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The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

Post by Smoove_B »

Sharing mainly for the map. The next set of outbreaks is going to look very, very different.


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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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I saw that map yesterday. Interesting how they used redish and blueish.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota surprise me.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Kansas is mixed bag so they don't surprise me. Kentucky, also a mixed bag but not as mixed as Kansas surprises me. I wonder if that has to do with all of the encouragement from the manufacturing sector. Though if it does, I'd expect to see Tennessee at least at a lighter shade of rust and the same for SC.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Walensky: quit fucking around and get your teenagers vaccinated, a-holes!*

* - She may have used kinder word choice.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Zaxxon wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:34 am Walensky: quit fucking around and get your teenagers vaccinated, a-holes!*

* - She may have used kinder word choice.
Second shot for the 15 yo tomorrow.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Great piece today on Vox, discussing the reality that public health policy in the US has a lot of changin' to do to account for the fact that we, as a nation, suck pretty hard.
America’s biggest mistake in fighting Covid-19 began with an assumption made long before the virus behind the pandemic first appeared in humans.

In the federal government’s previous pandemic playbook, the initial actions taken by President Donald Trump’s administration, and advice given by experts, there was a common theme: that America would come together against a major national threat, helping put it down collectively.

Over the past year and a half, we’ve learned how wrong that was. While the US did manage to lock down at first, those lockdowns soon gave way to protests. Not long after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended masking and most states adopted the advice into mask mandates, masks became political symbols as many Americans rejected wearing one often, if at all. Even after the country built up its coronavirus testing capacity, translating that into collective action through, say, contact tracing, centralized isolation, or genomic sequencing (to track variants) just didn’t happen in most of the US.

Case and death rates have gotten much better recently, thanks to the vaccines. But that’s largely due to a lot of individuals acting in their own interest and getting the shot. The policy proposals to make a more collective push for vaccines — through, for example, vaccine passports — have been widely rejected, including by the White House.

Whenever collective action is called for, Americans don’t do it — or, at the very least, don’t do it sufficiently. America is too politicized, fractured, and, above all, individualistic for a collective move to save it.
In public health, a core concept is meeting people where they are. Well, Americans are in a very individualistic place. That comes with benefits — the PNAS study noted individualism is “an important driver of creativity, innovations, and long-run economic growth.” But in a truly national health crisis, it comes with major downsides, and so it has to be acknowledged and worked around.

“The lessons from epidemics and pandemics is that politics, culture, and socioeconomic variables matter as much as the health aspects of whatever the health issue is,” Kates, of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said. “You cannot separate out the qualities or characteristics of communities from how the response is structured and talked about.”
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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F my state Im 3 weeks out since 2nd . The rest can go f themselves here.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

Post by Smoove_B »

Great piece today on Vox,
Yes it is. As many of my peers have astutely noted, the response to the pandemic continues to be a private health response - I'll decide to wear a mask for me. I'll decide to get a vaccination for me. I'll decide to stay at home for me. There's been very little messaging or focus on the nature of public health - how our individual decisions impact others in our community.

For all that we've advanced, for all we've done, this should have been so much better. 33+ million cases and 600K+ known deaths?

There's been a push over the last week or so from various national public health groups for us all to regroup, reorganize and solider on. I don't know how.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:33 pm There's been a push over the last week or so from various national public health groups for us all to regroup, reorganize and solider on. I don't know how.
I can't imagine how exhausted you and your compatriots must be by now.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Zaxxon wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:37 pm
Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:33 pm There's been a push over the last week or so from various national public health groups for us all to regroup, reorganize and solider on. I don't know how.
I can't imagine how exhausted you and your compatriots must be by now.
Seriously.

@Smoove_B - is there also a wider discussion beyond pandemic/epidemic response? I can only imagine this is only one facet of a deeper problem in public health, right?
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:33 pm
Great piece today on Vox,
Yes it is. As many of my peers have astutely noted, the response to the pandemic continues to be a private health response - I'll decide to wear a mask for me. I'll decide to get a vaccination for me. I'll decide to stay at home for me. There's been very little messaging or focus on the nature of public health - how our individual decisions impact others in our community.

For all that we've advanced, for all we've done, this should have been so much better. 33+ million cases and 600K+ known deaths?

There's been a push over the last week or so from various national public health groups for us all to regroup, reorganize and solider on. I don't know how.
I still wear a mask for you as I always have... Of course that's, in part, in hopes that you'll wear a mask for me, even if I am thuperduper immune in theory, I'm still seeing too many cases around me to put that to the test.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

Post by Smoove_B »

malchior wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:48 pm @Smoove_B - is there also a wider discussion beyond pandemic/epidemic response? I can only imagine this is only one facet of a deeper problem in public health, right?
Oh, absolutely. Biggest issues being discussed right now:

(1) Legal aspects (particularly emergency powers)
(2) Funding and staffing
(3) Training (communication, especially)
(4) Acknowledgment that all of public health (local up to national) is political (and how do we get national lobbyist groups)
(5) Research and acknowledgement of systemic racism - coming to terms with decades of research that ignored/minimized/enabled racist elements

The Biden administration is prepared to throw billions at public health - which is great - but there are core issues that need to be addressed. On top of that, if states and locals don't value public health, then none of this matters (if it ever did). We can't possibly elevate public health for all as long as locals are holding the reins. I don't know how we change that in a practical sense when individualism is one of the defining characteristics of American life.

And I think that's why my mental wheels are spinning. I don't know how you address a problem that at its core, is ultimately related to how the public views your overall role in society. Even after 2+ decades of public service, I was still naive enough to believe that during a global pandemic, a vast number of Americans would see public health for the first time *and* believe that we have value. To actually learn it's the opposite is...something I'm still processing.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:10 pm The Biden administration is prepared to throw billions at public health - which is great - but there are core issues that need to be addressed. On top of that, if states and locals don't value public health, then none of this matters (if it ever did). We can't possibly elevate public health for all as long as locals are holding the reins. I don't know how we change that in a practical sense when individualism is one of the defining characteristics of American life.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

Post by Smoove_B »

Zaxxon wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:37 pm I can't imagine how exhausted you and your compatriots must be by now.
And I can't stop thinking of the front-line medical community and what we've asked of them over the last 15+ months. I don't know how they are doing it.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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But have you given even one second of thought to the lawyers who are working from home and having to actually deal with their families???
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Ever since I became an adult, I've considered compassion the most important quality a person can strive for. Concern for others is as important as concern for oneself. The last four and a half years have shown me what an outlier I am for having this view. I'm genuinely embarrassed for how naive I was before about it. I still believe in it strongly, don't get me wrong - I just know that most other people don't, and paying it forward simply stops dead most of the time.
Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:33 pm I'll decide to wear a mask for me. I'll decide to get a vaccination for me. I'll decide to stay at home for me. There's been very little messaging or focus on the nature of public health - how our individual decisions impact others in our community.
The thing is, that's how most Americans do everything (using the illustrative 'I' here): I'll drive safely so I don't get hurt. I'll follow the traffic laws so that I don't get fined. I'll save electricity and water because it saves me money. I'll vote for the politician that will benefit me the most. I'll donate to charity if it is a good tax deduction for me. I'll do loud things outside when it is convenient for me.

Look at other major issues that are going nowhere. The environment. Racial issues. Sexual/gender rights issues. Education. Voting rights. Getting traction in any of them requires that people focus on others rather than themselves, on the community/state rather than their own circle.

We, as a culture, pride our selves in being self sufficient and individualistic. Freedom as an absolute. But those things have a dark side - egotism and selfishness. My freedom at the cost of your freedom. Was it the industrial revolution when American expansion stalled? The boom after WWII when we became a superpower and the closest thing to a 'winner'? The internet, where instead of free access to all information, we discovered we could choose to only access information that made us feel good? It would take a team of scholars to really figure out when we crossed that line, but whenever it was, it's far, far behind us. This response to COVID was absolutely foreseeable in retrospect, but it wasn't foreseen (this is a 'hindsight' comment, not a criticism.) Why? I don't know. I don't know that anybody does.

But I do suspect that a thousand other vital response plans and systems across a multitude of disciplines need to be reexamined around the assumptions that Americans are going to act in pure self interest. This should be foreseen now, by everybody. Any effective planning team is going to have to have behaviorists as a core element. It sucks that it was COVID that taught us this lesson with hundreds of thousands of deaths, and it sucks that the lesson still hasn't been learned by 99% of the population. And that a lot of experts in a lot of fields are still going to keep plans that won't survive contact with the reality of the individual.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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That was ramblier than I thought. I think I need A Caffeine.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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ImLawBoy wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:33 pm But have you given even one second of thought to the lawyers who are working from home and having to actually deal with their families???
Seriously. I've had to take a number of *remote* testimonies, which aren't as good!
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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El Guapo wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:51 pm
ImLawBoy wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:33 pm But have you given even one second of thought to the lawyers who are working from home and having to actually deal with their families???
Seriously. I've had to take a number of *remote* testimonies, which aren't as good!
My BIL and I were talking about this. He doesn't think he'll ever get 100% back to F2F depositions. Everyone figured out how much money they were saving. Same thing in my line of work. F2F meetings/workshops were mandatory. Clients have been like...remote is fine. Even when it doesn't make sense.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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malchior wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:53 pm
El Guapo wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:51 pm
ImLawBoy wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:33 pm But have you given even one second of thought to the lawyers who are working from home and having to actually deal with their families???
Seriously. I've had to take a number of *remote* testimonies, which aren't as good!
My BIL and I were talking about this. He doesn't think he'll ever get 100% back to F2F depositions. Everyone figured out how much money they were saving. Same thing in my line of work. F2F meetings/workshops were mandatory. Clients have been like...remote is fine. Even when it doesn't make sense.
I will definitely want to (though the costs don't come out of my pocket). What will happen when some lawyers / witnesses want to do remote while we want to do in person...I don't know. Though we're the government, so I imagine we'll get our way most of the time (though I expect we'd accommodate volunteers & cooperative witnesses).
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Oddly enough numerous heavily leaning (R) towns in my area are all now pushing for in-person governmental committee meetings along with the complete suspension of the public being able to call in or attend remotely. I strongly believe (all anecdotal) these (R) governing bodies did not enjoy being held accountable over the last year+ when it was so much easier for the general public to call in and ask them questions. On top of the fact that everything is being recorded (and broadcast) in real time, it really impacted their ability to say and do things in real time. When they hold these meetings at night (traditional) in-person attendance is very, very low - usually no one. But over the last year attendance has been up.

If it was just one town or one local government office, I'd think it was a weird theory, but it's happening in multiple towns and even now for my county. They've explicitly stated no more remote and no more remote attending. To me it's been very reminiscent of the voting issue. They've realized remote attendance expands awareness and jeopardizes their control - so it must be eliminated ASAP. Instead of maintaining a virtual presence and increasing the ability for more people to reliably attend.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:01 pm Oddly enough numerous heavily leaning (R) towns in my area are all now pushing for in-person governmental committee meetings along with the complete suspension of the public being able to call in or attend remotely. I strongly believe (all anecdotal) these (R) governing bodies did not enjoy being held accountable over the last year+ when it was so much easier for the general public to call in and ask them questions. On top of the fact that everything is being recorded (and broadcast) in real time, it really impacted their ability to say and do things in real time. When they hold these meetings at night (traditional) in-person attendance is very, very low - usually no one. But over the last year attendance has been up.

If it was just one town or one local government office, I'd think it was a weird theory, but it's happening in multiple towns and even now for my county. They've explicitly stated no more remote and no more remote attending. To me it's been very reminiscent of the voting issue. They've realized remote attendance expands awareness and jeopardizes their control - so it must be eliminated ASAP. Instead of maintaining a virtual presence and increasing the ability for more people to reliably attend.
That could well be, but my first instinct is to attribute it primarily to COVID denialism - the virus is overblown and being used by liberals to take control of America. Therefore every response to the virus is inherently suspect, because no god fearing American would want to do anything in response to a quasi-made up virus. Therefore masks are bad, and any remote access due to the virus is also bad.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Smoove_B wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:01 pm Oddly enough numerous heavily leaning (R) towns in my area are all now pushing for in-person governmental committee meetings along with the complete suspension of the public being able to call in or attend remotely. I strongly believe (all anecdotal) these (R) governing bodies did not enjoy being held accountable over the last year+ when it was so much easier for the general public to call in and ask them questions. On top of the fact that everything is being recorded (and broadcast) in real time, it really impacted their ability to say and do things in real time. When they hold these meetings at night (traditional) in-person attendance is very, very low - usually no one. But over the last year attendance has been up.

If it was just one town or one local government office, I'd think it was a weird theory, but it's happening in multiple towns and even now for my county. They've explicitly stated no more remote and no more remote attending. To me it's been very reminiscent of the voting issue. They've realized remote attendance expands awareness and jeopardizes their control - so it must be eliminated ASAP. Instead of maintaining a virtual presence and increasing the ability for more people to reliably attend.
They haven't cancelled remote meetings here and I hope they don't. In person meetings suck. Well to be blunt, the meetings suck and it's nice to not have to sit there the whole time. I've waited through 4 2+ hour meetings to ask a *single question*. Luckily I don't have to sit there every minute because I'm at home. I can do other things half listening while they churn through the topics hoping for the one I actually care about to come up (testimony from a traffic engineer so I can ask a pointed question about their traffic study).
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:37 pm That was ramblier than I thought. I think I need A Caffeine.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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The supervillains were right. I keep telling myself: I'm only evil if I try to implement solutions.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:36 pm Ever since I became an adult, I've considered compassion the most important quality a person can strive for. Concern for others is as important as concern for oneself. The last four and a half years have shown me what an outlier I am for having this view. I'm genuinely embarrassed for how naive I was before about it. I still believe in it strongly, don't get me wrong - I just know that most other people don't, and paying it forward simply stops dead most of the time.
You and me both. Empathy and compassion are extremely important to me, and the last five years have been a stark lesson in how contemptuous a broad swath of the country is towards those values.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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gbasden wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:51 am
Blackhawk wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 1:36 pm Ever since I became an adult, I've considered compassion the most important quality a person can strive for. Concern for others is as important as concern for oneself. The last four and a half years have shown me what an outlier I am for having this view. I'm genuinely embarrassed for how naive I was before about it. I still believe in it strongly, don't get me wrong - I just know that most other people don't, and paying it forward simply stops dead most of the time.
You and me both. Empathy and compassion are extremely important to me, and the last five years have been a stark lesson in how contemptuous a broad swath of the country is towards those values.
The key is never to expect it in return. I'd love to be able to be a completely selfish asshole but my guilt instinct is too strong. So I just do me and assume that most people won't reciprocate. I find myself pleasantly surprised when I'm wrong. Which, incidentally, happens a lot more when you risk putting yourself out there. So does people trying to screw you, of course. :Shrug:
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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It took me into my adult years to internalize the golden rule does not come with entitlement. That said, in my youth I generally viewed people to have good intent until proven otherwise. Well into my adult years I have become a misanthrope of sorts and I'm not sure how to come back from that, even if I still live by the golden rule... I've never been good about taking compassion too much beyond the golden rule, though. I hope to be self sufficient enough in my retirement years to rectify that. We'll see.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Money wins:
Royal Caribbean International will no longer require any of its cruise passengers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as it had previously planned to.

...

The about-face is an apparent submission to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has insisted that there will be no exception made for cruise companies to a newly passed Florida law that fines companies $5,000 each time they ask a patron to provide proof of vaccination. Royal Caribbean International’s sister brand Celebrity Cruises (both owned by Royal Caribbean Group) is still requiring all passengers 16 years old or older be vaccinated on its seven-night Caribbean cruises that are restarting from Port Everglades on June 26.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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It always does.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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NY Times
Trump and his allies try to rewrite, distort history of pandemic while casting Fauci as public enemy No. 1

Donald Trump and his Republican allies have spent the past few weeks trying to rewrite or distort the history of the pandemic, attempting with renewed vigor to villainize Anthony S. Fauci while lionizing the former president for what they portray as heroic foresight and underappreciated efforts to combat the deadly virus.

They have focused on the early moments of the coronavirus response and the origins of the virus, downplaying any role they may have played and casting others in the wrong, at times taking comments out of context and at others drawing conclusions that are unproved.

And at a time when the number of vaccinated people continues to rise and deaths are at one of their lowest levels, it has placed the coronavirus back at the center of the political debate. Trump is planning to make it a chief argument in a reputation rehabilitation effort. And Republicans are also making it a centerpiece of their midterm election campaigns, pledging to hold congressional investigations if they win back the House majority.

...

The central argument from him and his allies is that the possibility that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, which remains a possibility, or was manufactured there, a claim for which there is no public evidence, as opposed to spreading from an animal to a human, was unfairly dismissed or covered up by scientists and media organizations bent on destroying the former president.

But to believe some of the claims from Trump and Republicans one would have to imagine that President Barack Obama in 2014 helped seed money into bat research, which within several years would result in a global virus that escaped from a lab — either as a bioweapon or by accident — and spread around the globe.

One would have to come to the firm conclusion that not only was the virus developed in a lab — something experts have said is nearly impossible given the virus’s features — but that Americans helped cover that up, and that President Biden is now aiding in the effort.

But more significantly, the focus on from where the virus came appears to be an attempt to distract from the chief failure of the Trump administration — its uneven and chaotic response to the outbreak once it began spreading within the United States.

Trump frequently told the public it was not a serious threat and would go away soon, including when the weather changed. He resisted public health policies that medical experts said could save lives and sent conflicting signals to the public about whether to wear masks. He said you should, but he would not. Trump also sought to take little responsibility for the pandemic response, often saying it was the job of state governments, not his administration, to take action.

Now close to 600,000 Americans have died from the virus — a statistic that is impervious to the debate over whether the virus leaked from a Chinese lab or was spread from an animal to a human.

The focus on the virus’s origin story also fits a pattern of Trump and his supporters trying to absolve the former president of blame by obfuscating his past actions or words and blaming others despite his role as the country’s leader. Many Republicans are now playing down the severity of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and Trump spent years trying to deny he equated the actions of white supremacists with racial justice demonstrators in the 2017 deadly clashes in Charlottesville.

Public health experts warn that the effort to rewrite or distort the history of the pandemic is more than a political issue and could impact the ability of public health officials to prevent or mitigate a future pandemic.

...

But as the Wuhan lab leak theory has gained credence, so has the Republican sense of vindication — and the insistence that Fauci has to explain himself. People close to Fauci have again begun to worry for his safety, given the vitriol and fixation on him that surpasses even what he was faced with last year.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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I lived through "it's just like the flu" and "it will just go away in May" and the inter-state hunger games for PPE. Fuck this revisionist nonsense.

Sadly it's probably working.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Yeah, it seems pretty clear (to me) this is how the GOP is trying to build momentum for 2022 and 2024 - feeding into nonsense related to the origins of the virus and how Dr. Fauci (somehow) is ultimately responsible for the 600K+ (known) COVID-19 deaths in America. If they use this to get people fired up at campaign rallies and energized to vote, that's what they're looking for.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Jon Rahm had to withdraw from the Memorial tournament this weekend while in the lead by 6 strokes. First place would have netted him $1.67 million. It hasn't been officially disclosed if he got the shot, but the protocols that caught the infection are only in place for those who aren't vaccinated, so... That's a lot of money to lose out on.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Smoove_B wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 3:23 pm Money wins:
Royal Caribbean International will no longer require any of its cruise passengers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as it had previously planned to.

...

The about-face is an apparent submission to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has insisted that there will be no exception made for cruise companies to a newly passed Florida law that fines companies $5,000 each time they ask a patron to provide proof of vaccination. Royal Caribbean International’s sister brand Celebrity Cruises (both owned by Royal Caribbean Group) is still requiring all passengers 16 years old or older be vaccinated on its seven-night Caribbean cruises that are restarting from Port Everglades on June 26.
I’ve been waiting to see what happens here. I think “Money Wins” is right, but it’s not going to work out the way DeSantis thinks.

I do not believe the cruise industry can recover unless they require proof of vaccination. I know that’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the only way they are going to restore cruising to something like what it was pre-pandemic.

If DeSantis won’t let the cruise industry do that, the cruise industry isn’t going to stay in Florida very long.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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I was kind of surprised they buckled, but I guess they figure the short-term financial gains for booking cruises will outweigh the potential lawsuits from passengers when trips are interrupted. They must make absurd money sailing out of Florida and I'd hope they're now looking to relocate as I also don't know how they expect to survive without mandating tests. Then again, maybe they have been doing customer polling and they're being told overwhelmingly their core customer base doesn't care and would be less inclined to book trips if they're required to be vaccinated. I mentioned it elsewhere but I have a family friend that's a school teacher; she has two children and both are eligible for the vaccine. Their family lives to go on annual 10+ day cruises however she refuses to get vaccinated and she won't vaccinate her kids. Up until now that decision hasn't impacted their lives at all, but I can almost (maybe) imagine a scenario where being told no vaccine means no cruise changes her mind. To be clear, I find that incredibly depressing, but here we are.
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Re: The Politics of Covid 19, mask wearing and the vaccination process

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Smoove_B wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:29 am I was kind of surprised they buckled, but I guess they figure the short-term financial gains for booking cruises will outweigh the potential lawsuits from passengers when trips are interrupted. They must make absurd money sailing out of Florida and I'd hope they're now looking to relocate as I also don't know how they expect to survive without mandating tests. Then again, maybe they have been doing customer polling and they're being told overwhelmingly their core customer base doesn't care and would be less inclined to book trips if they're required to be vaccinated. I mentioned it elsewhere but I have a family friend that's a school teacher; she has two children and both are eligible for the vaccine. Their family lives to go on annual 10+ day cruises however she refuses to get vaccinated and she won't vaccinate her kids. Up until now that decision hasn't impacted their lives at all, but I can almost (maybe) imagine a scenario where being told no vaccine means no cruise changes her mind. To be clear, I find that incredibly depressing, but here we are.
That wouldn’t bother me a bit. I don’t care why people get vaccinated. If it’s not enough for you to do it for the public health, then do it for your own health, or do it for a freaking cruise. I could care less. Just do it.

I went to the local Costco yesterday, and it was the first time I’ve been in a store that has lifted the mask mandate:
U.S. locations with no state or local mask requirements - revised policy
In Costco locations where the state or local jurisdiction does not have a mask mandate, we will allow members and guests who are fully vaccinated to enter Costco without a face mask or face shield. We will not require proof of vaccination, except where required by law, but we ask for members’ responsible and respectful cooperation with this revised policy. Face coverings will still be required in some close contact situations in healthcare settings, including Pharmacy, Optical, Hearing Aid.
They didn’t ask for proof of vaccination, but they did have someone stationed at the entrance asking everyone who entered unmasked whether they were vaccinated.

It was kind of surreal wandering around Costco in a sea of people, both masked (~75%) and unmasked (~25%). And it felt great to not wear a mask, but, without the ability to ask for proof and without any enforcement mechanism, I wonder about the correlation between the unmasked and the vaccinated.

In my ideal scenario, we’d be taking advantage of people’s individualistic, self-serving attitudes and properly incentivizing vaccination.
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