Ace New York Times reporters pin vaccine hesitancy among conservatives to their belief in 'hoaxes'

Remember Pauline Kael?  She's the famous Manhattan film critic who apocryphally said that she couldn't understand how anyone could vote to re-elect President Nixon in 1972, because she didn't know anyone who did.  (Actually — she did know one, but lost track of him.)  She "lived in a rather special world," as she put it.

Well, the New York Times still lives there, and appears to like being mired in the same Mr. Magooism.

Latest nonsense from those heights comes from a big data journalism–driven piece with three bylines and four contributors on vaccine hesitancy around the U.S., concluding that it's all those troglodytes who voted for President Trump who are fueling it.

Their headline:

Least Vaccinated U.S. Counties Have Something in Common: Trump Voters

It features a color-coded map probably done in Javascript or Python, and assorted charts in the same which probably took some work.  All of it was to show that anyone refusing to get vaccinated is almost certainly an unenlightened Trump voter.

They explained it as this:

In the 10 states where the government projected that residents would be least hesitant to get a Covid-19 vaccine, voters chose Mr. Biden in the 2020 election. Mr. Trump won nine of the 10 states where the most residents said they would probably or definitely not get the vaccine. (He did not win Georgia, which is among those states.)

Memo to the Times: Yes, Trump did win Georgia.  He had that state stolen him by a heaping helping of fraud, so the pattern holds.

Trump voters are summed up by an unnamed official as convinced that COVID is a hoax.  A quote farther down by a named official:

Dr. Lisa Cooper, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity, said she was not surprised that conservative-leaning people might be less likely to want a vaccine.

"These are people who were fed untruths about how this virus wasn't real," Dr. Cooper said. "I think it is carrying through in the vaccination realm, too."

Health equity?  Funny how they didn't ask this person's political party as they did with several other officials.  She effectively says Trumpsters are all in for hoaxes, because they were "fed untruths" by someone unnamed.  Wonder who?

One thing they didn't ask (or didn't print) of this so-called health equity expert is about vaccine hesitancy in the black community — take a look at some of those majority-black Mississippi counties or those American Indian counties in northeast Arizona on the map, and get back to us.

The bottom line in their ace investigative piece is that Trump voters are all in for believing hoaxes. 

This is a load of hooey.

If they had done just a tiny bit of digging, they might have found some insight into what is going on.

Start with the experimental nature of the vaccine, rushed through in less than a year's time.  Some hesitate to get it in order to see how this vaccine pans out on others.  This is especially true for people who have a history of bad vaccine reactions.  And there is something to this — the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been pulled from shelves to investigate several cases of blood clots, which tend to scare some potential patients.  I think it's a small issue, given that birth-control pills are involved with far higher rates of blood clots, but all the same, for some, this is an issue, and officials downplaying that raises distrust. 

There's also the sourcing, which, to me, is a big one.  Johnson & Johnson used fetal stem cells in developing its vaccine, which some Catholic bishops have said is a moral problem, given that these stem cells have been likely purchased for profit from groups such as Planned Parenthood off the bodies of aborted babies.  Some Catholic bishops, such as one in New Orleans, have said to avoid this vaccine for this reason.  A larger group of them, all leftists, have said to take it if it's all that's on offer, but get something else if you can.  The other two vaccines, the Moderna and Pfizer, have also used fetal stem cells, but farther upstream in the process, making their use less of an ethical dilemma.  All the same, for some conservatives, it's likely an issue.

Here's another one: rural areas, which President Trump won by a large margin, are often less affected, based on their low populations and open-air conditions.  Densely packed cities and enclosed areas such as prisons, subways, and nursing homes are the known hotbeds of COVID.  For those who live outside those densely pack conditions, COVID is not much of a threat.  Illegal alien farm workers working and living in packed conditions in California's Imperial Valley have been hard hit by COVID and are a rural exception, but ranchers in Wyoming and Montana have not seen the same rates or conditions.  It's also significant that the Times found that Trump voter areas with high concentrations of old people do have higher vaccine rates.  Younger people who voted for Trump know that scientifically, there is far less danger, even if they actually catch COVID itself.  They are very unlikely to be hospitalized or die.  That's science.

Here's yet another: many people have already had COVID.  Having COVID is its own immunity, so why get the experimental vaccine?  Dr. Anthony Fauci and others have twisted themselves into pretzels to say the disease offers imperfect immunity and holler about variants, but most people know that if you have the disease once, you very likely aren't going to get it again.

And one last: This idea of ordering people to invade their bodies with vaccines they don't want smacks of big government à la 1984.  Some people know that this opens the gate to more governmental control of bodies and don't want to open the gate at all.

But these are all scientific reasons, based on reasonable health care premises.  The real problems come with the politics of Joe Biden, his health care bureaucrats, and his Big Pharma political allies, all of whom have raised levels of public distrust.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are claiming credit for it, so might there be Trump voters who don't want to engage?  The pair of them are in office by election fraud and have a lot of socialist central planning goals and five-year plans.  Might not sticking a spanner in the works by not getting the vaccine to help their numbers be a part of at least some kind of ornery plan?  That's just one guess, and there are plenty of stronger ones.

Biden himself has done nothing to raise public trust.  He spews talk of "unity" but governs with very unpopular executive diktats just like a dictator, not just making outrageous orders but demanding that people believe his lies.  That's not a trust-builder at all.

Local officials are adding to the created distrust, speaking of vaccine passports and other big Brave New World plans.  You can bet some people don't want to get involved just to send a message.  That's not all from this bunch, either.  Despite having access to the world's very best UX/UI coders for the vaccine sign-up, signing up is a nightmare, at least in California, probably elsewhere, too.  On the day I became eligible for a vaccine, on March 15, I spent two hours clicking through false links claiming there were vaccines when every time I did it, there weren't.  I finally found one on the complaint-strewn state of California comments sections of Facebook through a private service called vaccine finder.  It was 20 miles away in Escondido.  That was my option unless I wanted Otay Mesa on the COVID-brimming border.  There's a vaccine center walking distance from where I live, and I wasn't allowed to get it there.  I'd like to know who was; I know I was in line first.  The obvious unfairness and extreme difficulty of just registering for the vaccine is bound to make many say "no thanks."

Biden's bureaucrats are if anything even worse.  They twist and turn about masks and mandates, with their only constant a shutdown of the entire economy.  That's not a trust-builder, either; that tells people they don't know what they are talking about.  When people can only see a naked quest for permanent power, and shifting goalposts, trust goes way down.  Want a vaccine?  Some people want no part of this at all, particularly when they claim that the vaccine doesn't mean they can end lockdowns or stop wearing a mask?  Why bother?

Here's the worst of it: the CDC excused Black Lives Matter rioters from wearing masks during their riots and lootings over the summer, claiming that some things were just too important and therefore mask-exempt.  They also gave the OK for actual COVID patients to man the voting centers, again, based on non-health considerations.  Suddenly, this isn't about "science" — this is about politics.  Care to get a vaccine now at the advice of people who don't know their stuff about masks, and who politicize mask-wearing only for the law-abiding?  The distrust from that is rampant.

Here's another one — the behavior of Big Pharma.  First, they did rush their vaccines through, based on government contract incentives, which is one thing that might bother some conservatives.  But they, too, have done their share of politics, withholding news of their vaccine until Joe Biden could safely steal the election.  They had it, and kept news of it from the public, the better to make President Trump look like a failure.  Trust them?  With that kind of thumb on the scales, don't be surprised if some conservatives don't.

All of these are issues the New York Times could have explored but didn't.  They like the Pauline Kael way of looking at things, not knowing any conservatives — much easier to paint conservatives as hopeless vaccine hesitators because they like hoaxes.  It's crap.

Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of cropped images by Gage Skidmore via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0, and Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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