Weaponizing Covid

Why has the right chosen Covid-19 to use as an issue divide the country in what has become known as “the culture wars?” Also, why have they chosen to use the Covid-19 virus as their weapon of choice in this culture war?

These are questions that have had many of us really confounded and scared.  First the very fact that we are seeing a pandemic where people are not only not trying to avoid getting the disease, but seem to be actively seeking to get sick in order to break whatever systems have been built to contain the spread and to stop any progress in quelling it. It defies logic and the supposed instincts of humans. 

There is a large segment of right wingers who are willingly turning themselves into human sacrifices. Not sure for what, though. Their leaders seem to care little about their sacrifice. Plus the ideals they are sacrificing themselves for are mostly lies. 

Yet since the highly effective vaccines have become available in January those on the right have used avoiding vaccines as a sort of battle tactic in the culture war. This tactic has been formulated and pushed by their political leaders and their leaders in the media such as Fox News, One America Network and many websites and social media.

One of the most ironic (or maybe better described as cynical) aspects of the leadership in this effort is that the leaders are almost all fully vaccinated while they urge their followers to sacrifice themselves. Purely cynical. Last week’s case of Texas governor Greg Abbott was the very epitome of this cynicism. He was among the very first in the country to be vaccinated back in December. Since then he has been tested daily for Covid. As soon as he had a positive test he was immediately treated with a booster shot and a monoclonal infusion. He has no intention of being sick.

Up and down the line their leaders seek the safety of vaccination – Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, Kim Reynolds, Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott – push their followers, often unvaxxed, to avoid and denigrate masking, which has been shown to be a successful strategy as long as most people mask.

For some reason these cynical leaders have taken their Pro-Covid campaign into the public schools, forcing children who cannot be vaccinated to go to school in a virus filled environment. They knowingly are sending our children into an almost certain illness situation with death as a possibility.

This slaughtering of innocents, as it were, should go against the grain of every American, especially when there are ways to prevent such a situation. Yet we are inundated with videos of anti-maskers showing up at school board meeting defending leaving children vulnerable.

And of course you would think that elected officials would have enough smarts to understand the very basic, very straight forward science of masking especially for those who cannot be vaccinated.

Why do they do this? I have a couple of possible reasons:

First is the pure political answer. In a country where jobs and the state of the economy is one of the major factors in elections, Republicans appear to be doing all they can to crash the economy before the next election in 2022. We all remember what happened last year to the economy when the Covid cases sky rocketed in March. The economy crashed and never recovered.  Republicans seem to believe that a massive spike again could crash the economy again and will still be underperforming next November and will be blamed on Democrats.

One major difference is that this year the Covid is preventable at least currently by vaccine and vaxxing. If those measures are refused then the blame is pretty obviously those who refuse to follow directives.

The second reason is that major corporations and lobbyists who often tell certain politicians how to vote and what to do have invested a lot of money have a vested interest in a pandemic. Hard to believe, but the almighty buck speaks loudly. One need only look at Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis who appears to be droving money to a backer who is heavily invested in stock of the maker of Regeneron.  In this case, DeSantis is almost blatant about it.

A third reason is to use the disruption on public schools to continue their destruction of the public school system with the attendant rise and public funding of privatized schools. This has been a GOP strategy in many areas, such as the privatized prison system.

A fourth reason is to acquire power for their office that destroys current systems of local control. We already see this in effect in many of the anti-masking states.

Finally, the least likely but most proffered reason is a concern about individual freedom. Oddly this is the reason that is trumpeted loudly by the followers of the anti-mask movement as they themselves are having their own kids forced into virus filled classroom environments. Oh, By the way, most of the leadership such as DeSantis send their kids to private schools.

I hope some top notch lawyers are digging into malfeasance in office for lawsuits to come when our children start dying because of the insane decision to force kids into virus filled environments.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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