With the coronavirus being a deadly serious subject, it’s tempting to lead this piece with the storm of controversy surrounding Nicki Minaj.
But that would be – well, okay, I have to put them in the tent first.
In fact, what the hip-hop star has done is emblematic of the flood of vaccine misinformation. And by the way, despite all the conservative criticism of President Biden’s vaccine mandates, a new poll shows majority support for his position.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but anyone knowledgeable in science understands that an anecdotal case means nothing. The approach I know a guy who knows a guy is beyond sense.
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But Minaj went there with this tweet: “My cousin in Trinidad will not get the vaccine because his friend received it and became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was a few weeks away from getting married, now the daughter called off the wedding. So just pray over it and make sure you are comfortable with your decision, not being bullied. “
So a man she doesn’t know personally developed a testicular problem that could have been caused by a sexually transmitted disease or something other than the Covid vaccine. And Minaj uses it to alarm her 22 million followers.
The backlash was fierce. MSNBC’s Joy Reid unloaded on the singer: “For you to use your platform to put people in the position of dying from a disease that they don’t have to die from, oh my god. As a fan, as a that hip hop fan, as someone who is your fan, I’m so sad that you did that. So sad that you did that, sister. Oh, my god.
Minaj basically responded by calling the cable host a racial traitor: “This is what happens when you are so thirsty to shoot down another black woman (at the behest of the white man), that you don’t. didn’t bother to read all my tweets. ‘My God SISTER do better’, imagine your silly ass showing up on TV a minute after a tweet spreading a fake story about a black woman. “
At the request of the white man?
She even called Reid “uncle tomania”. And she told Meghan McCain to “eat shit”.
Minaj said her words were distorted. She said she didn’t go to the New York Met Gala (the one where AOC wore the “Tax the Rich” dress) because “if I get the shot it won’t be. [be] for the Met. It will be when I feel I have done enough research. The vaccines have been available since the end of last year and those from Pfizer are approved by the FDA; how much more research do you need?
This installment, which debuted in a prime-time Fox segment, is entertaining, but it touches on something much deeper. Many of the 80 million unvaccinated Americans may think they have legitimate reasons for refusal, some of them political, but that reluctance remains a major obstacle for our country.
Given the strong criticism of Biden’s decision by many elected Republicans, a Morning Consult / Politico poll has some illuminating numbers.
Fifty-eight percent of adults surveyed support vaccination mandates or weekly testing for employees of all companies except the smallest.
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Sixty-two percent want states to encourage shooting for all school employees; 60% support a mandate for most healthcare workers; 56% support this approach for most federal workers and contractors.
But – and it won’t come as a shock – the partisan chasm is vast. Regarding vaccination mandates for private sector employees, 80% of Democrats say yes, compared to only 33% of Republicans.
There is now a significant debate over whether Biden is overstepping his legal authority. But I doubt Republican support would be so weak if Donald Trump was still president and took such a step.
In the real world, there are 172,000 new cases of Covid-19 on average every day. In the real world, one in four hospitals report that more than 95% of their intensive care beds are occupied. And all of the intensive care beds are occupied in Alabama. That means other patients are “in the waiting room, some are in the back of ambulances, things of that nature,” a spokeswoman for the Alabama Hospital Association told The New York Times.
Remember, as the story points out, Americans who have not been vaccinated are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid than those who have been vaccinated.
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Biden initially opposed the vaccination warrants, but his persuasion efforts hit a wall. I’m tired of reading about anti-vaccines dying from the disease, whether on the radio – there was another, Denver Pastor Bob Enyart, on Monday – or ordinary people. In some cases, they leave children behind. Every such case is a tragedy, and they are preventable deaths. We regularly need vaccines against measles, chickenpox, hepatitis – why has the Covid vaccine become such a lightning rod?
Too many people would rather treat vaccines as a political fight than figure out how to save lives. And, like Nicki Minaj, they sing the wrong tune.