There’s an AM shock-jock in Florida, Marc Bernier, who is a charter member of the Donald Trump/Ron DeSantis ‘truth squad.’ In that capacity, he has been ranting and raving all year long about government mandates, in particular any mandate which would require getting vaccinated against Covid-19.
Yesterday Bernier was admitted to a Daytona Beach hospital. Did he have chest pains? Nope. Was he having pain in his abdomen or somewhere else? Nope. He was admitted because he has been diagnosed with Covid-19.
I hate to say what I’m about to say because no matter how it comes out, it’s going to read in a very cynical way. But I’ll say it nonetheless. If anything good comes out of this Pandemic, maybe it will be a growth in the appreciation for science among groups who normally believe that the scientific method directly undermines God’s plan.
I’m thinking here most of all of White Evangelicals, the population that has been overwhelmingly vaccine-resistant and also happens to be the population that has been the backbone of Trump’s effort to take over the GOP.
Incidentally, for all the talk about how Trump was planning a ‘coup’ against the federal government, what he really was doing was planning a coup against the GOP. But that’s a subject for another story later on. Now back to this story.
A new survey has just been published which shows a remarkable shift in how White Evangelicals think about the Covid-19 vaccine. Back in March, less than half of White Evangelicals (45%) said they would get vaccinated, one of the lowest numbers for any religious group. And since White Evangelicals currently account for roughly 25% of all Americans who profess a faith, and this percentage is much higher in the Southern states, the vaccine-resistance of White Evangelicals poses a serious, health threat.
Now move to June, and the same outfit that did the survey in March, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) did it again. This time they found that 56% of White Evangelicals said they were going to get vaccinated — a swing of 11 points! I’ll bet if the PRRI does another survey in early September, the swing of White Evangelicals towards getting vaccinated will be even greater still.
If there was one thing more than anything else which made Trump a ‘threat’ to this country, it wasn’t that he sat around and diddled something about planning an insurrection or a coup. It was his stupid and grossly ill-tempered attempt to reject science and pretend that we didn’t need to rely on the scientific method to help advance human affairs.
Trump knew that the whole global warming thing was a hoax. It was just another attempt by the Deep State to keep hard-working, decent Americans from enjoying themselves and enjoying the freedoms which they could exercise under his leadership every day.
Trump was also opposed to vaccinations, even before the Kung Flu appeared. Back in the good old days, before he was elected in 2016, he gave numerous interviews in which he stated that vaccines caused autism and other serious disease.
The truth is that Trump didn’t know anything about science, medicine or disease and he didn’t really care. What he did know was that he had created something called the Trump ‘base,’ which had strong underpinnings in various White Evangelical groups. And keeping these people happy was a lot more important than anything having to do with running the world’s largest corporation in a clear and organized way.
But no matter how strong your religious beliefs, when everyone around you starts getting sick to the point that you can’t find a bed in an ER or an ICU for a member of your family or a friend, you have a choice to make.
You can either put the whole thing down to the idea that maybe God has finally just gotten sick of the entire human race and wants to start over again with a new Adam and Eve. Or you can decide that your life and the lives of everyone else need to be measured and protected by some calculation which goes beyond faith.
Let’s just hope that the remaining vaccine-resistant populations will begin to think a little more carefully about the value of science because such thoughts will go a long way to eradicate the presence and influence of a guy named Donald Trump.