Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told Fox News that he would support a vaccine mandate for an “incredibly deadly disease,” but said he would not support such a mandate for COVID-19.
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“The Centers for Disease Control’s limited tracking of Covid-19 cases in vaccinated people is hindering public health officials’ attempts to stem the nationwide surge of the highly transmissible Delta variant,” Politico reports.
“Now some public health experts and lawmakers are pressuring the CDC to reverse its decision and collect comprehensive data on infections in vaccinated people — from mild to severe. Such cases are very rare, but monitoring them can help reveal how likely a vaccinated person is to infect others, and how well vaccines work over time and against emerging Covid-19 variants.”
Andrew Sullivan: “We are at a stage in this pandemic when we are trying to persuade the hold-outs — disproportionately white Republicans/evangelicals and urban African-Americans — to get vaccinated. How do we best do this? Endless, condescending nagging won’t help. Coercion is not an option in a free country. Since the vaccinated appear to be able to transmit the virus as well, vaccine passports lose their power to remove all risk. Forcing all the responsible people to go back to constraining their everyday lives for the sake of the vaccine-averse is both unfair and actually weakens the incentive to get a vaccine, because it lowers the general risk of getting it in the broader society.”
“So the obviously correct public policy is to let mounting sickness and rising deaths concentrate the minds of the recalcitrant. Let reality persuade the delusional and deranged. It has a pretty solid record of doing just that.”
“The government cannot be held responsible for sickness and death it has already provided the means to avoid. People are responsible for their own lives.”
“If you’re not vaccinated and if you have not had Covid… you’re going to get the Delta variant.”
— Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump White House’s COVID-19 testing czar, on CNN.
Wall Street Journal: “Growing numbers of people are getting Covid-19 vaccines in areas hit hard by the Delta variant—offering a glimmer of hope but still far short of what is needed to end the pandemic.”
Washington Post: “More than 856,000 doses were administered Friday, the highest daily figure since July 3… This was the third week that states with the highest numbers of coronavirus cases also had the highest vaccination numbers.”
“Vaccine-hesitant pockets of the country turned hot spots, including Louisiana, experienced a 114 percent increase in uptake, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arkansas recorded a 96 percent increase, Alabama, 65 percent, and Missouri, 49 percent.”
New York Times: “The American political system has come down with a case of long Covid… The resurgence of the disease, driven by the fast-spreading Delta variant, threatens to halt plans by both parties to shift their attention to other matters.”
“A drawn-out plague disproportionately afflicting red-state America could become an embarrassment for the G.O.P. even as anti-government language on matters of public health becomes an increasingly central strain of Republican messaging.”
“Excuse me, I’ve got to go pee and throw up.”
— West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), quoted by the WV Metro News, after being briefed on the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
A new survey finds nearly two-thirds of Americans say they’d support federal, state or local governments requiring everyone to get a coronavirus vaccine.
Also interesting: 45% of Republicans said they approve of such mandates. A majority of respondents in all but three states — Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota — said they support requirements that everyone be vaccinated.
Playbook: “The White House has been tripping over themselves for months to emphasize that they have no plans to create vaccine mandates, with an eye on the conservative media outlets that have been trying to stir up fear about the prospect. But it turns out … that’s actually what Americans want.”
Frank Newport: “First, there is room for vaccine uptake improvement in the U.S.”
“Second, vaccine hesitancy is deeply entrenched with the partisan differences in views of the world that control much of American social and political discourse these days.”
“Third, efforts to control vaccine-related behavior through mandates may be more effective than attitudinal campaigns.”
“A sobering scientific analysis published Friday of an explosive Massachusetts covid-19 outbreak fueled by the delta variant found that three-quarters of the people who became infected were fully vaccinated,” the Washington Post reports.
“The report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bolstered the hypothesis that vaccinated people can spread the more transmissible variant and may be a factor in the summer surge of infections.”
New York Times: “The vaccines remain powerfully effective against severe illness and death, and infections in vaccinated people are thought to be comparatively rare.”
“Today’s Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid reminds us to reflect on the critical role these programs have played to protect the healthcare of millions of families. To safeguard our future, we must reject Socialist healthcare schemes.”
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), on Twitter.
Philip Bump pulls out the key numbers from the new CDC assessment on the Delta variant.
Geoffrey Skelley: “Partisanship isn’t the only thing that has shaped Americans’ vaccination status. Unvaccinated Americans tend to be younger, less well-educated and poorer; they are also more likely to be a person of color. The situation we’re in is not just because of politics but also because of access to the vaccine and broader skepticism of the health care system.”
“The younger someone is, the more likely they are to be a person of color, so it’s also unsurprising that Black and Hispanic Americans have lower vaccination rates than non-Hispanic white Americans.”
Vox: “These sorts of mandates will undoubtedly trigger lawsuits from vaccine resisters. In some cases, individuals with religious objections to vaccines or people with disabilities that preclude them from being vaccinated will have strong legal claims — much like schoolchildren who can already seek exemptions from schools’ vaccination requirements if they have religious objections.”
“But, assuming that the courts follow existing law — and assuming that Republican state governments do not enact new laws prohibiting employers from disciplining workers who refuse to be vaccinated — most challenges to employer-imposed vaccination requirements should fail.”
AFP: “The World Health Organization warned the highly transmissible strain of the virus, first detected in India, could unleash a ‘fourth wave’ of cases in its Eastern Mediterranean zone — an area stretching from Morocco to Pakistan.”
“Those countries are especially at risk because vaccination rates are low — only 5.5 percent of the region’s population has been fully vaccinated. So in nations where vaccines are more available, public officials are sounding the alarm.”
Washington Post: Here’s how countries around the world have approached vaccine mandates.
“This is so infectious that you will get it.”
— Former Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir, quoted by the New York Post, on the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
“A coronavirus variant discovered in Colombia is showing up among patients in South Florida, increasing infections and putting health officials on alert as calls grow louder for unvaccinated individuals to get inoculated,” the Washington Post reports.
An internal CDC document says “the delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox,” the Washington Post reports.
“The document strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccination as the best defense against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold.”