It’s a difficult time to be an individual who questions the wisdom of getting COVID-19 vaccines. Not only are some misinformed vaccinated people treating you with a holier-than-thou attitude and acting like you’re putting the whole world at more risk than they are, but even public figures who don’t know you personally and know nothing about your motivations are laying on the criticism.
Of course, it’s easy to recognize this for what it is: a desperate appeal to get more people vaccinated as it becomes increasingly clear that people aren’t getting the protection that they expect and the vaccines are not stemming the spread of the disease, which was their main argument in favor of mass vaccinations initially. And it’s an approach that the public largely disapproves of, a new poll shows.
A Convention of States Action/Trafalgar Group survey posed the following question:
“Do you believe public figures being openly critical of Americans who choose not to be vaccinated is an appropriate way to increase vaccination rates?”
The answer was overwhelmingly “no”, with 59.8 percent of people responding negatively and 16.5 percent of people saying that they were unsure. Only 23.7 percent said yes. The survey was taken from July 29 to August 1 and polled 1,085 likely general election voters. The margin of error is +/- 2.98 percent.
As expected, there were some divisions along party lines. More than three quarters of Republican respondents felt this is not an appropriate way to drive vaccination rates, while 61.4 percent of independent voters concurred. While 40.5 percent of Democrats said it was not appropriate, 36 percent believed that it was somehow a good way to get people on board.
The President of Convention of States Action, Mark Meckler, said in a statement: “Name-calling citizens who choose not to be vaccinated is immoral and dangerous. Once again, Washington DC and its allies in big business and big media are hugely out-of-step with the overwhelming sentiments of the American people across all political parties and perspectives.”
He added that “relying on leaders with common sense in our nation’s capital to take a stand isn’t getting the job done” before calling on Americans to demand that their representatives “do right by them.”
Leaders are criticizing unvaccinated people even though vaccinated people also spread the disease
Unfortunately, leaders like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are only strengthening their criticism of unvaccinated people. He spoke about his city’s plans to shut unvaccinated people out of society, saying that NYC is a “miraculous place literally full of wonders” and that only vaccinated people will have the key to “open the door.” Unvaccinated people will be barred from indoor restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms there.
He added: “It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life.”
Meanwhile, California Governor Gavin Newsom has drawn sharp criticism for comparing unvaccinated people to drunk drivers. Appearing on CNN, he said, “It’s like drunk drivers — you don’t have the right to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else at risk, including your own life.”
In July, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey came under fire for saying that it was “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks” for the spike in COVID-19 cases seen there. When a reporter asked what would boost the state’s low vaccination rate, she snapped, replying “I don’t know, you tell me!”
“Folks are supposed to have common sense,” she added. “But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”
This type of criticism is highly unlikely to convince people to get the vaccine. Many of those who have not been vaccinated are concerned about severe side effects, and no amount of bullying is going to convince them to get it if they feel the potential benefits aren’t worth the risk. And now that we know that vaccinated people are equally as contagious as unvaccinated people, it simply doesn’t make any sense to have two sets of rules.
Sources for this article include: