The struggle to vaccinate enough Americans against the coronavirus in order to achieve herd immunity has produced frustration, anger and a whole lot of people doing things directly against their best interests when it comes to their health.
Maybe the most upside-down bit of reality that's emerged from the politicization of what should be solely a public health issue (thanks Donald Trump!) is this: The people at the most risk of being infected with the Delta variant of the virus are the least concerned about it.
A new CBS News/You Gov poll paints a stark picture. Asked whether they were concerned about the Delta variant, the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the United States and one that has led to a surge in cases in recent days, almost 3 in 4 vaccinated people (72%) said they were worried about it. Less than half (48%) of unvaccinated people said the same.
Which is, and this is a technical term, bonkers. Because, well, science.
"We're seeing 99.5% of deaths right now from Covid-19 in our country are happening among the unvaccinated," US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" Sunday.
In case you missed it: 99.5% of people who are dying from the coronavirus right now are not vaccinated. Which means -- because of math -- that less than one percent of all Covid-19 deaths are among vaccinated people.
And it's no fluke or anomaly either. In June, 99.2% of the people who died from Covid-19 were unvaccinated, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. 99.2%!
To understand just how much the politics of the virus have infected our country, let's take those numbers out of the coronavirus context.
Let's say there was a pill developed -- approved by the Food and Drug Administration and all that -- which guaranteed that you would live five healthy years longer than you would without taking it. You would take it 100% of the time, right? Because who wouldn't want to spend more time with family and friends, right? Right!
And yet, in the case of the Covid-19 vaccine, which has success rates of upwards of 90% in terms of preventing serious infection and hospitalization (and death), we are still having this dumb debate in some parts of America as to whether or not people should get the shot.
Why? Because Trump turned Covid-19 into a political issue rather than a public health one.
Look. You could be the biggest Republican or the most liberal Democrat and these two facts are still true:
1) The Delta variant is on the march through the United States -- targeting the unvaccinated primarily.
2) The vaccine lessens the symptoms if you do happen to get the Delta variant and drastically reduces your chances of dying from the virus.
The idea that LESS THAN HALF of unvaccinated Americans say they are concerned about the virus seeks to ignore those two facts. And science. And epidemiology.
Unvaccinated people are, whether they are worried about it or not, sitting ducks for the Delta variant. And when they get it, whether o not they were worried about it won't play any factor at all in whether and how they recover.
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