Sunday, September 06, 2020


This is understandable:
Skepticism about getting a coronavirus vaccine has grown since earlier this summer, and most voters say if a vaccine were made available this year, their first thought would be that it was rushed through without enough testing.

Just 21% of voters nationwide now say they would get a vaccine as soon as possible if one became available at no cost, down from 32% in late July. Most would consider it but would wait to see what happens to others before getting one.

It won't surprise you that, according to this CBS/YouGov poll, Republicans -- you know, the party whose voters think the pandemic is a hoax and vaccines are a Bill Gates/George Soros plot to inject a microchip into everyone -- will be more pleased than Democrats if there's a vaccine this year.

But this seems quite sensible:
When a vaccine is developed, 75% of voters think the next president, whoever it is, should publicly take the vaccine to help show the public it is safe. Here we see agreement along partisan lines: Majorities of Republicans (65%), Democrats (84%) and independents (76%) all think the next president should do this.
If he's president, will Donald Trump do this?

He'll certainly hype a vaccine if it's released prior to the election -- but I don't think he'll get it himself. (He shouldn't, because a vaccine released before the election won't be trustworthy.) If it's after the election and he's been reelected, he'll probably want to take all the credit for the vaccine's existence, whether or not he deserves any credit at all (we don't know where a new vaccine will come from or whether it will be funded by the United States), but I'm not sure he'll get it himself. I'm sure he won't get the vaccine if it's from China. But I suspect he might not want to be seen publicly getting it even if it's was developed with U.S. funding and he's boasting about it, for the same reason he doesn't want to wear a mask in public: He probably believes that receiving a vaccine on camera makes him look weak and like an ordinary mortal, rather than like the superior being with superior genes he believes he is.

And if he's lost the election and a vaccine emerges, not only will he not get it, but he and much of the right-wing media will seek to discredit the vaccine, its makers, and the pharmaceutical industry in general. Trump will proclaim that the virus didn't emerge until after the election because scientists were a conspiracy to defeat him. The right-wing media will agree.

By contrast, win or lose, I'm sure Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and their spouses will proudly to get the vaccine on camera once it's declared safe and effective by U.S. and overseas scientists and governments, as will, I imagine, the Obamas, the Clintons, the Carters, and probably George W. and Laura Bush. (I'm not developing a soft spot for the Bushes, but I think they'll do the right thing in this case.) All of them, I imagine, will hesitate if a vaccine is rushed out before the election -- Kamala Harris has already declared that she's a skeptic.
Asked by CNN's Dana Bash in a clip released Saturday whether she would get a vaccine that was approved and distributed before the election, Harris replied, "Well, I think that's going to be an issue for all of us."

"I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about," she continued in the clip from an exclusive interview airing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. ET. "I will not take his word for it."
But I'm sure she'll get a widely approved vaccine, and she'll be happy to do so on camera. Trump won't, for many reasons, foremost among them his ridiculous vanity.

No comments: