New York Times: ‘As Virus Resurges, G.O.P. Lawmakers Allow Vaccine Skepticism to Flourish’

July 21, 2021
Blog
House Republicans Ignore Warning From Fellow Republican About Disinformation ‘Literally Killing Their Supporters’

From the Speaker’s Press Office

Last week, Spencer Cox the Republican Governor of Utah, held a press conference begging his fellow Republicans to stop spreading anti-vaccine messaging, explaining that it's literally killing their supporters.  Unfortunately, Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans don’t appear to care.

Since being given that warning and many, many others, “most Republicans have either stoked or ignored the flood of misinformation reaching their constituents.” 

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From the New York Times: As Virus Resurges, G.O.P. Lawmakers Allow Vaccine Skepticism to Flourish

  • “As the coronavirus surges in their states and districts, fanned by a more contagious variant exploiting paltry vaccination rates, many congressional Republicans have declined to push back against vaccine skeptics in their party who are sowing mistrust about the shots’ safety and effectiveness.
  • “Amid a widening partisan divide over coronavirus vaccination, most Republicans have either stoked or ignored the flood of misinformation reaching their constituents and instead focused their message about the vaccine on disparaging President Biden, characterizing his drive to inoculate Americans as politically motivated and heavy-handed.”
  • “Some elected Republicans are the ones spreading the falsehoods. Representative Jason Smith of Missouri, a Senate candidate, warned on Twitter of ‘KGB-style’ agents knocking on the doors of unvaccinated Americans — a reference to Mr. Biden’s door-to-door vaccine outreach campaign.”
  • The political disparity in vaccine hesitancy is stark. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported at the end of June that 86 percent of Democrats had at least one shot, compared with 52 percent of Republicans. An analysis by The New York Times in April found that the least vaccinated counties in the country had one thing in common: They voted for Mr. Trump.”
  • Conservative swaths of the country are being hit particularly hard. Intensive care units in southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas are filled or filling fast, while 40 percent of new cases are cropping up in Florida.”
  • Amid those troubling trends, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was suspended from Twitter temporarily for writing that Covid-19 was not dangerous for people unless they were obese or over age 65. On Tuesday, she refused to answer a reporter’s question about whether she had been vaccinated, calling it a violation of the federal law governing the privacy of health care information. (The law does not bar an individual from speaking about her own medical status, or prohibit anyone from inquiring.)”
  • “Representative Madison Cawthorn, Republican of North Carolina, suggested that the Biden administration’s door-knocking effort was just a first step. Next, he said in an interview with Right Side Broadcasting Network, they would ‘go door to door to take your guns.’ […] ‘They could then go door to door to take your Bibles,’ he added.”
  • Yet many leading Republicans are paying little heed to the resurgence. At a hearing before the Senate health committee, there was scant mention among Republicans about how to confront vaccine hesitancy, save for the comments of Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who lamented ‘spurious conspiracy theories’ and wondered whether ‘enemies of our country’ were putting out misinformation.”
  • At a news conference by House Republican leaders on Tuesday, the coronavirus was nowhere to be heard amid the ‘crises’ of inflation, the southwestern border and out-of-control spending by the ‘socialist’ Democrats.”