Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Trust Fauci? Demonized Trump Supporters Will Never Voluntarily Submit To Phase 3 Human Experimentation...,

nbcnews |  Vaccine holdouts could end up being the last obstacle to defeating the pandemic, and a growing effort is aimed at convincing one substantial group of skeptics: Republicans.

While efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy and access have so far been mostly focused on African Americans and Latinos, recent polls suggest the largest group of Americans either hesitant about the Covid-19 vaccine or outright opposed to it are Republicans, and efforts to reach them are only in their infancy.

Success convincing skeptical conservatives could be the difference between the United States reaching herd immunity or not. That's why a group of Republican pollsters and politicians, plus the White House, are all already working on getting the skeptics on board.

Messages targeted at minority groups were overt and discussion of hesitancy among people of color was clear. But when it comes to targeting a partisan population, appearing overtly political opens up new risks and could backfire, those working on the efforts warn.

"Vaccines are our only way out of this. If we don't have 80-plus percent of the population vaccinated before next winter, this virus is going to come back raging," Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee, told NBC News. "What worries me is if 25 percent of Republicans say they won't get vaccinated, that's going to be hard to do."

It's simple math.

Last week, a Monmouth University poll found that 56 percent of Republicans either wanted to wait and see further before getting a vaccine or said they will likely never get one, compared to just 23 percent of Democrats. Another poll, from NPR/PBS/Marist, found that 47 percent of Trump voters and 41 percent of Republicans said they will not get the vaccine when made available to them. And a Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found the number of Republicans refusing to get the vaccine was 28 percent, while the number of Black Americans and Hispanic Americans who felt that stood at 14 percent and 12 percent respectively.

Together, those groups could leave around a quarter or more of the American population unvaccinated, while scientists now estimate herd immunity will only be reached when 70 to 85 percent of the population carry the virus's antibodies.

"You can't afford to not try to address that," Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said in an interview.