Alabama’s Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is very angry.
In a list of states ranked by percentage of population that are fully vaccinated, her state comes in dead last. As of Friday, only 33.91 percent of Alabamans are fully vaccinated, according to the newsletter Becker Hospital Review.
Sounding more like a drill sergeant than a Southern governor, Ivy launched into a pretty shocking and divisive attack on “the unvaccinated.”
At a Birmingham news conference Thursday, she told reporters:
“Let’s be crystal clear about this issue. And maybe I want you to start reporting the facts. The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100 percent of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.
“You all, we’ve got to get folks to take the shot. The vaccine is the greatest weapon we have to fight COVID. There’s no question about that. …”
“The unvaccinated is who we need to focus on. … It’s their job to take care of themselves and us as well.”
She reiterated the message in answer to a question.
“Folks are supposed to have common sense,” she said. “But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”
“It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks.”
Pressed on low vaccination rates in her state, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey made a forceful rebuke of people who choose not to get vaccinated: “These folks are choosing a… lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.” https://t.co/cmJLKs8A5R pic.twitter.com/TMa8qgO5Cy
— ABC News (@ABC) July 23, 2021
Governors have an incentive to get people vaccinated, but this is not the way to do it.
Demonizing the unvaccinated and drawing a clear and divisive line in society will do nothing but increase vaccination hesitancy.
This pits people against each other over a vaccine and virtually dehumanizes anyone outside of the “regular folks” who have had their vaccines.
Moreover, if those among the vaccinated have so much faith in the vaccines, why do they worry so much about people who choose not to take it?
An individual’s medical decisions should remain private. Period.
Ivey’s attack on “the unvaccinated” caught the attention President Joe Biden who gave her a shout out at a campaign rally for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Saturday. In the clip below, Biden tells the crowd, “Thank God the governor of Arkansas, excuse me, of Alabama – had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Is now, and I’m genuinely complimenting her.”
At that point, the heckling began.
Joe Biden gets heckled at a Virginia rally for Terry McAuliffe. pic.twitter.com/ZWs52Icdzn
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 24, 2021
That response should have been a clue that plenty of “folks” don’t like the government mandating what Americans consent to have injected into their bodies.
And that very much includes governments run by Republicans, like Kay Ivey.
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