We’ve published more than one piece about the concept that anti-vaxxers were in some capacity a marketing tool for COVID profiteers. While these pieces are actually speculative and labeled as such, they may not be far off the mark.
It is undeniable that Ron DeSantis, Florida’s hard right governor, is pushing back against preventive measures, testing, masks and vaccines. The result is devastating with nearly 78,000 new cases yesterday. This must be music to the ears of Kenneth C. Griffin, the governor’s largest campaign donor. It so happens that Griffin, a billionaire hedge fund CEO, owns significant shares in Regeneron, a maker of the monoclonal antibodies that DeSantis is pushing.
DeSantis is trying to push blame for the rising COVID numbers off on President Biden despite the fact that DeSantis has enacted legislation preventing local and regional authorities from enacting masking and social distancing measures to prevent infections. At the same time he’s on a roll pushing therapeutics—monoclonal antibodies—which cost orders of magnitude more than vaccines.
The federal government’s failure to focus on COVID therapeutics nationwide has cost many lives.
Here in Florida, we will continue to emphasize the importance of effective therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies. pic.twitter.com/Fb3NbOA89k
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 8, 2022
The Florida “Surgeon General,” an anti-masker before his appointment, has been outspoken in criticizing the vast increase in testing of people who have no symptoms. Of course this is in stark ignorance of the fact that people infected with COVID can be asymptomatic for days and in that time infect others.
Florida is of course not alone in the “Florida Man” mentality too often appropriately attributed to denizens of the state. Ten Republican-led states have joined in actions against vaccine and other prevention mandates pushed by the Biden administration. Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming have all gone to court to oppose vaccine mandates.
It seems that in these states the rights to profit from ill people takes precedence over actual public health. And this is of course couched as protecting people’s “rights.”
Other countries are far and away smarter than the United States when it comes to managing the pandemic. Canada is now proposing to make vaccines mandatory. Taiwan clamped down hard early on in 2020 and enacted such stringent rules that it was able to avoid lock downs and they have very few deaths. New Zealand had about 40 deaths total while we have lost well over 800,000.
Hong Kong’s restrictions are stringent. Visitors there are confronted with these requirements:
- Undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in a designated quarantine hotel;
- Undergo 6 tests during compulsory quarantine (professional swab sampling);
- Self-monitoring in the subsequent 7 days; and.
- Compulsory testing on the 26th day of arrival at Hong Kong at any Community Testing Centre (CTC)
Meanwhile the United States seems to be hellbent on having the largest number of deaths from COVID in the world and is leading every other country daily in new infections. The other glaring distinction is that we are the ONLY large economy on the planet where healthcare is a for-profit business. And the same politicians who oppose vaccine mandates and masks also oppose universal healthcare and still call it “communist.”
This is an ugly fact. It is hard to confront the idea that people could be so evil as to wish this disease on others so as to profit from their care. But the evidence of this is in front of us every day.
Greed cares little for sustainability. The fact is that the vast majority of people who are becoming infected with COVID, who are being hospitalized and who are dying from it appear to be Republicans. And this seems to be completely lost on the Republican Party as it marches forward in lockstep against sensible preventive measures and science.
There hasn’t been as many calls for herd immunity of late. But herd stupidity is running rampant and over 2,000 of this herd are dying every day.
Maybe we ought to view Republican actions on this front in a different light: crimes against humanity.