by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If you’re anywhere on the Internet … and a conservative, you’ve probably seen what Jeffrey Zients, of the Biden Coronavirus Response Team, said during the White House briefing this weekend. This was the memorable passage:
“Our vaccines work against Omicron, especially for people who get booster shots when they are eligible. If you are vaccinated, you could test positive. But if you do get COVID, your case will likely be asymptomatic or mild.” …
… “For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.”
“So, our message to every American is clear: There is action you can take to protect yourself and your family. Wear a mask in public indoor settings. Get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated, and get a booster shot when you’re eligible.”
When a reporter sensibly observed that this kind of language is the opposite of persuasive, White House chief of staff Ron Klain responded, “The truth is the truth.”
For reasons that are mystifying to me, the White House refuses to note that they have presided over the fastest vaccine uptake in the history of this country, and one of the most successful campaigns in the world. The vast majority of the most vulnerable people have chosen to be immunized against Covid-19.
Instead, still terrified of increased case rates, and perhaps some waning immunity among the vaccinated, the White House has remained mostly silent about how it wants to proceed, and how it envisions a wind-down of this state of emergency. In the meantime, there is this scapegoating of the unvaccinated, which grows less and less plausible by the day as transmission rates among the vaccinated go up, and more and more of the population achieves some level of immunity, even from prior infection.