With Missouri ranking dead last in keeping its people safe from COVID-19 and one of the Springfield hospitals overwhelmed by unvaccinated COVID patients already out of ventilators, Gov. Mike Parson is responding the only way he seems to know how, with a family-sized plate of counterproductive partisan prate.
Right in keeping with his lax, leisurely and often incomprehensible approach to this whole pandemic, Parson is taking aim not at the virus that’s killing people but at federal efforts to address the crisis.
“I have directed our health department to tell the federal government that sending government employees or agents door-to-door to compel vaccination would NOT be an effective OR welcome strategy in Missouri!” Parson wrote on Twitter on Wednesday night.
Missouri and Greene County had requested help from the federal government. Of course they did, because we’re leading the country in new infections and in the prevalence of the more infectious and deadly delta variant.
But now Parson is characterizing the federal “surge” team that we asked for and need as a scary bunch of intrusive government agents you’ll soon find camped out on your porch.
In fact, the government agents in question include one Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist, who arrived in Springfield on Wednesday to work on genetic sequencing, and one communications specialist who’s coming next week to help local officials address vaccine hesitancy.
Run for your lives, because an epidemiologist walks among us?
All this because President Joe Biden said, “We need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people. … We’re going to put even more emphasis on getting vaccinated in your community, close to home, conveniently at a location you’re already familiar with.”
Door-to-door outreach will only happen where that’s what the community wants, the White House has said. But of course, that hasn’t kept Parson and other Republicans from putting politics ahead of public health.
Because it was Tuesday, Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene responded with another vile Nazi comparison, tweeting, “covid is a political tool used to control people. People have a choice, they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations.”
Governor, could you please press pause on the too-cool-for-COVID posturing that got us where we are in the first place? There is a reason that 93% of Democrats say they either have gotten vaccinated or plan to do so, and only 49% of Republicans say the same.
You, sir, are part of that reason, and it’s killing your own people; it’s the unvaccinated who are on ventilators.
Thanks in no small part to your consistently inconsistent “If you want to wear a dang mask, wear a mask” messaging that flag-waving, freedom-loving Missourians could ignore COVID precautions, no county in southwest Missouri has more than 35% of its population fully vaccinated; statewide, the number is just under 40%.
If you can’t say anything helpful, maybe just take the day off.