so much more devastating there than in normal places, as it is because their policies are the reason for the disasters in their states. "Abbott," they wrote, "has banned local governments from implementing mask requirements even as he pleads for emergency medical help in combating a surge in coronavirus cases from the delta variant. In South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem welcomed hundreds of thousands of revelers to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that last year bore characteristics of a superspreader event for the virus. And in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is waging war on school districts seeking to defy his executive order prohibiting mask mandates for students-- while the state sees its rates of hospitalization from covid surge past the worst levels of 2020."
The 3 of them are the "vanguard of GOP resistance to ending the pandemic public-health mandates aimed at stemming the tide of the delta variant. They and other national and local GOP officials cast their opposition to such measures as an effort to protect personal choice. But some fear the party is on track to make itself the face of the delta variant-- endangering fellow Americans while also risking severe political damage in the long term. 'They’re making a political bet on the lives of the people they serve,' said former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, who has been sharply critical of former president Donald Trump and has formed an exploratory committee for a potential 2022 Maryland gubernatorial bid. 'The party leadership has gone so far out on this limb that there they stand with a saw in their hand and they’re sawing it off.'"
In Congress, there are plenty of extremist Republicans who are backing them up. Rand Paul was suspended from Twitter for sending out lies about efforts to contain the pandemic. He and Ted Cruz seem to have lost their marbles when it comes to the pandemic. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced two bills to ban mask and vaccine mandates.
Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to be vaccinated against covid-19, as well. According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released earlier this month, 90 percent of Democrats say they have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, compared with 54 percent of Republicans.
Vaccination mandates for government workers or nursing home staff have overwhelmingly come from Democratic-led states, though in liberal Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) recently joined Virginia in ordering state workers to get vaccinated or face regular virus testing.
And while many Republican governors turned to statewide mask mandates during last summer’s Sun Belt surge of the virus, this year is different, as some leaders move to block cities, school districts and companies from making their own mask or vaccine requirements.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) recently said he regrets signing a bill barring local mask mandates as the delta variant fuels a surge and open ICU beds in the state dwindle to single digits. But other GOP governors are not swayed.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has stuck by the law he signed earlier this summer forbidding schools from mandating masks or proof of vaccination. In South Carolina, where the state budget prohibits school mask mandates, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) this week accused experts and the media of “unnecessarily alarming people” about the virus and emphasized his belief that parents should choose whether their children wear face coverings.
Abbott has asked hospitals to halt non-emergency medical procedures as thousands of covid-19 patients strain wards already struggling with a shortage of nurses. But he kept his order banning local mask and vaccine mandates, despite growing defiance and legal challenges.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Tuesday got a temporary restraining order on Abbott’s ban as Dallas city school officials require students and staff to wear masks in campus buildings. “Dallas County citizens will be irreparably harmed if Judge Jenkins cannot initiate appropriate mitigation strategies,” a civil district court judge wrote. Another temporary restraining order cleared the way Tuesday for San Antonio and Bexar County to mandate masks in schools as well.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa on Tuesday accused Abbott of blocking local covid-19 measures for “political reasons because he wants to ensure that he gets elected in his primary, which is controlled primarily by people who are anti-vaccine people and anti-maskers.” Abbott faces multiple conservative challengers, including former Texas Republican Party chairman Allen West, who once protested Abbott’s earlier coronavirus restrictions outside the governor’s mansion.
...DeSantis, too, has made opposition to covid-19 rules a key part of his political branding. This summer, his political team started selling “Don’t Fauci My Florida” beer koozies and T-shirts as he said that the state had chosen “freedom” over the pandemic precautions advocated by White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci.
He doubled down as the delta variant pushed covid-19 hospitalizations in Florida to record highs. This week, DeSantis threatened to withhold the pay of school officials who defy his executive order barring campus mask mandates, which criticized the Biden administration for “unscientific and inconsistent recommendations that school-aged children wear masks.” He also vowed to appeal a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block his ban on vaccine passports and allow a cruise company to require immunization against the coronavirus.
...Some current and former Republicans said they think a worsening covid-19 surge could eventually force governors to change course.
“I do think as this begins to take more and more of a toll, the political reality may begin to shift,” said Arkansas state Sen. Jim Hendren (I), a former GOP leader in the state legislature who this year left the party. “We are literally at a crisis.”
At a Tuesday news briefing, Hutchinson-- who is Hendren’s uncle-- echoed health leaders’ alarm about spiking infections and increasingly young people hospitalized. “I think we’re in worse position, in terms of our ICU beds, than we were in January,” he said.
Yet Hendren has little hope that Arkansas legislators will follow Hutchinson’s call to undo the measure. At a Tuesday afternoon committee meeting, Republican lawmakers were talking about banning companies from instituting vaccine requirements, after Walmart and Tyson Foods-- both headquartered in Arkansas-- mandated vaccines for their employees.
“Right now,” Hendren said, “it’s more a game of defense, of stopping them from making it even worse.”
It's like we're in two different countries, isn't it? Maybe it's time.