A curious case of Republicans dying of Covid Oregon Live

A curious case of Republicans dying of Covid Featured

AMERICA holds the world's worst record on Covid-19. To date, 706,000 Americans are dead, 14.8 percent of 4.75 million deaths worldwide, while 333 million Americans comprise only 4.3 percent of the world's 7.8 billion population. Go figure!

Donald Trump is no longer president. But his incompetence and criminal disdain for American lives make him among the worst American presidents ever. This is his legacy. But Trump is hardly alone in this. He had the American fringe as accomplices; the Trumpers, his fanatical cohorts whose ideological precepts may be labeled as Trumpism — a compendium of conservative social and political beliefs lodged within the right-wing spectrum of the Republican Party never seen before in US presidential politics.

Trumpers/Trumpists/Trumpism

American political sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset, who died before Trump's ascendancy, demarcated a class of Americans, generally white male, less likely to have a college degree, making $50,000 annually or less, describing themselves as "conservatives." Fusing this self-avowal with the lower class from whence they sprung, places them in the category of the "working-class authoritarians." Lipset further postulates their "authoritarian predispositions and ethnic prejudice flow more naturally from the situation of the lower classes than from that of middle and upper classes." Donald Trump appealed to this type becoming the "staunchest champion of the white working class that American politics has seen in decades...[these] working-class groups have proven to be the most nationalistic and jingoistic sector of the population." (Jordan Smith, National Journal)

A symbiosis ripened between Trump and this class. He was attracted to them as he inspired the mob. He was not born to this class but imbibed its intellectual proclivities and embraced its language. Political sociologists suggest that these Americans in the lower strata are drawn to extremist movements and "once recruited, they will not be alienated by its lack of democracy, while more educated or sophisticated supporters will tend to drop away." (Jordan Smith, National Journal) Hillary Clinton in 2016 described them as a "basket of deplorables"; racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic — and Trump lifted them up. Their politics lean heavily toward the Republican Party. These Trumpers, white supremacists, the dregs of the Republicans, fight for dominance of the party's mainstream. Their sentiments regenerate the Republican agenda, their politics seeping into their political conversation, parroted in the US Congress and in red state legislatures; their syntax artlessly arranged to sway the least common denominator of the inarticulate during political rallies. Their grievances are insanely eclectic, from a delusional stolen election demanding Trump's reinstatement as president; to voter suppression targeting black democrats; to banning abortion; to imposing racial standards on immigrants, particularly from Islamic countries. But the more dangerous pronouncements are pandemic related.

A terrible scenario

A grim development is unfolding in America's fight against Covid-19. Thanks to Trump's Operation Warp Speed, the big pharmaceuticals — driven by profit motive, capitalism's leitmotif, particularly at a time of a global catastrophe — responded with alacrity. What could have taken years of vaccine development was accomplished in just two. China, Germany and India were well into vaccinating their citizens, with China extending its sphere of influence in Asia. America has a different story to tell. Even with available vaccines that can potentially cover their population twice over, the Americans did not react fast and well enough. Consequently, a surging new Delta variant overtook their communities.

Well into the US vaccine rollout, statistics show that a third of Americans have refused inoculation. The Trumpers are in the forefront preaching anti-vaccine, anti-masking and anti-social distancing, woven into all sorts of conspiracy theories and reinforced by Fox News and right-wing media. All these vehement objections are coated with a patina of cherished concepts of liberty and freedom. They will not be dictated upon. Their individual rights to choose must prevail over the mandates of government. This is the American way! The paradox is that Trump has had his two vaccine jabs, and 90 percent of Fox News personnel have already been inoculated.

This incessant hammering by the Trumpers has distorted the pandemic narrative. In the 2020 presidential elections, 17 of the 18 states that voted for Trump have the lowest vaccination rates. And they have a higher morbidity ratio particularly among the Trumpers' demographics of 65 years old and above. These data show Covid deaths affect white Republican families disproportionately, with the possible exception of black Democrats where healthcare disparities exist. In this case, race comes into the picture as black Americans are more likely to die from Covid than white Americans — whether Republicans or Democrats.

CNN's gruesome figures reveal that "86 percent of Democrats have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 inoculation compared to just 45 percent of Republicans. And 38 percent of Republicans say they will definitely not get any doses of vaccine. Of 10 states where Covid-19 cases rose more than 10 percent in the last week, eight have Republican governors. More than 99 percent of deaths from Covid-19 in June were in unvaccinated people...states with low vaccine rates have almost triple the rate of new Covid-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Unvaccinated people were five times more likely to get Covid-19 than vaccinated peers and 29 times more likely to be hospitalized for their infections." This evidence shows that there are more unvaccinated Republicans than Democrats. And more of the former die of Covid-19.

Now America is in the midst of the 2022 campaign for the med-term elections. Trump has of late roused his fanatical base to push for the state, local legislative districts and in the congressional elections. Their political rallies are classic Delta variant super-spreaders. Killing off the Trumpers, the most dependable of GOP voters may not be the best political strategy — except for the Democrats.

Trumpist influencers

Backstopping the Trumpers are personalities who rule the airwaves – radio-TV. A sampling of these right-wing radio hosts was all over the place rousing the mob against the vaccines.

Dick Farrel, the anchor of Newsmax TV of NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach, was known as the other Rush Limbaugh. He was a staunch advocate against the vaccines and called Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and chief medical adviser to the US president, a "lying freak." He died on Aug. 4, 2021. He was 65.

Marc Bernier is known as "Mr. Anti-Vax" on his weekday WNDB radio show from Daytona Beach. He was a respected conservative radio host for over 30 years. He was 65 years old when he died of Covid-19 in late August.

Phil Valentine of Nashville, Tennessee, talk show host of SuperTalk 99.7 WTN was skeptical of coronavirus vaccines. A radio personality for some 40 years, he had a wide following with his program syndicated in 100 stations in the US. Moved into a critical care facility, he regretted "he wasn't a more vocal advocate of the vaccination...I wish I had gotten it!" He died last August at 61 years old.

These influencers refused to be vaccinated while they had the chance. In their intensive-care deathbeds, they regretted forgoing vaccination. Too late!

The pandemic is still raging worldwide killing millions. In America, vaccines are widely available. Covid-19 should be non-political. Unless unthinking humans force the virus to choose sides.

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Read 54 times Last modified on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 11:09
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