BERNARD COLUMN: Either you get vaccinated or you get COVID

Published 11:30 am Saturday, January 8, 2022

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By Jack Bernard
Bernard is a retired corporate executive

As one physician told me, either Americans will get vaccinated/boosted… or they will get Covid-19. Period. And although a small percentage of the vaccinated/boosted will still get Covid, their symptoms will be mild. Plus, a much larger proportion of the unvaccinated will die. 

Our tribalistic society is causing excessive American deaths and illness. Already, over 800,000 of our fellow citizens have perished due to Covid-19, many since vaccinations have been made available. And, due to the fact that few are vaccinated worldwide, variants will continue to spring up.

Georgia has a high rate of infection. But Troup is much worse. In Troup County, cases are skyrocketing. In the last two weeks, there have been 1388/100K infections in Troup as compared to 1058/100k for Georgia.

The current Troup average cases per day is 104, the highest ever since the pandemic began. On a recent day, it was 142. And, with nearly half of the people being tested positive, the future looks grim (the national goal is 5% or less).

Why is the pandemic so bad in Troup? Because the rate of vaccinations in Troup is only 37% (two shots) and even lower for those also boosted (11%). Georgia is one of the worst states for vaccinations, but even Georgia is better than Troup with 53% with two shots and 17% with all three. For reference purposes, the national goal is 75% fully vaccinated.

Per a recent Axios poll, the basic mistrust of government that certain groups possess comprises one of the main inhibitors of vaccinations. And it’s getting worse. We have a smaller number of unvaccinated now than we did six months ago. But their irrational views have hardened.  When asked if they trust the Federal government, only 22% of the unvaccinated responded positively. Six months ago, the number was 43%. The figures are even worse for white unvaccinated Americans. Only 15% trust the federal government versus 38% six months ago.  However, even among the vaccinated, trust is down to 56% among whites. Six months ago, whites were at 62%.

Why are white Americans so alienated toward the government? To a large extent the media, including social media, is responsible. For the sake of brevity, this column will only deal with national TV news.

It is hard to distinguish political commentators from news figures on all TV channels other than PBS. MSNBC and CNN clearly tilt left. But it is particularly difficult to identify real news on the three conservative networks — Fox, OAN and Newsmax. All of these networks are vying for the same conservative white audience. And all three are actively and constantly reinforcing the anti-government attitudes already prevalent among this group.