Right-wing conservatives are so anxious to celebrate "any failure by the Biden administration" that they're literally killing people with anti-vaccine rhetoric, especially in red states, according to a new report from NBC News.
The story points to how attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month cheered when a speaker pointed out that the Biden administration had fallen slightly short of its goal of getting 70 percent of the U.S. adult population vaccinated for COVID-19 by July 4.
"For people who are politically intoxicated, which is a lot of the country right now, it makes sense to celebrate any failure by the administration," former Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., told NBC News.
The story details how right-wing members of Congress like Reps. Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, and Marsha Blackburn, along with Fox News and NewsMax hosts, have pushed back against the Biden administration's vaccine efforts. "We have these talking heads who have gotten the vaccine and are telling other people not to get it," Utah GOP Gov. Spencer Cox said last week. "That kind of stuff is dangerous, it's damaging, and it's killing people."
The story notes that nearly half of Republicans say they're unlikely to get vaccinated, compared to 6 percent of Democrats, and five of the six states with the highest daily average of COVID cases over the last two weeks, voted for Trump.
Epidemiologist Brian Castrucci, who specializes in targeting pro-vaccination messaging at conservatives, suggested that the problem stems from former president Donald Trump's response to COVID. "There was a moment to bring unity to this pandemic response," he said. "And we missed it. And we are now dealing with the consequences.""