The Media’s Big Lie About Who Isn’t Getting Shots Is How You Know They Don’t Care About The Unvaccinated

The Media’s Big Lie About Who Isn’t Getting Shots Is How You Know They Don’t Care About The Unvaccinated

That handwringing you see on cable news from the ever ignorant TV talkers showing so much concern for people declining vaccination? Don’t buy it. It’s an act.

Determining their lack of sincerity is easy because they tell very obvious lies about who is and isn’t to blame for the continuing spread of COVID-19. (By the way, wasn’t there something about electing a new president who swore he would “shut down the virus”?)

The biggest lie of all — you might call it “the big lie” — is that white Americans, belligerent Trump supporters in particular, are the reason that the Biden administration has stalled on distributing more shots to people’s arms.

Speaking from a cluttered den Thursday on MSNBC, liberal pollster Fernand Amandi blamed Republicans for the current rising case numbers of COVID-19. Republicans “have made their bed,” he said. “They have chosen the side of being anti-science. They have chosen the side of being anti-truth.”

Amandi, who again is supposedly a professional in polling, further declared that “the numbers have born out” and show that “there’s a very clear profile” of who “continue to resist” receiving the vaccine. “Who are those that refuse to get the vaccines?” he said. “They are men, they are white, they are Republican and half of them are QAnon believers.”

Hang them!

I don’t know what numbers Amandi is sitting on but pretty much everything he said is a lie. If that were indeed the “very clear profile” of who is declining to receive a vaccine, a room full of those people, when accounting for U.S. demographic proportions, should look something like “King of the Hill.” But public data show that it would actually look more like “Fat Albert.”

The latest numbers from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation (a place for real data and not whatever Amandi has) show that “Black and Hispanic people have received smaller shares of vaccinations compared to their shares of cases and compared to their shares of the total population in most states.”

In other words, even as ethnic minorities make up a disproportionate share of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths, they’re getting vaccinated at a lower rate.

Let’s look at just Washington, D.C., where blacks make up a larger share of the population (46 percent) than whites (41 percent). While blacks account for 71 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the District, they make up only 43 percent of the population that has been vaccinated. By contrast, whites account for just 13 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the city, but make up more than half of the population that has been vaccinated.

I don’t want to hear anything about a lack of “equity” or white supremacy. The vaccine is free, it’s available everywhere, and D.C. has a black mayor and a majority-black council.

KFF’s analysis further found that “the percent of White people who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose (48 percent) was roughly 1.3 times higher than the rate for Black people (36 percent) and 1.2 times higher than the rate for Hispanic people (41 percent)” as of mid-July.”

It’s true that Republicans are less likely to say they want the vaccine than Democrats. But looking just at Republicans, the vast majority, 63 percent, say they have been or will get vaccinated. Just 20 percent, according to a Public Religion Research Institute survey from June, said they flat out refuse.

As for the “QAnon” factor, that supposedly half of Republicans who don’t want a shot are believers in an elaborate conspiracy involving the devil, Democrats, and pedophilia (i.e. a standard stay at Jeffrey Epstein’s private island), again, it’s unclear where Fernand Armani exhumed that factoid.

One PRRI survey said that a fifth of Republicans “generally agree with QAnon theories.” (More properly understood, those Republicans “generally agree” that they have a visceral hatred of Democrats and are willing to say they believe the worst things about them, kind of like how Democrats believed Trump to be a racist Russian puppet.) Among those who were placed as “generally agreeable to QAnon theories,” fewer than 40 percent were identified as a “vaccine refuser.” Doing some quick math on the back of a napkin, that amounts to approximately — well, it’s not half of the Republican Party. It’s not even half of the Republicans who believe in QAnon.

Is Amandi an idiot? The profile is becoming very clear.

Admittedly, it’s also true that men are slightly less likely to have been vaccinated than women, but it’s not a striking difference.

The CDC reports that for people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 52.8 percent are women and 47.2 percent are men. There also happen to be slightly more women in the U.S. than men, so it’s not the most revealing fact about vaccination rates.

In short, the myth perpetuated by people like Amandi, that white Republicans are the sole vectors of disease gleefully shunning vaccines, is just that — a myth. And that’s how you know that people like Amandi don’t care about the unvaccinated. They lie. They care about politics.

Eddie Scarry is the D.C. columnist at The Federalist and author of "Privileged Victims: How America's Culture Fascists Hijacked the Country and Elevated Its Worst People."
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