Victims of the GOP

by | Apr 8, 2022 | coronavirus, Editor's Blog | 5 comments

A new study confirms that life expectancy dropped in the United States for the second straight year. COVID is listed as the cause of death, but that’s not really true. Other western countries saw their life expectancy increase in 2021 after vaccines reversed sharp declines in 2020. The killer here was Republican governance and conservative disinformation. 

When COVID first reached our shores in early 2020, African Americans and Hispanics took a disproportionate hit. They saw their life expectancy decrease by more than the country as a whole. A year later, we had an effective vaccine and they actually fared better than the overall population. African Americans saw their life expectancy increase by almost half a year, the same amount that the overall country’s life expectancy dropped. 

The decrease in life expectancy was driven by white people, younger white men in particular—the same people susceptible to the anti-vaccine disinformation pushed by Fox News, conservative talk radio, and GOP politicians. As Dr. Steven Woolf, the researcher who conducted the study, said, “The deaths that occurred in 2021 were a product not only of a lack of vaccination, which was a huge factor, but also being in places that didn’t observe policies like masking and social distancing that prevented transmission of the virus.” 

There’s overwhelming evidence that Republican policies and anti-vaccine/anti-mask rhetoric killed people. The question is “Why?” Was it cynicism or stupidity? Or a better question, how much was cynicism and how much was stupidity? We also need to wonder if Republicans would kill their own base, what lengths would they go to eliminate people who oppose them?

In the midst of a pandemic, Republicans made the people trying to stop the spread of the virus the enemies. They demonized public health officials like Anthony Fauci. They spread conspiracy theories that the virus was a Democratic hoax. They banned private companies from enforcing vaccine mandates. And they did it with a media ecosystem so efficient that their base was getting no contradictory information. Republicans politicians who weren’t spreading disinformation are complicit because they didn’t debunk it. 

The GOP base is like the Russians who believe their army is winning in Ukraine. They’ve been duped by politicians who willingly allow conspiracy theories to flourish in order to score political points with an ignorant population. Despite all the evidence, the GOP base will never know what’s been done to them.

Liberal pundit Matt Iglesias tweeted last week. “I mean if the conservative movement were something other than a con that exploits cultural issues for votes in order to redistribute wealth upwards there is a lot that it could do but … it’s not.” I think that sums up the modern GOP and conservative movement. The only question is which conservatives are part of the con and which are the marks, but there’s no doubt that uneducated, white Americans are victims of the GOP.


  1. ragnarsbhut

    I call b.s. on this. Vaccinated people are those who are having greater problems than non-vaccinated people.

  2. cocodog

    I have often wondered if these Trump True believers would allow a physician to perform surgery on, he or she without a mask. They may even go as far as prohibiting a physician from wearing gloves! There is an old saying, “you can’t fix stupid” so why even bother. If a Trump true believer wants to contract COVID, suffer the accompanying physical discomforts in the name of a washed-up con artists (who stands a better than average chance of doing time or going broke, both) and misleading medical information let them go for it. If they survive chances, are they will experience life long (however long that may be) memory issues, more intense symptoms from the ordinary cold and yearly flu and other disorders, great let it happen. For those of us who believe in science and a plethora of highly reputable physicians, got the vaccinations, continue to wear masks, wash our hands regularly , we must be the meek who will inherit the earth.

    • cocodog

      I should add, dealing with a disease like COVID and others is not a political issue in the minds of reasonable folks, it is only common sense. Common sense precludes political BS and pushing people off anything. Reread what Mills wrote, it may come clear.

  3. JCfromNC

    @Andy — we’ll take that advice under consideration when you guys stop calling the same plays.

  4. Andy

    There goes the left, telling us Republicans are pushing grandmas in wheelchairs off cliffs again. Time to write a new playbook, don’t you think?

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