This week, Republican politicians are increasingly expressing their opinions to persuade people who are skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated because a new, more contagious variant will cause a surge in cases.
In recent press conferences and statements, some prominent Republicans have been begging voters to put lingering doubts aside.
In Washington, the so-called Doctors Caucus gathered at the Capitol to participate in an event to fight vaccine hesitation. In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis (Ron DeSantis) pointed out this week that data shows that the vast majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated.
“These vaccines are saving lives,” DeSantis said. His statement is in stark contrast to the message of his campaign team-he is considered the 2024 presidential candidate-that the team is selling simulated masks and campaign merchandise by medical experts, including the top infectious disease expert in the United States, Anthony. Dr. Fauci.
In Congress, Rep. Steve Scalis of Louisiana, the Republican party whip in the House of Representatives, recently released photos of his first dose of the vaccine. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell-a childhood polio survivor who has been representing COVID-19 vaccination-urged those who have not been vaccinated to ignore “all other clearly wrong suggestions sound”.
For months, under the leadership of former President Donald Trump, many conservative lawmakers and experts have been inciting vaccine hesitation, refusing to take measures or downplaying the severity of the virus. Republican governors signed a bill to protect unvaccinated people from disclosing their identities and tried to remove the requirement to wear masks.
“I think they finally realize that if their people don’t get vaccinated, they will get sick, and if their people don’t get vaccinated, they will be blamed for future COVID outbreaks,” said Republican pollster Frank Lentz. (Frank Luntz) has been working with President Joe Biden’s government and public health experts to produce information to eliminate hesitations about vaccines.
In his focus group, Lentz said that many skeptics have been trying to assess the truthfulness of what they read and hear.
“There is too much misinformation there, and they can’t distinguish what is accurate and what is false,” he said. “So when they don’t know what to believe, it’s almost impossible to communicate.”
Watch | In an interview with CBC News, opinion poll expert Frank Luntz talked about the United States’ hesitation on vaccines:
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has almost tripled in the past two weeks, and the number of hospitalizations has increased by 32% since last week. Public health officials cited new delta variants, especially in areas with low vaccination rates in the country.
According to the CDC, only 56.2% of Americans have at least one dose of the vaccine.
According to an AP-NORC poll, overall, only 51% of Republicans said in mid-June that they had at least one dose of the vaccine, compared with 83% of Democrats. 53% of Republicans have not been vaccinated, and they say they will definitely not be vaccinated.
Some rates have risen, but mixed information abounds
Peak value from the 7-day average of 3.2. In April, 1 million vaccinations were vaccinated per day, while the vaccination rate in July has dropped to an average of about 475,000 vaccinations per day for seven days. But federal health officials pointed out a new trend in the data at a briefing on Thursday.
The White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Jeff Zients, cited Arkansas, Florida and Louisiana as examples: “For the second week in a row, vaccines in states with lower vaccination rates and higher case rates The vaccination rate is growing faster than the national average.”
Although noticeable changes have taken place this week, messaging is far from uniform. On Fox News, host Sean Hannity pleaded with his audience to “take COVID seriously,” he said, “enough people have died.” But for every Hannity, There is an influential online person like Charlie Kirk, the founder of American Turning Point, who has no evidence in his podcast that as many as 1.2 million people may die after being vaccinated against COVID-19.
A press conference held by House Republican leaders on Thursday highlighted the Republicans’ competing messages about the virus, which did not take more to attack Democrats (including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Biden administration) Measures to investigate whether COVID-19 is due to a Chinese laboratory accident.
Watch | The Biden administration singled out misinformation on social media platforms:
Eric Ward, a senior researcher on extremism at the Southern Poverty Law Center, attributed the reluctance of the vaccine to “almost a year and a half of right-wing angry machine speech.”
“Even conservative leaders have a hard time figuring out how to control mainly propaganda activities. They now realize that their electoral districts are particularly vulnerable,” he said.
Although some Republicans may use strong language to promote vaccines, few people propose new measures to urge vaccination, such as incentives, public information campaigns or more active outreach activities.
New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu said on Thursday: “If someone has not been vaccinated at this time, they will make a conscious decision.” “The government’s job is to provide that open door. If you want to It’s here to get a vaccine. It’s good and easy.”
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey was even more outspoken on Thursday, when she said that she would not be forced to wear a mask in the upcoming school year, leaving the decision to the school district.
“I have done everything I know how to do,” Ivey said. “I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t let you take care of yourself.”