Yesterday, the NY Times published heat maps showing we have "a far higher share of seniors without full vaccine protection than many other wealthy countries, a key risk factor driving serious Covid-19 illness and death... [N]ational averages mask the high rate of older Americans who remain deeply vulnerable. Older people still account for most Covid-19 deaths, and in many counties, especially in the South and Mountain West, seniors without full vaccination make up more than 10 percent of the total population... By contrast, unvaccinated seniors in Britain, Spain and Canada are relatively rare... That discrepancy may help explain why the Delta wave has led to such a higher rate of death in the United States than in Britain, public health experts say. Although cases surged in both countries, those cases caused many fewer hospitalizations and deaths in Britain, suggesting that vaccines had weakened the link between infection and serious disease... The Delta variant has hit many areas with clusters of vulnerable seniors particularly hard. Low elderly vaccination rates in Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana and Nevada have coincided with surging rates of hospitalization and death."
And right on cue, Arkansas reported yesterday that the state has run out of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients-- and right "as a surge in cases continued overwhelming hospitals in the state... The number of virus patients in ICUs and on ventilators reached a new high in the state on Monday... Arkansas ranks fifth in the country for new cases per capita, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University researchers. Arkansas has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with 40% of the state’s population fully vaccinated."
40% is very low, but there are counties in Arkansas that aren't even close to 40%. Miller County is only 10% fully vaccinated and there are 17 counties where less than 30% of the people are vaccinated. Obviously these are the Trump counties:
Miller Co.- 10% vaccinated (Trump- 72.1%)
Hempstead Co.- 22% vaccinated (Trump- 65.3%)
Little River Co.- 22% vaccinated (Trump- 71.8%)
Fulton Co.- 24% vaccinated (Trump- 77.4%)
Lee Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump- 45.1%)
Polk Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump- 82.9%)
Newton Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump- 79.8%)
Lincoln Co.- 26% vaccinated (Trump- 70.4%)
Calhoun Co.- 27% vaccinated (Trump- 75.0%)
Marion Co.- 27% vaccinated (Trump- 77.1%)
Nevada Co.- 27% vaccinated (Trump- 63.5%)
Lafayette Co.- 27% vaccinated (Trump- 65.6%)
Izard Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump- 79.7%)
Boone Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump- 80.0%)
Randolph Co.- 29% vaccinated (Trump- 78.6%)
Jackson Co.- 29% vaccinated (Trump- 70.6%)
Mississippi Co.- 29% vaccinated (Trump- 59.1%)
And the county with the highest percentage of Trump voters-- Searcy County (83.7%)-- is just 31% vaccinated. The county with the lowest percentage of Trump voters-- Pulaski (37.5%), which is Little Rock-- has 45% of it's people fully vaccinated, the highest in the state.
A case can be made that people who lived through 4 years of Trump and then voted for him again, are not just too stupid to vote, but too stupid to live-- especially if they both voted for Trump and decided to not get vaccinated. However, I want to remind you about condemning, even in your mind, whole states or counties. Last year, 760,647 voters (62.4%) in Arkansas picked Trump, but 423,932 voters (34.8%) voted for Biden. 423,932 is a lot of people who did not vote for the fascist. 8 Arkansas counties went for Biden. And even in the worst, most Trump-afflicated county-- Searcy-- 14.6% of the voters went for Biden and in total 16.3% of voters rejected Trump, not to mention all the people who decided not to participate in a lesser-of-two evils election. So... if you want to pray that every anti-vax Trump voter dies, that's one thing... but don't wish that on whole states, regions or counties!
Many of those red Trump states afflicted with horrendous COVID outbreaks now have millions of people who hate Trump as much as you do and have gone out and gotten vaccinated. These are the 5 states that contributed the most raw votes to Trump's defeat in 2020:
New York- 5,230,985
Would you have guessed that Florida and Texas both have more anti-Trump voters than New York, let alone Massachusetts? They're our brothers and sisters in the struggle against fascism and for Justice and equality.
Pandemic-wise, Texas is in terrible shape right now. Even the NRA cancelled its annual convention, scheduled to take place in Houston, because of the COVID pandemic. "The NRA’s top priority," they wrote in a statement to their members, "is ensuring the health and well-being of our members, staff, sponsors, and supporters. We are mindful that NRA Annual Meeting patrons will return home to family, friends and co-workers from all over the country, so any impacts from the virus could have broader implications."
Last week, the Texas Tribune reported that the second most populous state in the nation is running out of ICU beds, impacting not just backward, primitive areas filled with hateful Trump voters, but also counties filled with millions of normal people, like El Paso (66.8% Biden), Travis (71.6% Biden), Harris (56.0% Biden), Dallas (65.1% Biden)...
"More Texas hospitals," wrote Karen Harper and Carla Astudillo, "are reporting a shortage of ICU beds than at any other time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state 18 months ago-- just one sign among many that the health crisis is on track to reach its most dangerous phase yet, health officials say. The latest surge of the virus has also caused new cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations to rise with record speed to just below their January peaks, as the highly contagious delta variant rips through the unvaccinated community at a rate up to eight times faster than earlier strains, officials said. 'We are entering the worst surge in sheer numbers,' said Dr. Mark Casanova, a palliative care specialist in Dallas and a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force. 'This is the fourth round of what should have been a three-round fight. We do have very sincere concerns that the numbers game is going to overwhelm us.' Between 93% and 98% of hospitalized COVID patients, depending on the area, are unvaccinated, officials said. With just under half of Texans fully vaccinated, the state still has some 16 million people who have yet to be protected from the virus. And they are filling the state’s intensive care units rapidly... The state has asked the federal government for five mortuary trailers in anticipation of a potential spike in deaths, which are climbing again after a low in July..."
Meanwhile, the ideologically-driven crackpot governor is fighting with local governments that have instituted mask mandates. The battle is taking place in courts all over the state, as Abbott and his criminal Attorney General, Ken Paxton dispute the right of local governments to protect its citizens. [Abbott and Paxton lost in court today.]
I know it sounds nearly unfathomable, but 4 backward red counties in Texas have fewer than 20% of their people fully vaccinated-- even as cases and deaths spiral in the state. Yesterday Texas once again had the second most new cases in the country-- after Florida-- reporting 17,403 and bringing the total number to 3,498,013, or 120,638 cases per million Texans. Texas reported the most new COVID-related deaths yesterday-- 215, more than the next two states combined.
King Co.- 13% vaccinated (Trump- 95.0%)
Gaines Co.- 15% vaccinated (Trump- 89.3%)
Loving Co.- 18% vaccinated (Trump- 90.9%)
Newton Co.- 19% vaccinated (Trump- 80.1%)
Sure, most of these people are morons. But remember, even in pathetic King County, there were 8 people who voted against Trump-- and 5% of the residents are fully vaccinated, just like normal people. They deserve our prayers and even admiration, not our scorn.