All across the country, an army of volunteers fanned out to knock on doors in the largest-ever information and vaccine campaign. They would inform citizens of the deadly illness working its way through America, and they would talk about the vaccine efforts. They even solicited donations to pay for the vaccine and its distribution.
Oddly, no one shot them. No one feared them. No one chased them away with insane conspiracy theories.
As a matter of fact, after that door-to-door effort, more than a half-million children were volunteered for vaccine TRIALS.
Read that again. It’s important.
Because this is the way America eradicated polio.
Americans leaned on science. They trusted American doctors, scientists and government officials. They used common sense and behaved with common decency.
Polio didn’t stand a chance.
But back then, there was no Facebook or Twitter, where Jonas Salk could be accused of helping create polio so he could become famous and powerful. You know, the way Dr. Anthony Fauci has been demonized by the COVID crazies.
No, back then, in the 1940s and into the mid-1950s, Americans just respected scientists. And they begged doctors to give them anything that would stop the terrible disease that had killed a fraction of the people that COVID has.
Freedom to those Americans meant being free of the illness. Patriotism meant donating to the vaccine efforts, volunteering for trials and then getting the damn vaccine. It meant doing your part to keep America at its strongest.
Those Americans defeated Nazis and saved the world.
Today, many Americans on the right are embracing Nazis, turning their backs on the rest of the world and somehow equating patriotism and selfishness.
It’s infuriating to watch grown adults flail about angrily because someone has the gall to tell them things they don’t want to hear — that masks work, that social distancing is key, that the virus will kill you, that you shouldn’t spend too much time in crowded spaces indoors, that the vaccine is the key to this being behind us.
People are angry about these things. They call it “fear porn,” as if I’m somehow pleased to walk around with a mask on or watch fan-less sporting events or not go anywhere ever.
The truth is it’s the opposite. I hate it. That’s why I’d like you to get a vaccine and stop this silliness.
I’d also like you to do it so you won’t die. So you won’t suffer in a hospital. So you won’t miss your kids’ growing up. So your parents will be around a little longer. So your dogs can stay curled up with you a little longer. So you won’t miss those family events.
Look, just stop for a moment. Take a breath. Set aside the rhetoric and the “but what about” arguments and all the really cool memes your high school friends have shared on Facebook.
And let’s just look at the stone cold facts.
Right now, in Alabama, there are nearly 1,900 people in the hospital because of COVID. Many of these people are not the most vulnerable in our state, because we’ve done a superb job vaccinating the most vulnerable. These are 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds, 40-year-olds. There are 39 children in hospitals because of COVID.
A month ago, we had just over 200 COVID patients in hospitals throughout Alabama.
Almost all of the patients currently hospitalized — all 1,900 of them — are unvaccinated people.
These are things you can verify on the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website and dashboard.
The Delta variant of this virus does not play around. It spreads like wildfire, and it affects everyone.
On our podcast, Alabama Politics This Week, I and co-host David Person interviewed UAB infectious disease doctor Michael Saag, one of the best in the world. He predicted a “coming storm surge” of new cases that will peak around Labor Day and be “two or three times higher than our worst day in January.”
It will be driven almost exclusively by the unvaccinated.
It didn’t have to be this way. There was no need for more people to die, for more people to suffer, for more doctors and nurses to be overworked. All we had to do was get a simple shot.
And, poof, COVID goes the way of polio.
But we didn’t. Because conmen and grifters saw an easy pathway to spread confusion and discord by playing to what people wanted to believe. By leaning into the fears and exaggerating the dangers of the cure.
Think about that. The deaths and hospitalizations you’ll read about in the coming weeks, 99 percent of them will be unvaccinated people. People who refused to take the FREE cure for the plague.
Don’t be one of them. Be an actual patriot instead.