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No, This Is NOT a Pandemic of the Unvaccinated
This is a pandemic of failed leadership by America's ruling parties. And the most vulnerable citizens have paid the highest price.
Donald Trump’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic caused countless preventable deaths, for which he should be held liable. Similarly, Joe Biden should be accountable for the preventable death and suffering during his presidency. Both pandemic presidents have prioritized corporate interests above human lives, placing profit over public safety — with predictable results: “The top 1% gained over $6.5 trillion in corporate equities and mutual fund wealth during the pandemic.”
Both pandemic presidents have blamed the other party for their own mistakes. And both pandemic presidents have relied on lies and spin to appease their supporters and conceal the depth of their failure to protect the public. The NY Times reports that COVID-19 is “killing Americans at far higher rates than people in other wealthy nations.” According to the Times, “Since Dec. 1, the share of Americans who have been killed by the coronavirus is at least 63 percent higher than in any of these other large, wealthy nations.”
Biden came into office on the promise of competence, all but guaranteeing voters he would end the pandemic.
But as we approach a million coronavirus deaths a year into Biden’s presidency, it’s clear that pushing vaccines was his administration’s only mitigation strategy, and that protecting the billionaire class was his top priority.
The pandemic has been fertile ground for Republican and Democratic propaganda. The GOP has reinforced Trumpism, doing everything in its power to push conspiracies and stoke hostility and resistance to vaccines, masks, and other mitigation measures. Through Fox News and other rightwing media outlets, Republicans have managed to convince the vast majority of their voters that the coronavirus is barely a cold and that nearly a million deaths are insignificant.
Similarly, Democratic Party leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, who are unparalleled masters at theatrics, have manipulated their base with focus-grouped slogans that keep supporters loyal and distracted. Let’s look at two interconnected myths disseminated by Democratic politicians, liberal pundits and corporate media outlets:
This is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” and anti-vaxxers are responsible for all coronavirus deaths under Biden.
Omicron is “mild,” so uncontrolled spread is acceptable and schools and businesses must stay open.
Falsely claiming Omicron is mild has led to one of the most egregious and reckless public policies in recent memory: forcing workers and children into a gigantic wave of a virus that has serious and unpredictable long-term effects. No words can capture the callousness of U.S. government policy, which amounts to “make them work and go to school, get sick, contract long COVID, and in some cases, die.”
Medical experts have warned that it is reckless to downplay the risks of Omicron and other variants, particularly to vulnerable populations. We still do not know how this virus is behaving in the long term.
Like the GOP, the Democratic Party’s laissez-faire strategy of uncontrolled spread is nothing short of criminal. The disabled, the immunocompromised, those who lack healthcare, and children who can’t get vaccinated or whose parents won’t vaccinate them are paying the highest price:
During the peak of the Omicron wave (which is still killing tens of thousands of Americans every week), government officials have categorically refused to allow a remote option — just an option — for parents, teachers, school administrators, health care workers, and other school officials.
Claiming kids are unaffected by the virus is an outright lie. December hospitalization rates in New York State increased 1047% for ages 12–18. Alarmingly, 26% of those hospitalized kids were fully vaccinated.
Democrats and liberals rationalize this brazen disregard for vulnerable people by blaming everything on Trump and his supporters. While it is true that resistance to vaccines and masks has made things worse, the phrase “pandemic of the unvaccinated” is demonstrably false.
Biden and Democratic leaders have been abject failures at containing the spread of the virus because of their own actions and decisions. As Dr. Steven Thrasher explains:
A mantra of successful health campaigns is “make the healthy choice the easy choice”. But the Biden administration has been intent on making matters that should be easy difficult, prioritizing rules and regulations over results, deferring to private industry in matters of state responsibility, burdening individuals already at their breaking points, adding cumbersome barriers of time and logistics, being too slow, and displaying too much contempt and too little urgency in responding to cries for help.
From day one, the Biden approach has been to encourage vaccines, pursue virtually no other mitigation tactics, and to blame those who won’t get vaccinated for the pandemic. It is cynical and disgusting.
Moreover, to appease their corporate donors, establishment Democrats played into the myth that the pandemic was going away and could be ignored, which has only encouraged anti-vaxxers:
Just like the GOP, the Democratic Party has downplayed the pandemic, even in the face of the eye-popping Omicron surge. Within weeks of taking office, Biden and other Democratic leaders predicted independence from COVID by July 4th. As I wrote previously:
In a Mission Accomplished moment, Democrats forecast independence from the pandemic by July 4th. A Bloomberg story said “a triumphant President Joe Biden all but announced an end to the pandemic in the U.S.” Joe Manchin predicted, “you're going to see it's getting back to normal.” “Doesn’t the air smell so much sweeter without our masks?” asked Jill Biden.
“Pandemic of the unvaccinated” is propaganda to lull Democrats and liberals by reassuring them that there’s a vast swath of Republicans who are unvaccinated and only those people will feel the effects of the virus. Which is flatly untrue. The NY Times chart below shows that most Americans are vaccinated.
Omicron has raced through unvaccinated and vaccinated populations. And though the vaccinated are far more likely to avoid hospitalization and death, they are not immune to serious illness and long COVID. Not to mention the severe risk to vulnerable populations, which “pandemic of the unvaccinated” purposely overlooks.
No, Omicron is not “mild” and this is not a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” And just because Trump isn’t writing mean tweets, mass death shouldn’t become acceptable.
Trump’s lies cost lives. And Biden’s lies are costing lives.