Viewpoints: Increasing Pressure To Convince The Hesitant; Should Biden Recruit Bush To Help With Covid?
Opinion writers tackle these Covid and vaccine issues.
Unvaccinated Americans Under Mounting Pressure To Get Covid Shots
Social, moral and political pressure is beginning to build on tens of millions of Americans who decline to take safe, effective vaccines against Covid-19, as even some conservative politicians join the persuasion effort amid a dangerous new wave. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top government infectious diseases expert, bluntly warned on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday the pandemic is "going in the wrong direction" because 50% of the country is not fully vaccinated. (Stephen Collinson, 7/26)
The New York Times:
Biden Needs A Special Envoy On Covid. Enlist Bush
The Biden administration says it wants to end the pandemic in 2022. If it’s serious about that goal, President Biden should relieve George W. Bush of his paintbrush and easel and draft him as America’s vaccine envoy. The world remembers W. for Iraq. But Mr. Bush was also the first global health president. Millions of people know that they owe their lives, and the lives of loved ones, to PEPFAR — the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — the effort led by the Bush White House to try to end the H.I.V./AIDS pandemic in Africa and around the world. (James Harding, 7/26)
The Washington Post:
Republicans Unleashed A Deadly Vaccine Skepticism. Can They Now Contain It?
Bad news is leading to at least a bit of good news: The surge of the coronavirus delta variant seems to have lit a fire under many Republican politicians. As the virus spreads largely in GOP regions with low vaccination rates, leaders of a party where anti-vax sentiment has run rampant have started sounding the alarm: Not getting vaccinated really can kill you. One of the most unequivocal statements came from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “These shots need to get in everybody’s arm as rapidly as possible,” he said last week, adding a swipe at those pushing falsehoods about vaccines, who happen to include many in his own party: (E.J. Dionne Jr, 7/25)
London’s Delta Covid Surge Should Jolt New York
London is in a precarious position when it comes to Covid-19. Remaining restrictions were recently lifted in the city along with the rest of the U.K. even as the highly infectious delta variant drives cases higher. London’s delta wave won't be as bad as past outbreaks — hospitalizations and deaths remain low because of its high vaccination rate. But the trend is moving in the wrong direction. New cases are averaging about 5,000 a day, people are isolating at high rates, and hospitalizations are beginning to tick up. The reaction to loosened restrictions has been muted and often critical. A big question is whether New York, another large city that has reopened after having been through the Covid wringer in 2020, will face a similar resurgence of cases that could thwart its return to normal. The answer is likely yes — and there's a even chance it could be worse than London’s in some ways. (Max Nisen, 7/26)
Why Vaccinating Children Is More Important Than Ever
A patient with a high fever and forced breathing shakes uncomfortably in bed, chest rising and falling at irregular intervals. Saliva and mucus pool in the back of the throat, exacerbating labored breaths. To many practitioners treating both adults and children over the past 16 months, this description brings back all-too-familiar memories of distressed patients seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the late 19th and early 20th century, this was also a common scene, albeit with a different cause: diphtheria, a bacteria that infects the back of the throat causing fevers, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes, among other symptoms. Sound familiar? (Lucas Bruton, 7/23)
Los Angeles Times:
Everyone Should Mask Up, Because Kids Aren't Vaccinated
The official guidance for COVID-19 safety is becoming more chaotic by the day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that only the unvaccinated need to wear masks, but the American Academy of Pediatrics urges everyone to do so. California is requiring people to cover their faces at school, and Los Angeles County went even further with a full indoor mandate. Meanwhile, other states are banning or discouraging mask rules. As the school year approaches and children under 12 remain ineligible for vaccination, this chaos is downright dangerous. (Karolina Corin, 7/26)
Dallas Morning News:
We Are In A Race Between The COVID Virus And Vaccinations
COVID-19 is not over yet. The more contagious delta variant is the dominant strain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and COVID cases have more than doubled in the past two weeks, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Only half of vaccine-eligible individuals over the age of 12 in Dallas and Tarrant counties are fully vaccinated, according to DSHS vaccine dashboard. Teens and young adults have much lower rates of vaccination compared to seniors, per the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation dashboard. We are far from achieving herd immunity. Health experts at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health estimate that will require at least 70% of the population to be fully vaccinated. (Hussain Lalani and Arthur Hong, 7/25)
Kansas City Star:
KU, UMKC Professor’s Advice On Fighting Vaccine Conspiracies
After a long, hard-won decline, COVID-19 cases are spiking again in Kansas City. Some days this month saw more new cases than the same time last year. Those ugly numbers show how hard it has been for experts to persuade our community to vaccinate, despite an overwhelming consensus among doctors and scientists that the inoculations are very safe and very effective. Our national vaccination campaign is stumbling in dangerous ways, as the drive to immunize our communities hits a disturbing partisan gap. More than 80% of Democrats have received at least one shot, compared to just half of Republicans — and Republicans are much more likely to say they don’t plan to get immunized. That split hits particularly hard in Kansas and Missouri, where some conservative communities have turned their backs on experts. (Colin McRoberts, 7/25)