You will not get rid of me until this pandemic is in the rearview mirror – HotAir

You mean, all we have to do is immunize another 30 percent or so of the population, and we’re no longer going to see him on TV every five minutes?

It may be the strongest pro-vaccine pitch he has ever made.

Maybe we can compromise and convince him to retire when we get all men, women, and children in the United States, including infants, to agree to mask forever. Watch for a few minutes, then read on.

The hottest debate in COVID journalism over the past few weeks has had to do with how we know when the pandemic is over. Do we need cases or deaths to fall below a certain level and stay there for a certain period of time? Should we tie “normality” to a particular vaccination rate? Or is the pandemic over when a critical mass of Americans have decided that they are done with precautions of any kind according to their own personal risk tolerance? A Johns Hopkins epidemiologist recently told WaPo when asked how we know when the pandemic is over: “It does not end. We just stop worrying. Or we worry much less. I think That for most people, it just falls into the background of their lives. “

Well, now we have a new benchmark: The pandemic is over when Fauci resigns. Let’s meet, get shot and make our shared dream a reality.

Notice the answer he gives at the beginning of the section I cut above. We tolerate 30,000 flu deaths a year, points out Ted Koppel. Why should we not also tolerate tens of thousands of COVID deaths? I thought that would be Fauci’s sign that we’re still on the move, far, far, far more than 30,000 COVID deaths a year, but instead he’s formulating his answer in the context of vaccines. The flu shot does not work very well, he notes, because the flu mutates so aggressively every season. The COVID vaccine * works * very well. We have no choice but to tolerate a certain threshold for influenza death, but we * have * a choice about how many deaths we tolerate from an… unusually fatal disease caused by a new virus.

That logic feels counterintuitive. Influenza is a known amount, COVID is not. Influenza cases have fallen off the map over the last two years due to masks and social distancing, while we are north of 750,000 dead of COVID. It’s strange to think that we are better located against COVID in some ways than we are against influenza, but that is Fauci’s argument in relation to the effectiveness of the vaccines. If you’re worried that over time, scientists will start encouraging masking and distancing to prevent the flu – and you should be – Fauci’s comparison should only deepen your concern. We can control one virus with drugs if we could only convince enough damned people to take the vaccine, but the other virus, influenza, is not so easy to stop. Masks forever?

Speaking of the flu, my concern that Republicans are moving toward full-spectrum anti-waxism is also growing. Harry Either from CNN looked at the party numbers this fall about who gets their flu shot. Last year, there was hardly any partisan divide, with 58 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of Republicans being stabbed. The same was the case in 2016, when the Democrats led narrowly, 55/53. But this year?

According to Ipsos data, 68% of Democrats said they have had a flu shot or are very likely to get one. Only 44% of Republicans said the same thing. This 24 point hul is very similar to the 30-point difference for Covid-19 vaccines.

The Kaiser survey shows pretty much the same thing. A clear majority (65%) of Democrats indicated that they had received or would certainly receive the flu shot. Only 40% of Republicans indicated they would. That 25-point party gap in these data is an almost carbon copy of the 24-point gap in the Ipsos survey …

If you look at the data, the bias gap in influenza vaccine data for this year is due to two phenomena. The first is that Democrats appear to be more likely to have received or will receive the shot than in previous years. The second is that Republicans seem to be less likely to have done so.

It seems plausible that the push to get the Covid-19 vaccine has led to more Democrats getting the flu shot, while it has had the opposite effect on Republicans.

Note that the polarization goes both ways. It’s not just that Republicans have gotten more anti-wax; Democrats have gotten more pro-wax. Vaccines, not just the COVID vaccine, become part of the partisan tribal identity. And if that’s true, it’s easy for GOP state legislators to eventually start scraping away with school vaccine mandates for traditional diseases like measles and mumps. We will get more disease in America, and children of righteous parents will suffer disproportionately much.

I will leave you with Fauci and encourage families to meet and enjoy the holidays. It is sufficiently different from his usual form of hyper-caution that it feels like a small sign that the pandemic is coming to an end.

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