From Vox’s Joss Fong, a video essay on how conservatives turned against the Covid-19 vaccine in the US.
President Donald Trump presided over the fastest vaccine development process in history, leading to abundant, free vaccines in the US by the spring of 2021. Although the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines haven’t been able to stop transmission of the virus, they have been highly effective against hospitalization and death, saving hundreds of thousands of lives and rendering the majority of new Covid-19 deaths preventable.
Trump has received three doses of the vaccine. But many of his most dedicated supporters have refused, and many have died as a result. Why? Obvious culprits include misinformation on social media and Fox News and the election of Joe Biden, which placed a Democrat at the top of the US government throughout the vaccine distribution period. But if you look closely at the data, you’ll see that vaccine-hesitant conservatives largely made up their mind well before the vaccines were available and before Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.
In the early stages, conservative leaders (Fox News anchors and Donald Trump) repeatedly downplayed the severity of Covid-19 to a “flu like symptoms.” Having convinced their base of this, the mask and vaccine mandates seemed like over encroachment. Words matter. Words from leadership matters even more.
The GOP and Fox News has blood on their hands.