Perspectives: Areas Of Low Vaccination Left Susceptible; Should Children Be Masked This Summer?
Opinion writers examine these Covid, vaccine and mask issues.
The Washington Post:
Huge Disparities In Vaccination Rates Are Creating Islands Of Vulnerability Across The Country
Just as the United States fell into a patchwork of pandemic responses last year, the lifesaving vaccine drive has encountered troublesome zones of indifference and resistance. President Biden’s goal of at least partial vaccination for 70 percent of Americans by July Fourth now looks to be slipping away. Even more worrisome are persistent islands of vaccine hesitancy in some states and communities that could face renewed illness in the autumn. On Monday, Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced Vermont had become the first state to vaccinate 80 percent of those eligible with at least one dose. Vermont has given out 131,473 doses per 100,000 population. By contrast, in Mississippi only 35 percent of the overall population has received at least one dose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the Mississippi vaccination rate at less than half that of Vermont, or 61,278 administered per 100,000. (6/14)
Los Angeles Times:
Why We Should Let Children Go Maskless Outdoors This Summer
We are living in a modern dystopia when, in the name of science, adults enjoy life unmasked while young children are masked; adults freely go to restaurants and gyms while children have attended school mainly by remote learning. The U.S. pandemic policies have firmly placed us in this position. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidance for youth camps in late May that used vague wording that could be read as recommending continued outdoor masking of children. “People who are not fully vaccinated,” it said, “are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated.” Most group camp activities will require “sustained close contact.” (Mayssa Abuali and Amy Beck, 6/15)
The Baltimore Sun:
Biden’s Vaccine Goal Of 70% By July 4 Could Pass Us By, And We Have No One To Blame But Ourselves
It wasn’t that long ago that people were clamoring for COVID-19 vaccines, with some going as far as lying about their age to secure the much-in-demand, but not readily available shots, back when they were meted out by age, oldest first. Now the country is in a whole other, opposite dilemma with plenty of vaccines to go around, but not enough willing people waving their arms to get them. The concern is so great that governments, including Maryland’s, and businesses are trying to entice people with incentives such as food, cash and lottery winnings. (6/14)
Biden COVID Response Previews The Rest Of His Term: Details And Empathy, Hold The Bravado
After an intense six-month tour of duty in the White House working on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response, I’ve learned a lot about how President Joe Biden’s term is likely to unfold. In the way he has managed this crisis, and the contrast to details emerging now on former President Donald Trump’s pandemic approach, there are many clues to how he will handle foreign and domestic policy. The Biden team has been guided by his strong sense of personal accountability and integrity. Whatever the circumstance, we anchored ourselves to public commitments – without excuse. If we beat them, as we did with our goal of delivering 100 million shots in 100 days, we raised the goal. Even when surprise storms shut down vaccine deliveries and distribution sites, we remained publicly accountable for rapidly vaccinating the country, reporting on each delay and when it would be made up. (Andy Slavitt, 6/15)