Democrats are out of sync with the country on the COVID response

by | Feb 4, 2022 | coronavirus, Editor's Blog | 9 comments

Back in the early 1990s, my ex-wife was studying public health and I was working as a carpenter. I came home with some injury and called it an accident. She told me that her professor said that there are no such things as accidents, because every event has a cause and injury or harm is preventable. I didn’t agree with that concept then and I don’t now, but I do believe that’s the mentality that has taken hold among part of the progressive movement and driving much of the Democratic response to COVID.

Democrats are quickly becoming out of sync with the majority of the country in their approach to dealing with the pandemic. They fear the virus more than both Republicans and independents and support stronger mitigation measures like mask and vaccine mandates. Most significantly, almost two-thirds of Democrats support transitioning to online school even though children face a greater risk from closed schools than COVID. If they’re successful in this push, Democrats should expect to lose the 2022 election in another historic landslide effort. 

As David Leonhardt of the New York Times points out, “Closed schools almost certainly do more damage to children and vaccinated adults than Omicron does.” The activists who preach “believe the science” should start following their own advice. The risk to children is tiny even if they contract COVID. Kids are far more likely to die in car accidents than the virus. 

Joe Biden took office promising a return to normal. He hasn’t delivered despite the overwhelming success of the vaccines. The risk is now to people who are unvaccinated and people with additional health risks. I consistently see figures that say more than 80% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. Most people who are vaxxed and boosted have very little threat of getting dangerously ill. We should be moving beyond lockdowns and remote education and mask mandates, but instead, we’re still arguing about masking two- and three-year-olds. 

The government has done all the muscling it can do to force people to get vaccinated. It’s now up to individuals and private entities. If businesses want to demand proof of vaccinations, that’s fine. If companies want to demand their employees be vaccinated, that’s up to them. If insurance companies want to charge higher premiums for those who are unvaccinated, they should be able to do so. If people are too dumb to protect themselves and their families, well, they have to suffer the consequences. 

The government’s response should shift to our over-stressed medical system. We need to figure out how to relieve burned out personnel stressed by people too ignorant or selfish to get vaccinated. And we need to be able to shift resources to places that need the support due to surges of the virus. We should not be putting restrictions on the day to day lives of children and the vaccinated.

Ironically, the people most concerned about the virus are the ones most protected and least likely to be affected. For months the rate of infection, hospitalization, and death is highest in Republican counties where disinformation is rampant and ignorance is a virtue. No amount of government pressure is going to convince those people to take precautions or take the virus seriously. Public health folks may know that the virus can be prevented, but that doesn’t mean they can prevent it. It’s up to individuals to make the right choices. Reward the ones who do.


  1. cocodog

    The non vaccinated don’t care as they have nothing to lose in the way of the benefits you mention. They live day to day.

  2. cocodog

    A friend who teaches elementary grades told me that at approximately 60 to 40 percent of the class are out with Covid at any one given time. Percentages that mirrored the early stages of Covid. School staff are vaccinated to lower absenteeism and are required to wear masks to reduce the likely hood of inhaling the virus. The other day I entered a local supermarket to find that the folks in charge broke with company policy and allowed their staff to remove their masks.
    The disease is still around and causing pain, suffering, death, and unnecessary loss of taxpayer’s funds. However, there are those among us who are not medically savvy believe the real issue is freedom. A new and unrecognized by the constitution or case law freedom that allows them to spread this disease freely among us with out remorse. Some have died others who survive are long term test subjects for the impact this disease has on the human body.
    Recent studies have shown like childhood Chicken Pox, that can cause Shingles in later life, Covid can cause health problems in the future.
    Some medical facilities and physicians do not want to treat with recently developed drugs as contact with infected individuals present a high risk to themselves and staff. Whether it be an ignorant belief in freedom or lack of medical efficiency the disease has taken on the mantra of the flu. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning if you are still alive.
    Inability to receive treatment may be due to lack of a viable universal health care system brought on by Republicans who believe that is something akin to communism or the desire of a health care that is driven by a desire for enrichment among some physicians. Health care in the US carries a higher price tag than any other industrialized nation. The old Army recruitment cry “be all you can be” has now been adopted and changed by physicians of this country by get as much as you can!
    If this Covid has done nothing good, it has at least highlighted a need for universal health care for all ages.

  3. Kycowboy

    I am having a hard time understanding how the Democrats are the ones to blame for the school mandates. Is the assumption that the ones making the rules are Democrats and no other political party members are involved? So are the mask mandates and school openings political decisions or decisions based on science/health concerns? I agree that schools should be open given all teachers and staff are vaccinated.

  4. ctw

    I’ll file this one under “It’s the libtards fault” and cross reference it with “Biden caused worldwide inflation” and “Biden unable to unify fascists and democrats”.

  5. LIZ

    Holy moly, I both agree & disagree with Thomas Mills’ commentary. To tell the truth, I’m so sick of the Republicans, well…no comment. Truly, the worst of all this is the effect on the Healthcare workers & the burden on an already bad Healthcare system. I have family members who are nurses & doctors…. this is so hard for them.. I have friends who are putting off chronic health issues & surgeries because of Covid burdened facilities. I loathe what is happening to our children, our teachers, our schools. I see how my granddaughter is suffering. But the Republicans in this state continue to do all they can to underfund the educational system & manipulate & disenfranchise professional teachers. Our schools would be much more resilient during this pandemic if they & our children’s education/wellbeing were held in high esteem by our policymakers. I DO know that every time I go to the grocery store I feel angry that so many feel free to disregard my health & the health of others with their unmasked faces & unwanted bodies.

  6. Bill

    Unfortunately you skipped over our healthcare workers. Their lives are miserable and more are leaving their professions everyday. Also hospitals are pushing back many surgeries and procedures that will leave us with untreated cancers and other maladies resulting in greater suffering and death down the road.

    I do think the issue of schools is well behind us except in localities where teaching staffs become sick at a high rate causing schools to close themselves because of inadequate staffing. Fortunately, that resolves itself in a few weeks.

    • D. L. Etheridge

      Whether one agrees with the essayist or not, he did not, as you claim, skip over healthcare workers. “The government’s response should shift to our over-stressed medical system. We need to figure out how to relieve burned out personnel stressed by people too ignorant or selfish to get vaccinated. And we need to be able to shift resources to places that need the support due to surges of the virus. “

  7. Wray

    Gee, you sound like a person with some common sense! If us Democrats want to win an election we need to heed your admonition!

  8. Kitty Kelly

    As a former educator and current grandmother of 2 grandsons in school and preschool, as well as the mother of an educator I find myself actually agreeing with you. As my grandson’s preschool once again closes for ten days his parents’ employment pays the price. How long can this go on? Parents having no idea when (not if) they will lose childcare and over time lose their vacation leave, sick leave and job itself. For those unvaccinated let them pay the price as harsh as that may sound. I am so very tired.

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