Recent polls show about a quarter of American adults either don’t plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine or want to wait on it. The numbers have held steady for months: 27 percent in a recent Quinnipiac poll, 25 percent in an NPR/Marist poll from late March, and 30 percent in a Pew survey from mid-February. After federal health officials called for a pause in the distribution of Johnson and Johnson’s one-shot vaccine last week over fears of severe blood-clotting, the number of vaccine-hesitant Americans could be slightly higher now.
That means tens of millions of American adults won’t be getting a vaccine, at least not right away. Why? For corporate media, the answer is simple: those people are idiots who have either bought into crazy conspiracy theories about the pandemic or are simply too selfish and lazy to do the right thing. Dr. Anthony Fauci, for one, is very frustrated with them.
For outlets like The New York Times, it’s even simpler: “Least Vaccinated U.S. Counties Have Something in Common: Trump Voters,” ran a recent headline in the Times. The article argues that vaccine hesitancy “is highest in counties that are rural and have lower income levels and college graduation rates — the same characteristics found in counties that were more likely to have supported Mr. Trump.”
In other words, it’s all those science-denying MAGA idiots who are wary of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The Times article notes the vaccine gap persists even in wealthier Trump-supporting areas, so it’s not just poor and uneducated Trump voters who are vaccine-suspicious, they’re all like that. Figures, right?
Not quite. The Trump administration shepherded these vaccines into existence. It was Trump’s own Operation Warp Speed that oversaw the record-breaking development of COVID-19 vaccines. Indeed, Trump himself boasted last fall that every American would be able to get a vaccine by April of this year, a prediction the media mocked at the time but has now come to pass. Devotion to Trump, then, would suggest an enthusiasm for the vaccines he championed, not hesitancy.