Smelling blood, the Republican Party is readying a midterm election salvo blasting President Biden for mandating vaccinations, and the Republican National Committee is now trying to fundraise with emotional appeals on that issue.
But not all Republicans are playing that cynical game.
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Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of those few GOP members of Congress who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the January 6th insurrection, has criticized that action, saying that too many Republicans are "out to simply manipulate our base, raise money off of them and not care about their life." He said they "only care about what it means for their votes and their bottom line as politicians."
On CBS News "Face the Nation" program last Sunday, Kinzinger said some GOP lawmakers are “putting out fundraising after fundraising email about first it's going to be a vaccine mandate, next thing the Gestapo is going to show up at your door and take your Bible away.”
“That's not going to happen, and that's playing on people's fear,” he declared.
Kinzinger is one of the few Republicans in Congress who have demonstrated any ounce of integrity when it comes to Trump and such emotional issues as the vaccine mandates, necessitated because so many Americans, mostly Republicans, have refused the vaccinations and are responsible for the latest spike in Covid-19 cases and deaths.
A new study just published today reveals that about 287,000 unvaccinated Americans were hospitalized from June through August, costing the nation's healthcare system $5.7 billion.
"Looking at cases over the past two months when the Delta variant was the predominant variant circulating in this country, those who were unvaccinated were about four and a half times more likely to get COVID-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing held Friday, CBS News reported.
Also today, it was reported that the nation has reached the gruesome milestone of 1 in 500 people dying of covid-19. That is unfathomable.
And yet, the RNC says it will sue Biden "to end his authoritarian vaccine mandate." In an email fundraising message, the party said:
"We're calling on EVERY Patriot to step up and help fund our efforts. Are you going to join us or will you sit on the sidelines? There has NEVER been a more critical time to contribute, we are at risk of losing our freedoms like never before."
That is pathetic. I love how the Republicans call their sheep "patriots." Those who oppose vaccinations are selfish fools, hardly "patriots." They are jamming hospitals and emergency rooms, largely in Republican-led states, where other patients who need live-saving care are forced to wait.
Moreover, Biden's requirement that employees of companies with 100 or more workers must be vaccinated or be subjected to weekly testing still gives those workers a choice. And, what is "authoritarian" about a policy designed to protect workers from getting sick and maybe dying as the result of a pandemic? Public safety trumps personal freedom, sorry.
To some, it may seem "authoritarian" for the president to issue a requirement that they accept responsibility for taking action to protect their own lives, the lives of their families, and anyone else with whom they come into contact. They must think this pandemic is a joke. But, witness those on their death beds who have asked for the vaccine. All of a sudden they change their tune.
Except then, it's too late.
Kinzinger said Biden "has a point" in saying that some Republican governors have been "cavalier" with the health of their state's residents by opposing vaccinations and refusing to comply with the mandates. Governors like Henry McMaster of South Carolina, who said he would fight to the ‘gates of hell’ to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.
“I think it's gonna save lives and the failure here comes in leaders that have basically used vaccine status as some tattoo of what political tribe you belong to,” Kinzinger said.
“I mean we all hear stories of people that are in, you know, very red areas that are embarrassed to say they're vaccinated. That is insane and silly, and that is a problem with leaders, particularly Republican leaders, that don't stand up and give cover to people and say look this is not what Republicanism or conservatism should be.”
Unfortunately, Kinzinger's voice is a lonely one when it comes to the GOP. And, that's a sorry shame because the consequence is more people dying and more families forced to endure that loss.
When will they learn? Perhaps when their loved one becomes one of those who perish because of such a foolhardy decision.