In retrospect, that Republicans would tank our chances at herd immunity was probably inevitable. The combination of hostility to science and rejection of the concept of the common good set them up to go anti-vaxx in large numbers. salon.com/2021/05/03/the…
Healthy skepticism is one thing. But what the right has trained its followers in is not that, but a reflexive rejection of scientific expertise. The result is millions of people who think Reddit conspiracy theorists know better than medical science about how immunity works.
Perhaps even more insidious is the way the GOP has trained millions to think everything is a zero sum game. Which leads to idiots like Joe Rogan who don't get that vaccines are both good for the individual and the larger community.
Frankly, I think even the term "herd immunity" backfired with the right. They don't like to think of themselves as part of any herd that includes Democrats. They're going to reject good health care rather than admit they have biology in common with the rest of us.

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More from @AmandaMarcotte

4 May
A lot of this makes sense. A lot of propaganda about “liberal elites” and scare-mongering about scientists appeals to the haunting fear a good chunk of Republicans have that they’re stupid, which causes them to get defensive and say they know better. washingtonpost.com/health/2021/05…
I’ve seen with my own eyes that on issues like this (not politics, however), calmly talking to them like they are adults who are smart enough to understand things like clinical trials soothes those glass fragile egos and can lower defenses. But you can’t talk down!
And here’s the thing: They’re not inherently stupid people! Incurious, defensive, etc.? Sure. But they have the raw materials to understand basic science. So the trick is acting like it, not like you’re talking to a child. Doctors with good bedside manner are your best bet.
Read 6 tweets
3 May
Been saying this for awhile now, only to get yelled at by people who insist I’m not “following science”. But science can only generate information, like “herd immunity requires 85%”. Policy has to account for factors like how many people won’t vaccinate. nytimes.com/2021/05/03/hea…
Here’s my first piece on it, March 12. And here is the thing the “follow the science” scolds don’t understand: Being an expert in viral transmission doesn’t mean you are an expert in communications and persuasion. salon.com/2021/03/12/rep…
Medical science can’t measure things like “right wing spite”. Medical definitions of herd immunity are about physical bodies. The problem here is how they interact with a sociopolitical environment where rejecting science is a matter of tribal affiliation for the right.
Read 8 tweets
30 Apr
The girl says this is the first time she's dealt with this. Sadly, it won't be the last. This has happened to me more times than I can count. Eventually, you begin to realize creeps know full well this will not be ending in consensual sex. They just like creeping you out. Ugh.
All the men in the mentions of the original tweet who are victim-blaming can fuck right off. Creeps don't just go away because you tell them to. They are doing this *as an act of aggression*. Reacting forcefully often becomes their "excuse" to call you names. Or worse.
He is not "confused" or "well-meaning" and therefore open to correction. Her age alone makes this inappropriate. He is cornering her and she is trying to escape a predator. Women and girls de-escalate because it's about safety. They don't have a choice.
Read 5 tweets
30 Apr
Whataboutism, where you try to deflect criticism by focusing on the — often imaginary — sins of your opponents, is on the rise with conservatives. The reason is simple: They have run out of anything resembling real arguments. salon.com/2021/04/30/wha…
As I found gathering examples for this piece, the whataboutism that conservatives engage in is often dumber than the standard kind, because the "bad" behavior they accuse liberals of is either imaginary or not bad. Image
For instance, the "what about Maxine Waters" tactic the right is using to deflect from criticism of Trump fails to note one big difference: He incited a riot. She didn't. Big difference! Image
Read 7 tweets
30 Apr
One more "people don't want to hear it, but it's true" tweet: We really can't wait for "herd immunity". Now, I think more needs to be done to make sure everyone who wants a vaccine gets one. But we can't refusers hold us hostage. theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
The only other thing I'll say on that is it seems like a lot of folks, especially retail workers, who want the vaccine aren't getting it because of timing issues. I've seen some well-meaning people assume this means that they don't have an hour out of the day to get the shot.
Having done my time in retail, including retail banking, I can say that's likely not it. Retail workers often work weird hours and often do have plenty of afternoons or mornings in which they can get errands done. No, I think the problem is they don't have a *day*.
Read 6 tweets
30 Apr
I understand wanting to send the right message during the speech. But I share @DrLeanaWen’s fear that the unnecessary masking and social distancing sent the wrong message, which is that vaccines don’t work. But they do. washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
Right wing media is already using the masks and social distancing as “evidence” that vaccines don’t work. I recognize these choices on what to model are tough, but it’s time to focus on modeling the benefits of the jab. mediamatters.org/sean-hannity/s…
Said it before, but worth repeating: One reason we all hate Big Pharma ads is because they are so effective. They are all “take this drug and here is the carefree life you will live!” But that kind of marketing of the vaccines will save lives. Also, it is true.
Read 8 tweets

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