image missing
Date: 2024-05-21 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00023333
PDA / RALPH NADER ELECTION SUPPORT
2. COVERAGE & COVID

COVID: written by Dr. Irwin Redlener

HOME BRIEFS L020-ISSUES-ALPHA L020-ISSUES-CHRONO L0200-PDA-2022-NavList Last txt00023332 Next txt00023334

Peter Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
COVID:

Dr. Irwin Redlener

First of all: the Trump Administration did have a role in stimulating the development of the COVID vaccine. But he also then undermined his own modicum of proper judgment by politicizing this situation to a point where it’s become unmanageable as a public health problem.

By now, we’ve had multiple waves of COVID and, as most voters are aware, initially in early 2020 it was a lethal killer that was filling up hospitals with patients on ventilators in ICUs—and there were very high death rates. Then Joe Biden happens to have taken the vaccine idea and expanded it in ways that have saved—in spite of the fact that people are still dying of COVID—many millions of lives by the use and promotion of vaccines. And we would have saved more lives if, in fact, the incentives and motivations to get vaccinated hadn’t been polluted by misinformation and politics.

One of the things we could say about COVID right now is that people, generally speaking, are tired of it. We’ve had it with COVID and we want to move on, and we want to make believe this is over. And it’s not over. By the time November comes, it is likely or at least very possible that we will be seeing another surge of COVID infections occurring in all parts of the United States.

Our language in dealing with this has to be consistent and strong: “You must get vaccinated. Period.” We may have vaccines at that point that are more likely to suppress it even if you don’t have the latest vaccine. So from a public health point of view, and if we had nothing else to think about other than the public health issue here, the desired message is clear.

We have 65 to 67 percent of Americans now vaccinated. “Fully vaccinated” at this point in 2022 is two shots and two boosters, and that’s what we have to be pushing for. And we have to talk about this as if we understand that the science means that we’re not going to be curing COVID any time soon, but we can control it. Individuals can’t stop getting infected, but they can control how likely it is that they will be admitted to hospitals or die from the disease. That’s the grown-up reality of what we’re talking about.

Whether we get drawn into the politics (as Republicans would like us to) about what we need to do depends on how we handle this. We need to be straightforward and clear–Get Vaccinated. Wear Masks. Are we going to mandate masks in indoor situations? We probably should, but we probably won’t because it’s become so politically fraught.

The misinformation that’s being constantly put out—which is that we are violating people’s freedom of choice by forcing them to get vaccinated or forcing them to wear a mask—requires simple language to correct. Government has a responsibility to protect lives to the extent possible, without overly interfering with individual freedoms. That’s why we have clean water and clean air regulations, and OSHA in workplaces. And, similarly, this is why we ask children to be vaccinated when they go to school to prevent a host of infectious diseases to which they would otherwise be susceptible.

Democratic candidates have to be prepared to say, “We don’t do more than we have to. But we do what we need to do as a government to save lives.” In other words, if you want to go skydiving, if you want to do cliff climbing, be our guest. But we cannot do something that can infect an elderly person or a person who is immunocompromised. That’s one of the things about a civilized society that we have to be able to understand. We’re in this together—all of us—and need to avoid risks that can harm others. It’s why you can’t drive drunk or without wearing seat belts.

That will likely come up in debates. “Are you trying to force me to get vaxxed?” Force you? Because I don’t want you to infect my grandma—or your grandma, for that matter? The price of civilization is mutual agreement not to harm others based on rules enacted by democratic vote.

Here Democratic candidates have a strong and popular argument. The Biden administration has widely distributed vaccinations saving Republican and Democratic lives alike. The Trump administration repeatedly underplayed the danger of COVID, a deception that led to hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths, or more than World War I, Vietnam, and Iraq combined.

Part of the deal about living free in America includes keeping each other safe and healthy as best as we can. That’s why you can’t drive drunk or without a license. And why your children must get the routine vaccines of childhood and why pilots and doctors must be qualified to practice their craft.

Donald Trump, however, has poisoned “the general welfare” (to quote the Constitution) with erratic, unscientific, extreme politics. But really, Democrats just want to protect grandparents, young kids and anybody who may be at great risk from getting Covid. I’m sure you must realize that a million people died from Covid in America and 500 more are lost every single day! Many older and vulnerable Americans listening to us right now want to be reassured that we’ll protect them from further Covid and the next pandemic.

Candidly, here’s the report card as of the Fall of 2022: The Biden administration has widely distributed vaccinations saving Republican and Democratic lives alike. The Trump administration repeatedly underplayed the danger of COVID, a deception that led to hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths, or more than World War I, Vietnam, and Iraq combined. Only the Democracy Party was pro-life, as defined by saving post-birth lives.

HEALTH CARE – COVID NOTES

* Life expectancy fell under only one president—Trump—because of the rise in “deaths of despair”—drugs, guns, suicides, COVID.

* A Health KFF survey found that 60 percent of the unvaxxed were Republicans. Democrats were 17 percent.

* It’s crazy that so many in GOP complain that it’s tyranny when the government tells people to wear masks during a once-in-a-century health emergency but ordering pregnant girls to carry their fetus to term—even if due to rape or incest—isn’t.

* Dangerous reactionaries fight pro-health measures like masks and free, miracle drugs to save lives. Yet we accept laws prohibiting drunk driving and requiring seat belts be worn without complaints about Big Brother infringements on our liberty…and, unlike COVID, neither is contagious.

* ”Excess deaths” were worst in states with low vaccination rates and Republican governors.

* When it comes to death rates, there’s still a clear and dramatic correlation between how much of the population has been 2-dose vaccinated and its COVID death rate since last May. The least vaccinated decile has a death rate 3.3 times higher than the most vaccinated one.

HOME BRIEFS L020-ISSUES-ALPHA L020-ISSUES-CHRONO L0200-PDA-2022-NavList Last txt00023332 Next txt00023334
SITE COUNT Amazing and shiny stats
Copyright © 2005-2021 Peter Burgess. All rights reserved. This material may only be used for limited low profit purposes: e.g. socio-enviro-economic performance analysis, education and training.