As of yesterday, 57.83% of Americans were fully vaccinated, an horrendously low percentage, although better than Yemen (1.16%), Cameroon (1.85%) and Papua New Guinea (1.99%) or even India (29.55%). In terms of countries more like the U.S., we're at the bottom of the barrel:
Chile- 82.97% (mask mandate in place)
Italy- 72.70% (Unvaccinated unwelcome in restaurants, theaters, sporting events)
Austria- 64.74 (10-day lockdown starts Monday)
USA- 57.83 (weak leadership/no political will for lockdowns or mandates)
And why? Red states, of course. These are the states that are under 50% fully vaccinated-- along with their percentage of votes who picked Trump in 2016:
West Virginia- 42% fully vaccinated, 68.6% fully Trumpified
Wyoming- 45% fully vaccinated, 69.9% fully Trumpified
Idaho- 45% fully vaccinated, 63.8% fully Trumpified
Alabama- 46% fully vaccinated, 62.0% fully Trumpified
Mississippi- 47% fully vaccinated, 57.6% fully Trumpified
North Dakota- 49% fully vaccinated, 65.1% fully Trumpified
Tennessee- 49% fully vaccinated, 60.7% fully Trumpified
Arkansas- 49% fully vaccinated, 62.4% fully Trumpified
Louisiana- 49% fully vaccinated, 58.5% fully Trumpified
Georgia- 49% fully vaccinated, 49.2% fully Trumpified
And when you get down to a county level, it's really shocking-- counties with 90% Trumpification and a less than 20% vaccination rate! In all, less than 60% of Republicans are vaccinated, compared to 90% of Democrats. That, of course, doesn't stop the GOP from blaming Biden for the ongoing pandemic. During his anti-Build Back Better marathon last week, McCarthy insisted Biden was to blame for the country’s failure to quell the pandemic.
Jonathan Weisman this morning: "McCarthy used this line of attack even as members of his own Republican Party have spent months flouting mask ordinances and blocking the president’s vaccine mandates, and the party’s base has undermined vaccination drives while rallying around those who refuse the vaccine. Intensive care units and morgues have been strained to capacity by the unvaccinated, a demographic dominated by those who voted last year for President Donald J. Trump. As of mid-September, 90 percent of adult Democrats had been vaccinated, compared with 58 percent of adult Republicans. Yet McCarthy, the House Republican leader, pressed his point: 'I took President Biden at his word; I took him at his word when he said he was going to get Covid under control,' he declared in the dead of night. 'Unfortunately, more Americans have died this year than last year under Covid.'"
As cases surge once again in some parts of the country, Republicans have hit on a new line of attack: The president has failed on a central campaign promise, to tame the pandemic that his predecessor systematically downplayed. Democrats are incredulous, dismissing the strategy as another strand of spaghetti thrown at the wall.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates hit back hard: “If Covid-19 and inflation had lobbyists to help them kill more American jobs, Kevin McCarthy would be their favorite member of Congress,” he said. “He is actively undermining the fight against Covid, which is driving inflation.”
And Chris Taylor, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called House Republicans “Covid’s biggest promoter” for “recklessly hand-waving lifesaving vaccines” and for promoting ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug falsely said to cure Covid-19.
“When Republicans abandoned the American people in the middle of a global crisis, House Democrats amped up vaccine distribution to crush the pandemic, reopened schools, small businesses and delivered a massive monthly middle-class tax cut,” Taylor said.
...The Thanksgiving wave is the latest surprise in a pandemic that is nearing its two-year mark. The nation’s 14-day average of new infections is up 25 percent, to over 94,000 new cases a day, with the upper Midwest again the hottest of hot spots. At the same time, the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines is holding, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unvaccinated people are 5.8 times as likely to test positive than fully vaccinated people, and 14 times as likely to die if infected.
The partisan gap in infection and vaccination rates is only slightly narrowing. The most Republican counties have 2.78 times as many new cases than the most Democratic counties, down from three times as many a month ago, according to the Democratic health care analyst Charles Gaba, using data from Johns Hopkins University. The death rate in those Republican counties is nearly six times as high as the death rate in the Democratic counties.
...Republican lawmakers are continuing to try to block vaccine mandates at the local, state and federal levels. In September, a proposal by Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas, an obstetrician, to block the use of federal funds to carry out the president’s vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees failed by one vote, after all 50 Republicans in the Senate backed it.
Later that month, Republican senators introduced legislation to prohibit federal agencies from requiring proof of vaccination. And Marshall and 10 other senators wrote a letter this month to Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, vowing to “oppose all efforts to implement and enforce” vaccine mandates “with every tool at our disposal, including our votes on spending measures.”
As McCarthy faulted Biden for failing to stop the virus, he also criticized him for demanding people get vaccinated, even health care workers. Biden, he said, “fired workers who were working because they wouldn’t comply with his Covid mandates. These were the same people who were heroes a year before.”
Instead of comparing counties in a very blue state or a very red state, let's take a state with about the same number of red counties as blue counties: Maine. The state is 72% fully vaccinated, one of the best records in the country. But in the bluest counties rates are high and in the reddest counties, rates are low. Last year Maine went for Biden 435,072 (53.1%) to 360,737 (44.0%). The southern part of the state voted blue and the rural northern and western counties went for Trump. In all, the state has 16 counties. Here's how they voted (blue to red) and what proportion of their residents are vaccinated:
Cumberland Co.- 30.7% Trump (79% vaccinated)
Knox Co.- 38.2% Trump (76% vaccinated)
Sagadahoc Co.- 40.6% Trump (72% vaccinated)
York Co.- 42.3% Trump (74% vaccinated)
Hancock Co.- 42.4% Trump (70% vaccinated)
Lincoln Co.- 43.5% Trump (74% vaccinated)
Waldo Co.- 46.0% Trump (65% vaccinated)
Kennebec Co.- 48.3% Trump (65% vaccinated)
Franklin Co.- 49.7% Trump (59% vaccinated)
Androscoggin Co.- 49.8% Trump (63% vaccinated)
Penobscot Co.- 52.6% Trump (65% vaccinated)
Oxford Co.- 52.8% Trump (62% vaccinated)
Washington Co.- 58.7% Trump (66% vaccinated)
Aroostook Co.- 59.0% Trump (63% vaccinated)
Somerset Co.- 60.3% Trump (57% vaccinated)
Piscataquis Co.- 62.0% Trump (58% vaccinated)