Looks like Alabama Governor Kay Ivey got the memo yesterday — to start promoting COVID-19 vaccines and pass the blame for the climbing rate of infections on the unvaccinated masses in Alabama, the ones she and her republican colleagues help create.

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Here are some zingers from the press conference —

Media, I want you to start reporting the facts. The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.

Folks are supposed to have common sense. It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down….I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t make you take care of yourself.

That’s the cure. That prevents everything. Why do we want to mess around with just temporary stuff? We don’t need to just encourage people to go halfway with curing this disease. Let’s get it done. We know what it takes to get it done. Get a shot in your arm. I’ve done it. It’s safe. The data proves it. It doesn’t cost anything. It saves lives.

People must take care of themselves and us as well. We can’t do that for them. All we can do is everybody take the shot for themselves, so encourage others to do likewise.

Asked how the federal government could increase the state’s vaccination rate, Ivey replied, “I don’t know, you tell me.”

When she said “Media, I want you to start reporting the facts,” we suppose she was referring to the purveyors of lies and misinformation on Fox media and the rest of the right-wing noise chamber.

And what “temporary stuff” is she talking about? Hydroxychloroquine and bleach? UV lights?

She also said that she would not mandate students to wear masks when classes resume in Alabama’s public schools, saying that decision should be left up to school districts.

OTOH, one has to wonder whether all these references to “unvaccinated and horrible lifestyle folks” vs “regular folks” are dog-whistle references to POCs, immigrants and Democrats vs white evangelical republicans. Republicans never blame or admonish their own flock.

The Buck stops where?

Kay Ivey cannot hide from the fact that she and her party are largely responsible for the mess in Alabama and the rest of the country,

  • Last week, she rejected a plan by President Joe Biden in which community-based volunteers would go door to door to encourage COVID-19 vaccination and offer help to those who need it.
    • Earlier this week, Ivey rejected a call for wearing masks in schools that was made by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    • Earlier this year, Ivey signed a bill to ban vaccine “passports” in the state of Alabama, which banned businesses from requiring vaccination or asking about vaccination status and banned schools, including colleges, from requiring the vaccine.
    • In May, she terminated participation in all Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Programs for folks in Alabama.
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    Data shows just 33.9% of the people in Alabama are fully vaccinated, while the national average is 48.4%.

    The result is this –

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    We suppose this is not going to sit well with many trump supporters in Alabama, who are largely unvaccinated because they have been convinced by republican leaders that vaccines are evil, they contain microchips, cause magnetism, infertility, etc. and they are no good against a virus which is a Chinese hoax anyways.

    Epilogue

    Kay Ivey joins a growing chorus of prominent republicans who suddenly discovered this week that watching their supporters get hospitalized or lose their lives is not good for their 2022 prospects. McConnell, DeSantis and Hannity are all pro-vaccine now. Who will next join the bandwagon? trump?

    Maybe, there is some Machiavellian strategy behind all this — to blame Democrats, Biden, Fauci, POC and immigrants for the mess and to take credit for saving white America. Who knows.

    Hypocritical as all this is, we should be happy with these developments. It will save lives, and not just republican ones. It will help arrest the recent rise in COVID-19 infections and help us inch towards herd immunity.

    Politically, this will help further widen the fissures within the republican party since there will be many who are too deep down the anti-vaccine rabbit hole to climb out of it. And many will be hospitalized and many will die in the coming weeks. And at least some of them and their friends/family will place the blame where it rightfully belongs — at trump and the rest of the republican party.

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    This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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