Dr. Brytney Cobia treats Covid-19 patients at the Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, a state that ranks last in the US in fully vaccinated adults. In a recent Facebook post, she shares how willing people are to get vaccinated after watching an unvaccinated member of their family die from COVID-19.
I’ve made a LOT of progress encouraging people to get vaccinated lately! Do you want to know how? I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID infections. One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.
A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same.
They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn’t get as sick. They thought it was ‘just the flu’.
But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can’t. So they thank me and they go get the vaccine. And I go back to my office, write their death note, and say a small prayer that this loss will save more lives.
Let us be clear-eyed and absolute about this:
The reason that a large number of Americans think COVID-19 is a hoax, a political ploy, or “just the flu” is because far too many Republican politicians, beginning with the former President, along with politically-aligned media outlets like Fox News, have been saying these things again and again and again since the onset of this pandemic.
Every single person in a position of influence and power who has contributed to vaccine hesitancy or COVID-19 denial has blood on their hands.
Nearly every America dying from this disease today is unvaccinated. The 223 Americans on average who are dying from COVID-19 every single day – 1,561 Americans per week – could still be alive if Republican lawmakers and media outlets like Fox News had not sowed the seeds of uncertainty and distrust for so long.
Americans are dying because it was and continues to be politically expedient for Republican lawmakers and their media allies to downplay the virus, dismiss the science, discredit the experts, ignore safety recommendations in order to stop their political opponents from succeeding in their agenda.
All of this at the expense of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters.
Americans are dead because politicians have placed their political desires ahead of Americans lives.
Blood on their hands. It’s that simple.