Similarly, it is the case with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced that all citizens aged 30 and over can be vaccinated with one of the three available drugs. A week later, all New Yorkers aged 16 and over are on it – that is the current minimum age.
So the capacities are there, the offer is right. But there is a problem with the demand. Large parts of the population have so far refused to be vaccinated. Two weeks ago, Biden clearly expressed his lack of understanding about this. “I just don’t understand this kind of macho behavior, saying, ‘I’m not going to take the vaccine, I have a right as an American, the freedom not to do that,'” he said on ABC News.
All living former US presidents with the exception of Donald Trump promoted vaccinations in a video in mid-March.
In view of the increasing number of infections – on Monday, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University in the USA, 68,648 new infections were registered within one day, around 17,000 more than on the same day the previous week – warned the head of the CDC health authority, Rochelle Walensky, that she would Don’t feel like mischief is imminent. There is so much to look forward to and so much reason to hope. “But at the moment I’m scared.”
Several states are lifting restrictions
The government worries that some Republican states have lifted or intend to lift the mask requirement and have taken other opening steps. It is feared that everything could be jeopardized again in the last, decisive meters of the pandemic.
[Jeden Donnerstag die wichtigsten Entwicklungen aus Amerika direkt ins Postfach – mit dem Newsletter „Washington Weekly“ unserer USA-Korrespondentin Juliane Schäuble. Hier geht es zur kostenlosen Anmeldung.]
The government is also concerned about the high number of people who have not yet wanted to take advantage of a vaccination offer. The magazine “The Atlantic” wrote a week ago: “America is now in the hands of vaccine skeptics.” Surveys show that around 60 percent of Americans are willing to vaccinate. But among the remaining 40 percent, in addition to the undecided, there are many objectors. Politically, the majority of them are with the Republican Party.
It is not clear when exactly herd immunity is achieved. But there are approximations: For a return to normality, 70 to 85 percent of the population would have to be vaccinated, says America’s top virologist Anthony Fauci. This gives vaccine skeptics great power over how quickly the United States can get out of the pandemic.
Right-wing extremists specifically spread false information
It is dangerous that the anti-vaccination groups from certain circles are reinforced in their skepticism. According to research by the “New York Times”, right-wing extremists deliberately scatter “apocalyptic” misinformation about the dangerousness of vaccines.
On social platforms like Telegram, they distributed articles and videos describing the vaccines as “weapons of mass destruction” that could “eradicate” humanity. Doctors and nurses who administer vaccinations would be charged as “war criminals”.
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There is a noticeable overlap between these conspiracy theorists and those Trump supporters who propagated the alleged election fraud for weeks and were involved in the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. The Proud Boys are there as well as the Boogaloo movement and other paramilitary groups. Supporters of QAnon, who had claimed by March 4 that Trump would take power again and that his opponents would go to prison, are also spreading such theses.
The goal is therefore the same: to damage the current government and the reputation of Biden. If herd immunity cannot be achieved in the foreseeable future and restrictions on public life have to be maintained, then trust in the institutions will continue to decline, according to the calculation.
Trump had secretly vaccinated himself
Trump himself, after all, made public positive statements about the vaccination two weeks ago – after he had secretly vaccinated himself and his wife Melania before they had to leave the White House on January 20. The vaccines are safe and work, he said on Fox News. He would recommend these many people who still refused to be vaccinated, including, as he himself admitted, many of his followers.
A new poll reported by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday gives rise to hope. Accordingly, the government’s advertising campaign is having an impact. The number of skeptics has decreased significantly even in conservative southern states such as Alabama, Louisiana, North and South Carolina.
Particularly important: Even among African-Americans, who are particularly hard hit by the spread of the virus, but are skeptical of mass vaccinations for historical reasons, the number of those who want to be vaccinated is increasing.
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