Hey everyone having politicized arguments about vaccine hesitancy/refusal:
Are you sure you’re talking about the same people? Let me explain.
Broadly three categories not getting shots:
1) Ideological antivaxxers. Includes many lefty woo woo “all natural” types.
Ideological antivaxxers were committed to that position before COVID, and are probably unconvincable. If tons of studies debunking myths about vaccines and autism won’t convince them, I doubt more information about COVID-19 vaccines or public encouragement could either.
2) Hesitant. For a variety of reasons, such as lazy and don’t think it matters that much (mostly young healthy people), generally cautious, poorly informed, or distrusting of govt and other public authorities (many poor people and POC fit here).
These are the gettable ones.
The hesitant should be the focus of public outreach.
Many are checked out of current events—eg nonvoters who can’t name the VP—and need creative messaging. Olivia Rodrigo, for example, is more likely to reach young people. Others need to hear from a trusted community leader.
The wary, lazy, and uninformed make for a public health and messaging challenge, but aren’t good political props. Unless you’re trying to find excuses, distractions, or blame-shifting for the last category.
3) Partisans and culture warriors
For them, politics is a big factor.
Vaccination rate correlates with POTUS vote down to the county level. Hard to see this and assume politics and media diets have nothing to do with vaccine decisions.
Turning Fauci into a caricatured villain, wanting Biden to fail, Fox blaring conspiracy theories: all factors.
This creates a problem for conservative pundits. It means conservatives might bear some responsibility for something bad, and that just won’t do. It must be the mainstream media, Democrats, and online progressives’ fault.
So it can’t be because Tucker is lying to them every night, it must be because public health officials had bad messaging on masks last spring, or because some doctors and media figures supported George Floyd protests last summer, saying stuff like “racism is a bigger danger.”
The criticisms about messaging are right. Fauci et. al. should’ve leveled with the public about wanting health workers to have enough masks, instead of saying regular people don’t need them.
Anyone who warned about COVID at gatherings should’ve done the same for protests.
But as a cause of vaccine refusal? Most people don’t trawl through media and comments from the broadly defined left looking for gotchas and making a big deal out of them. That’s what conservative pundits do.
If this shaped their views, it’s because you told them it should.
Influential conservatives could’ve gone hard into pro-mask when criticizing Fauci last spring. But the priorities were supporting Trump’s COVID lies, and, as always, owning the libs.
Similar point on vaccines. Could’ve gone all in on Trump deserves credit.
These are choices.
No, vaccine hesitancy isn’t all Republicans’ fault. Many Dems and non-voters among the unvaxxed.
Yes, some criticisms of public messaging land.
But the subset refusing for political and culture war reasons? Conservative pols and media did that, and are still making it worse
PS: Graph above of vaccine and POTUS vote by @charles_gaba.

I left out the “Kamala Harris said don’t trust vaccines” misrepresentation (she said she didn’t trust Trump and would want to hear from medical officials), but it’s another example of concocting an own-the-libs excuse.
If you misguidedly but genuinely believe Harris said don’t get vaccinated, your message could be “Harris sucks, you should all get shots, show her what’s what.” It doesn’t have to be “Harris sucks, and her politicization means rejecting vaccines is justified.”
That’s a choice.
If you want more details breaking down components of the unvaccinated US population, read this:
Some comments doubting the correlation, and @grudkev is right: it’s strong.
Keep in mind this is *a significant part* of the explanation, not all.
Social science virtually never finds one factor that explains everything. People are complicated. So we look for contributing factors

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Nicholas Grossman

Nicholas Grossman Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @NGrossman81

18 Jul
In a hotel that, heretofore unbeknownst to me, is hosting a bodybuilder competition. Lobby packed with all types of buff people. Some dudes look like they have to turn sideways to get through a doorway. Women in heavy stage makeup. Everyone’s tanned within an inch of their life.
Finding myself among a subculture I’m not usually a part of is one of my favorite things in life. Bonus points when it’s accidental.
Gym merch is everywhere. Bags, shirts, posters, pamphlets, booths selling stuff.
Heard one guy in an elevator say “now, time for some calories.” He never eats before competing.
Competitors mostly finishing up now, and everyone I’ve chatted with seems to enjoy that I’m interested.
Read 5 tweets
16 Jul
No, I'm not going to calm down about dangers to US democracy. It matters to me and to millions of others, and the facts warrant concern.
Look at my record and you'll see prudent warnings that mostly panned out, not hysteria or conspiracy theories.
In November 2018, after Democrats broke Republican control by winning the House in the midterms, I explored various risky future scenarios, including the possibility Trump lost in 2020, rejected the results, and tried to rile up his supporters.
Feb 2020, after the Senate voted against removing Trump for trying to corrupt the election with his Ukraine scheme, and AG Bill Barr intervened to give special treatment to people whose shady activity helped Trump win in 2016, I warned that he'd try more.
Read 8 tweets
10 Jul
The argument that we need to go back to a past time in which ideas flowed freely, when people didn't impose social sanctions in response to speech they found offensive or immoral, back before liberalism was succeeded by an illiberal ideology, is ahistorical nonsense.
Yes, but "I read about some people getting fired for really silly reasons, it looks like there's a pattern, that's bad" is quite different from claiming that Enlightenment liberalism was the dominant ideology in the West for centuries until about 2018.
Social media is new, and it's affected society in all sorts of ways. One is by facilitating deliberate, and sometimes inadvertent, pressure campaigns.
A specific claim like that I wouldn't challenge. It's the much larger, more sweeping claim I find absurd.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jul
“Academia needs more Republicans,” you say? OK, but which ones?
Supply-siders, religious traditionalists, NatSec hawks, Burkeans, and more sounds good.
But Trumpists? How?
Academia is in the truth business. Not sure how to accommodate a political movement committed to post-truth.
I tell students North Korea still has nukes threatening the US and allies. Do we need to hire someone who teaches that they don’t?
Or one who says Russia didn’t conduct an intel op targeting the 2016 US election?
Do med schools need to teach that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID?
I strive to make classes welcoming to students of a great variety of backgrounds and worldviews. I think all professors should.
“All arguments are welcome as long as you back them up with evidence,” I say.
To the extent Trumpism is a philosophy and pedagogy, it says the opposite.
Read 5 tweets
1 Jul
The Constitution does not say "when in doubt, making it harder to donate to political campaigns is wrong but making it harder to vote is okay."
That principle derives from ideology-filtered interpretation, not a common sense reading of the text of the law.
FTR, gutting campaign finance restrictions was Constitutionally correct—if Congress can't make law restricting political speech, Congress can't restrict dissemination of political speech—and gutting voting rights protections was Constitutionally wrong (power is in Art 1, Sec 4).
Voting Rights provisions weren’t struck down as unconstitutional; they were struck down by SCOTUS majority deciding the measures aren’t needed anymore, even though Congress renewed the VRA in 2006.
“Is this Constitutional law still needed?” is a question for Congress, not courts.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul
One of the biggest misconceptions i see today is the idea that tech companies are more powerful than government.
They’re powerful, but it’s not close. Not letting you use a website or sending you targeted ads falls far short of not letting you walk around free or killing you.
If you think tech companies are more powerful than states, go to Hong Kong and tell people watching newspapers forcibly shut down and democracy activists arrested that YouTube demonitizing a channel you like is more repressive.
Actually don’t. That could put your freedom at risk.
Did you see what the US did to Baghdad? Or what Russia did with Crimea?
Yeah… Facebook or Google can’t pull off anything else to that.

Want an objective metric?
The US federal govt’s annual budget is bigger than Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft’s combined market cap.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!