Colorado Democrat Gov. Jared Polis declared the coronavirus emergency “over” in an interview Friday, proclaiming that in an era of widely available vaccines, it’s people’s “own darn fault” if they get sick.
“Everybody had more than enough opportunity to get vaccinated,” Polis told Colorado Public Radio. “Hopefully, it’s been at your pharmacy, your grocery store, a bus near you, [or at] big events. At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really your own darn fault.”
Polis made the comments while explaining his refusal to reimplement a statewide mask mandate as have other Democrat governors in Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, and New Mexico, each of which include mask requirements despite vaccination status, according to a MultiState tracker. Mandates passed by Democrat governors in California and New York exclude the vaccinated but not people with natural immunity due to prior infection.
“Those who get sick, it’s almost entirely their own darn fault,” Polis reiterated. “I don’t want to say that nobody [will get the virus if they’re] vaccinated, but it’s very rare. Just to put it in perspective, of the about 1,400 people hospitalized, less than 200 (0r 16 percent) are vaccinated. And many of them are older or have other conditions. Eighty-four percent of the people in our hospitals are unvaccinated, and they absolutely had every chance to get vaccinated.”
The Colorado governor went on to encourage the public to get booster shots as immunity wanes and the Omicron variant spreads.
“I still encourage everybody who hasn’t been vaccinated to get protected,” Polis said. “And for those who are, make sure to get that booster after six months.”
While the rise of Omicron has spiked concerns of waning vaccine immunity, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Europe’s CDC equivalent, reported on Sunday that cases of the new strain up to this point have been “either asymptomatic or mild.”
“There have been no Omicron-related deaths reported thus far,” the European health agency reported, based on cases for which severity data is available.
All Omicron cases for which there is available information on severity were either asymptomatic or mild (EU report). There have been no Omicron-related deaths reported. https://t.co/gaXW9uWiIB
— Marty Makary MD, MPH (@MartyMakary) December 13, 2021
Polis also admonished power-drunk public health officials and their guidelines.
“Public health [officials] don’t get to tell people what to wear; that’s just not their job,” Polis said. “Public health [officials] would say to always wear a mask because it decreases flu and decreases [other airborne illnesses]. But that’s not something that you require; you don’t tell people what to wear. You don’t tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in winter and force them to. If they get frostbite, it’s their own darn fault.”
Polis, who is running for a second term next year, has resisted statewide lockdown measures since the introduction of effective vaccines reduced the severity of coronavirus by spring. Last month, Polis criticized neighboring Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s mask mandate as evidence that such mandates don’t work to reduce community spread.
“Scientists simply don’t know why our region has a spike,” Polis said as cases rose before they began to decline again in mid-November.
Polis has left decisions on new lockdown measures up to local jurisdictions.