The coronavirus pandemic still continues to ravage the world despite most of the United States loosening or altogether lifting their COVID-19 mitigation restrictions on businesses and everyday life. That’s in part because of the success of an unprecedented vaccination development and rollout that’s helped bring infections, hospitalizations and deaths down despite increasingly dangerous variants of the vaccine circulating the globe.
Despite the success of three vaccines in the United States, a strong sentiment remains in parts of the population against vaccination. And many anti-vaxers clearly made their way to the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Texas this weekend. On Saturday, video circulated on social media of a crowd cheering at CPAC when it’s mentioned that the United States will not reach 90 percent of its population vaccinated against COVID-19.
Noting that the government is falling short of its Covid vaccine goals is an applause line at CPAC Dallas pic.twitter.com/og9Fw1MRAv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 10, 2021
With an extremely contagious Delta variant circulating in the country and infectious disease experts worried that further outbreaks increase the chance of more powerful variants developing that could break through to greater percentages of even vaccinated people, the need to get the jab has never been more dire. Vulnerable populations or immunocompromised individuals hoping herd immunity could protect them from the threat of coronavirus are losing hope that herd immunity will come, and states with low vaccination rates like Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama are seeing upticks in cases and hospitalizations as the Delta variant becomes the dominant strain infecting those in America.
Which is why Anthony Fauci described the scene of people cheering a struggling vaccination campaign “horrifying” in an interview on Sunday. Appearing on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ Fauci said there’s no need for a third booster shot for Americans just yet but was alarmed about the “inexplicable pushing back” that he’s seen from conservatives, including people celebrating not getting vaccinated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says Covid-19 vaccine booster shots are currently not needed. "Given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot."
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) July 11, 2021
“It’s horrifying,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director said according to The Daily Beast. “I mean, they are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives!”
Fauci told Jake Tapper that “there’s no reason not to get vaccinated” and lamented that he didn’t understand how people could clap at something that will inevitably lead to more deaths.
“It’s almost frightening to say, ‘Hey, guess what? We don’t want you to do something to save your life. Yay!’ Everybody starts screaming and clapping. I just don’t get that,” Fauci said. “I mean, and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about? I don’t understand that, Jake.”
Making public health and common sense a political issue has doomed countless people to death in America and around the world over the last 18 months. No public health outreach effort can counteract stubborn political talking points that ignore science that have become mainstream in Republican circles during the pandemic. And while Fauci’s horror is valid here, it speaks to just how easy it is for people to work against their best interests, even when it comes to life and death for themselves and others around them.
[via The Daily Beast]