Gobsmacking

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July 17, 2021 10:15 a.m.

From TPM Reader PT

It’s worth pausing every so often to admire (if that’s the right word) the sheer insanity of the pandemic situation in the United States. Specifically: despite the widespread availability of vaccines for Covid; despite the fact that the vaccines are free; despite the fact that they are astonishingly effective at preventing a disease that is frequently fatal and often results in long-term disability; despite the fact that mass vaccination is clearly the only way we’re going to get out of the Covid pandemic that doesn’t involve mass suffering and trauma on an unimaginable scale; nonetheless, the US vaccination campaign is failing.

And why is it failing? Apparently because one of the two major political parties, and its media allies, have decided that their policy is to oppose vaccination because — well, it’s not clear why they oppose it. Sometimes it seems to be some vague culture-war objection. Other times it seems like a cynical calculation — that failure of the vaccination campaign, and ongoing dislocation due to the pandemic, will benefit them in upcoming elections. But any way you slice it, it’s astonishing in its irresponsibility.

I remember a neighborhood association meeting some years ago when the heads of the Democratic and Republican parties in San Francisco came to jointly argue for a ballot measure that both parties supported (it was to put suicide prevention systems on the Golden Gate Bridge). Mass vaccination should be like that, but apparently that’s no longer possible with today’s Republican Party.

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