Mind the Gap

An article from the New York Times showed up on my newsfeed this morning. The headline of the article was…

Gee, what a shocker. Vaccines to protect people from getting COVID-19 or from getting as severely sick from the disease if they do get it, arrived in early 2020. But with the partisan attitudes toward them so different, a gap in Covid’s death toll quickly emerged. In brief, the gap in Covid’s death toll between red (Republican) and blue (Democratic) states in America has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point.

In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from Covid, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened.

Counties where Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote have an even higher average Covid death toll than counties where Trump won at least 60 percent. As a result, Covid deaths have been concentrated in counties outside of major metropolitan areas. Many of these are in red states, while others are in red parts of blue or purple states, like Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Virginia, and even California.

The explanation for that growing gap is simple: the vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe Covid, and yet almost 40 percent of Republican adults remain unvaccinated, compared with about 10 percent of Democratic adults.

As the Times article points out, irrational fears about vaccine side effects have overwhelmed rational fears about a deadly virus. It stems from disinformation — promoted by right-wing media outlets, like Fox News, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, One America News Network, and online sources — that prey on distrust and fear mongering from those on the right, including Republican politicians.

The bottom line is that conservative Americans (Republicans) will probably continue to suffer an outsized amount of unnecessary illness and death.

Shouldn’t Donald Trump be held accountable?

38 thoughts on “Mind the Gap

  1. Mister Bump UK November 8, 2021 / 1:41 pm

    No, because ultimately we are all responsible for our own actions.

    One of the other implications of those numbers is that even in parts of the country with a heavily unvaccinated population, for vaccinated people, covid is unlikely to be fatal.

    So, whilst I’d fully support your “support the science” approach, that approach extends to vaccinated people being able to do what they want, regard to whether anybody around them is vaccinated or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lolsy's Library November 8, 2021 / 8:48 pm

      So you don’t think Trump has any responsibility? One of the biggest issues in the US, is the education. Thanks to Trump, that has been really exposed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lolsy's Library November 8, 2021 / 9:17 pm

      No you DON’T “support the science”. Do you know how many people, polio “wasn’t fatal too”? There was a lot. My great grandmother for one, she lost half a leg and her pelvis was twisted, but polio wasn’t “fatal” for her. You know what she did? Still got her children, and her grand children vaccinated against it, and all the others too. That’s what caring people, who think of others DO. For those who also don’t find COVID “fatal” for them, do you know the number of people who CONTINUE to have long term affects? God knows, what the even LONGER term affects are, years from now. Bet you don’t, because they didn’t die. So it doesn’t count, right? Polio, as an example, can STILL affect people up to 40 years later…But that’s okay, because they didn’t die. Right? So, by your logic we shouldn’t get vaccinated, because it’s not “fatal” for everyone. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like some other people.
      https://www.marchofdimes.org/news/after-effects-of-polio-can-harm-survivors-40-years-later.aspx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 8, 2021 / 10:33 pm

      I am fully vaccinated, but I am reluctant to “do what I want,” like eating dinner in a restaurant or going to a movie or a concert or even to a museum because I know there are others who refuse to wear masks or to get vaccinated. Those people, who are so concerned about their freedom to be selfish assholes, are infringing upon my freedom to do some of the things I’d like to do, but which I won’t because I don’t want to get even a mild case of COVID-19. So because of those selfish assholes, I have become close to being a shut-in.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mister Bump UK November 8, 2021 / 11:25 pm

        Okay, but let’s be clear. You are discarding the statistics which say “you are far more likely to be affected unvaccinated than vaccinated”, and saying that, even then, the risk is too high.

        I think it’ll be a long time before we get a vaccine which is 100% effective.
        I think it’ll be an even longer time before 100% of the population is vaccinated.
        So really, you’ve made a life decision. That you’ll never enjoy these things again. You’ll turn into a very grumpt 90 yo, you know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 1:09 pm

          I’m not sure what you mean when you say, “you are far more likely to be affected unvaccinated than vaccinated.” Please clarify, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mister Bump UK November 9, 2021 / 1:30 pm

            That is what the numbers you presented are telling you.
            In “unvaccinated” areas, you would expect general levels to be higher, right? Just because on of the ways the vaccines work is by halting the spread.
            So, all other things being equal, higher infections in the population equals higher infection rates in unvaccinated people.

            But we don’t see that, do we? We actually see the opposite. Therefore, the vaccinated people living in unvaccinated areas are protected because they themselves got the jab.

            Okay I cut various corners there, but do you see where I’m coming from?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 1:42 pm

              Yes, I see, but I’m not sure I understand the relevance.

              Like

            • Mister Bump UK November 9, 2021 / 1:51 pm

              Well, it goes to not mastering what other people do, so long as you yourself are vaccinated.
              The efficacy of the vaccines are about 90%, but you seem to be saying is, you want a higher certainty. I don’t think we’ll get that. Regardless of people not being vaccinated, all these variants are popping up.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 2:40 pm

              But if more people got vaccinated and we truly reached “herd immunity,” I would feel more confident and comfortable with dining in restaurants or going to movie theaters. And, there would less of a likelihood of variants taking hold. So, yes, I resent those who refuse to get vaccinated for stupid, selfish reasons.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Mister Bump UK November 9, 2021 / 7:57 pm

              I think the keyword there, though is comfortable. Bear in mind we live in societies which broadly teach us to be selfish, I doubt many people care about your comfort levels.

              It’s interesting, actually, because masking up here is optional. You go into shops, some are and some aren’t. But buses tend to be used by older people, and there, nobody ever unmasked. Everybody will be vaccinated, but people will mask up anyway.
              I think the generation who use buses would be happy if you felt more comfortable, but I’m not sure the population in general cares much.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 10:56 pm

              “…I’m not sure the population in general cares much.” And there’s the rub.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Mister Bump UK November 9, 2021 / 11:55 pm

              This is the other side of the coin – to having billionaires running around the place.

              Like

  2. newepicauthor November 8, 2021 / 1:45 pm

    Trump is responsible for most of the problems that this country is facing today, but it seems like he will never be held accountable.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Marleen November 9, 2021 / 6:20 am

        There was a sibling, last night on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show, of one of the jerks (a dentist who does know how to wear his mask) in congress who has threatened AOC. She says something (about legal criminality) should be done concerning her own brother. There are a bunch of siblings who all say he’s nuts.

        https://heavy.com/news/2018/07/paul-gosar-dentist-body-language-strzok-video/

        This one sibling asked the AG where he is. I hope only his timing seems off. I know he has to build a solid case with a cohesive presentation that sticks — for any subject matter. Still, when the sister said what she said, I said, “Thank you!”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lou Carreras November 8, 2021 / 7:22 pm

    Way, way back when I was still involved in the medical and surgical world we’d occasionally see people presenting with “Secondary Lues” or as we pronounced it Louies. These were the sores or rashes that came along about 12 weeks after being infected with syphilis. these folks had already had 12 weeks to spread the joy having probably ignored the primary symptoms.

    I agree Trump should be held accountable. But he’s just the secondary lues of an infection that has been festering for years before he opportunistically took advantage of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje November 8, 2021 / 7:36 pm

    DT should bear responsibility for misleading the people !

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango November 8, 2021 / 10:37 pm

      I totally agree. He misled people and people died because of it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje November 8, 2021 / 10:57 pm

        Exactly! And after decades of immunization against different diseases, how can they be so gullible

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen November 8, 2021 / 8:04 pm

    Trump (or his people) came up with the term “Operation Warp Speed” to get the vaccines out to the public (or on the market). So… this is one thing I don’t blame on Donald Trump. I’m having a conversation with somone, right now, in case I need my memory jogged. I do blame him for the very [VERY VERY] terrible handling of the pandemic in general — like not getting tests out there and so forth and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen November 8, 2021 / 8:39 pm

      https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-says-covid-19-vaccine-should-called-trumpcine-1582676

      One Paragraph: “Trump said everyone should be calling it the “Trumpcine” (instead of vaccine) and deemed Mitch McConnell a “dumb son of a b*tch” during his RNC remarks at Mar-a-Lago …” said CNN’s Kevin Liptak on Saturday night [in April], per his tweet.

      [I’m not sure why he called McConnel this in such a context; he usually doesn’t need a reason, though.]

      YET, he played with the anti-vaxxer fire when he ran for office in the gutsy place… in 2016. So… he gets as bit of credit/blame. But it’s a chicken-egg thing. And it’s not all self-contained. There are other factoids that feed into the hesitation or rejection (not the majority of it in my estimation).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen November 9, 2021 / 6:06 am

        … in the FIRST place… in 2016.

        {Not “in the gutsy place” — what the hell… I hate spell-check software.}

        You should see Republican {physical} mail (not only on this topic… but it’s geared to keep people stupid). My mom gets some. [And, amazingly, she has been vaccinated and has rejected Trump after the insurrection attempt(s).] I DO blame Republicans; and, like you said, their television and cable and radio and online media.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lssattitudeofgratitude November 8, 2021 / 10:38 pm

    I also read the article you are referring to. I just continue to shake my head at the stupid people who are making this pandemic last longer. I too am fully vaccinated with three shots. I too stay home the majority of the time. I too blame the anti-vaxers. I too wish some sense could be shaken into their heads.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nope, Not Pam November 9, 2021 / 1:43 am

    I don’t think you can hold Trump responsible either. Yes he spread false information but people have access to all information. They chose to believe and that is their right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 1:11 pm

      But had Trump embraced what the medical experts had told him and told the public the truth, what people chose to do might have been very different. And fewer might have died.

      Like

      • Nope, Not Pam November 9, 2021 / 1:14 pm

        Maybe, but the same could be said if guns hadn’t been invented, if people had decided not to swim where sharks lived, if smokes hadn’t been created. Laying blame isn’t the answer

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 1:40 pm

          So nobody is responsible for anything?

          Like

          • Nope, Not Pam November 9, 2021 / 1:57 pm

            So, we can only be held responsible for what we directly do. Trump spouted his wisdom, he didn’t make up their minds for them. They made that decision all on their own.

            Like

            • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 2:58 pm

              For some inexplicable reason, Trump has a Svengali-like hold on his MAGA supporters. They do whatever he says. He told them not to wear masks and so they don’t wear masks. He prompted other “cures” for COVID, some of which were dangerous, he is still telling his fans that the election was stolen and they believe him. He could have done so much more to stop the spread of the deadly virus, but instead he kept poo-pooing it, telling everyone it would miraculously go away. And they believed him. He could be encouraging people to get the vaccinations, but he’s not. Yes, these lemmings are making their own decisions, but they are bad decisions and they’re making those bad decisions because Trump and his sycophants are telling them that that’s what they should do.

              Like

            • Nope, Not Pam November 9, 2021 / 3:20 pm

              But they still have a choice and unfortunately some will always make bad decisions. My son won’t get the vaccine because he doesn’t have to I told him that I’ll put that on his headstone

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango November 9, 2021 / 5:28 pm

              🤦🏼‍♂️

              Like

            • Nope, Not Pam November 9, 2021 / 6:50 pm

              Yep

              Liked by 1 person

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