Yesterday I listed about 2 dozen counties with vaccination rates below 20%. What they have in common is that they are all counties that gave Trump landslide victories in 2020. One, King County, Texas, is 15% vaccinated and gave Trump 95% of its votes. In fact, there is not a single county in America where less than a third of the people is vaccinated that didn't back Trump by a wide margin! Here's the list from yesterday:
Slope Co., ND- 9% vaccinated, 89.0%Trump voters
McPherson Co., SD- 10% vaccinated, 81.2%Trump voters
McPherson Co., NE- 12% vaccinated, 91.1%Trump voters
Miller Co., AR- 12% vaccinated, 72.1%Trump voters
King Co., TX- 15% vaccinated, 95.0%Trump voters
Harding Co., SD- 15% vaccinated, 92.0%Trump voters
Cameron Parish, LA- 15% vaccinated, 90.7%Trump voters
McCone Co, MT- 16% vaccinated, 84.7%Trump voters
Holmes Co., OH- 16% vaccinated, 83.2%Trump voters
McKenzie Co., ND- 17% vaccinated, 82.7%Trump voters
Arthur Co., NE- 17% vaccinated, 91.2%Trump voters
Grant Co. NE- 17% vaccinated, 93.3%Trump voters
Logan Co., NE- 17% vaccinated, 90.4%Trump voters
Garfield Co., MT- 17% vaccinated, 94.0%Trump voters
Gaines Co., TX- 18% vaccinated, 89.3%Trump voters
Loving Co., TX- 18% vaccinated, 90.9%Trump voters
Grant Co., ND- 18% vaccinated, 82.9%Trump voters
Storey Co., NV- 18% vaccinated, 66.3%Trump voters
Powder River Co., MT- 19% vaccinated, 85.4%Trump voters
Billings Co., ND- 19% vaccinated, 85.2%Trump voters
Moore Co., TN- 19% vaccinated, 81.6%Trump voters
Winston Co., AL- 19% vaccinated, 90.3%Trump voters
Crowley Co., CO- 19% vaccinated, 72.6%Trump voters
Imagine what it must be like to live in a place like Slope County, in a state, North Dakota, where COVID is raging but where only 9% pf the people are fully vaccinated. Would you want your family there? Among those people? It's the least-populated county in the state, in the southwest corner and 99.84% of the people are white-- the whitest county in America... without a single black person living there. The last time a Democratic presidential candidate won in Slope County was when the GOP ran Barry Goldwater in 1964. Twenty years before that, there was also a Democratic win-- when FDR beat Thomas Dewey 439 (50.0%) to 434 (49.4%).
Slope County isn't a very productive area and the per capital income is just $24,824. The population of the county has gone down in every single census since 1920 (when it stayed the same). All the counties around it all just like it too-- unvaccinated, unproductive, Republican hellholes. This corner of the state is dragging North Dakota, which is just 44% vaccinated, down. The state ranks number 2-- just behind Tennessee (another backward Republican hellhole)-- as the site of the most COVID-cases per capital: 169,527 per million, worse than anyplace on earth other than 3 spots the size of postage stamps.
Billings Co.- % Trump (19% vaccinated)
Stark Co.- % Trump (30% vaccinated)
Hettinger Co.- % Trump (33% vaccinated)
Adams Co.- 77.3% Trump (42% vaccinated)
Bowman Co.- 84.2% Trump (33% vaccinated)
Golden Valley Co.- 84.9%% Trump (24% vaccinated)
Fallon Co., Montana- 87.3% Trump (29% vaccinated)
It's backward Trump counties like Slope and its neighbors that are holding America back statistically. And that wouldn't matter if these counties had a high wall around them that no one could get out of without a fool-proof document showing they are fully documented. Instead, the people living in counties like Slope as not just morons without the sense to be able to come anywhere near normal people but morons who breed variants and spread deadly disease (and QAnon-grade idiocy).
This morning, The Hill asked why the U.S. is "falling behind the rest of the developed world in COVID-19 vaccinations? As of mid-September, according to Oxford University, 63% of Americans had been fully or partially vaccinated. That’s lower than Canada (75%), France (74%), Italy (73%), the U.K. (71%), Israel (69%), Germany (66%) and Japan (66%)." Yes, it's basically the Trump voters. Among 2020 Biden voters, 91% are fully vaccinated. Among 2020 Trump voters just 50% are, about the same percentage as Mexico-- better than India but worse that Turkey.
"A lot of the explanation is political," wrote Bill Schneider. "In the July Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Monitor, 86 percent of Democrats said they had received at least one vaccination shot. Among Republicans, the figure was 54 percent. That’s a huge difference between the two parties (over 30 percent). Education was also significant: college graduates were 81 percent vaccinated, non-college graduates 61 percent-- a 20-point gap. Differences by sex and race were smaller (under 10 percent). Two factors appear to be driving vaccine hesitancy in the U.S.-- ideology and education. Less-educated Americans can be described as skeptical. Conservatives are hostile."
And what happens when you put very conservative and very uneducated together? You get a typical Trump voter-- and a moron who is dangerous to those around him and to society in general. It makes you think that COVID is part of natural selection proving Darwin's theory that the least fit do not survive. "Skepticism," wrote Schneider, "is diminishing as deaths continue to mount. But ideological hostility is resistant to change. It originates in politics and can only be defeated politically."
The KFF survey identified “two distinct groups” of unvaccinated Americans-- those who were open to getting a vaccine and said they would “wait and see” (13 percent of the public) and the roughly equal group who said they would “definitely not” get vaccinated. The “wait and see” group were less educated and included a higher proportion of minorities. They tended to be skeptical about the effectiveness of vaccines and confused by inconsistent messages coming from the government and medical authorities (most recently, about the need for booster shots).
Those who said they would “definitely not” be vaccinated were mostly white, male, Republican and intensely opposed to vaccination mandates. What turns them off is “mandates” more than “vaccines.” After all, a majority of Republicans-- including Donald Trump-- have been vaccinated (54 percent in the July KFF survey). They acted to protect themselves, which shows that they [or that portion of them] are not stupid.
Some conservatives who shun vaccines are seeking unconventional treatments, like injections of monoclonal antibodies, which are costly, time consuming and do nothing to stop the spread of the disease. Some are touting ivermectin, a treatment for parasitic infections in animals-- horse dewormer-- that has never been shown to be effective against COVID-19. [That doesn't sound stupid?]
Conservatives are embracing these unconventional treatments because they are not mandated by government. They believe treatment and prevention should be entirely a matter of personal choice, not government mandates. Their concern is for private health not public health-- even though COVID, like drunk driving, is not just a threat to one’s self. Because it is highly contagious, it’s also a threat to others.
Some Republicans argue that they are pro-vaccination and anti-mandate. Glenn Youngkin, Republican candidate for governor of Virginia this year, said in a debate, “I have been a strong advocate for everyone to get the vaccine.” As long as they are not required by law to get it. “Individuals should be allowed to make that decision on their own,” Youngkin added.
A spokeswoman for Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis went so far as to argue that “overreaching government mandates can make people even more hesitant to get the vaccine.” Maybe some conservatives, but the fact is, most Americans support President Biden’s vaccine mandates: 60 percent favor mandating vaccination or regular testing for employees of large businesses. Over 60 percent favor requiring masks in schools and public places. Majorities oppose state laws like the one in Florida that ban mask requirements.
“We said yes to science,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said after decisively beating the effort to recall him this month. “We said yes to vaccines. We said yes to ending the pandemic.” President Biden said in California, “This vote is a resounding win for the approach [Gov. Newsom] and I share ... Americans are unifying behind taking these steps to get the pandemic behind us.”
That was true, at least in California where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly two to one. In the exit poll, the pandemic was the top issue to California voters, and those concerned about it voted 80 percent against recalling the governor. Nearly two-thirds said Newsom’s mandate policies were “about right” or “not strict enough.”
Perhaps most revealing, only one-third of California voters said they considered getting the vaccine “a personal choice.” Those who felt that way voted 85 percent to recall Newsom. Nearly two-thirds called vaccination a “public health responsibility.” They voted 83 percent against recalling the governor.
To conservatives, health is a wholly individual responsibility. “Public health” sounds too much like collectivism. And collectivism gives conservatives a nosebleed.
Gov. Newsom defined the race as a referendum on extremism. “This is about weaponizing this office for an extreme national agenda,” Newsom said. Presumably he was referring to the “extreme” laws Republican state governments have been passing all over the country-- not just laws banning vaccination mandates and mask-wearing, but also laws restricting voting rights and curbing abortion rights.
In this way, California may give Democrats a strategy for countering the conventional wisdom-- that the 2022 midterm is likely to see a big Republican wave.
Keep in mind, California is not all the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. The state also has pockets of all white, rural, uneducated, right-wing morons living in proximity of each other in backward, unproductive parts of the state. Remember that although Trump won just 34.3% of California votes, more Californians voted for Trump than Texans or Floridians of Americans from any other state. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it! The half dozen counties that were most Trump-friendly in 2020 are also the least vaccinated in a state where 59% are fully vaccinated:
Lassen Co.- 74.5% (30% fully vaccinated)
Modoc Co.- 71.2% (no county stats, because no one living there can count over 10)
Tehama Co.- 66.6% (33% fully vaccinated)
Shasta Co.- 65.4% (41% fully vaccinated)
Glenn Co.- 62.5% (45% fully vaccinated)
Amador Co.- 60.7% (47% fully vaccinated)
These are the half dozen California counties with the fewest Trump voters (along with their vaccination rates):
San Francisco Co.- 12.7% (73% fully vaccinated)
Marin Co.- 15.8% (77% fully vaccinated)
Alameda Co.- 17.6% (69% fully vaccinated)
Santa Cruz Co.- 18.5% (68% fully vaccinated)
San Mateo Co.- 20.2% (71% fully vaccinated)
Sonoma Co.- 23.0% (67% fully vaccinated)
The counties in the first batch have already voted to secede from California. How about if we just give each family that wants to leave, a few thousand dollars-- whatever it takes-- and a one-way ticket to Idaho, Wyoming, a Dakota, Florida or Mississippi-- along with a signed ("x"s permitted) notarized, binding agreement that they and their immediate descendants-- let's say 2 or 3 generations worth-- will never return?