Omicron Threatens Red America

It’s possible for Tucker Carlson. Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, or even Donald Trump might make the list of candidates.

They might go on the air and explain that the Omicron variation has put many of their listeners in great risk. Even though they have been dubious about immunizations in the past, Omicron is a unique case. It’s so contagious that it might spread across the country in a matter of days.

It would be easy for them to poke fun at liberals for being overly paranoid and forcing schoolchildren to sit apart in the cold while issuing this warning. All conservatives need to do is be vaccinated with the “Trump vaccination,” also known as the Covid-19.

The likelihood of this happening isn’t high, but I believe that unvaccinated Americans, who tend to be Republican, are now far more at risk than they were before. Omicron appears to be far more contagious than any previous version of the virus. A recent compilation of news by my colleague Emily Anthes states:


The main influence on vaccination rates in the United States is political affiliation. Adults in the United States would be among the world’s most vaccinated, with more than 91% of the population having gotten at least one vaccination. Most Republican adults have not done this.

Because of the large disparity in vaccination coverage, the mortality toll has widened dramatically in the second half of the year.

Charles Gaba, a health care analyst, has divided the country into 10 equal-sized sections for the chart below. The Trump line refers to the 10% of Americans who dwell in Trump-leaning counties, whereas the Biden line refers to the 10% of Americans who reside in Trump-leaning states. Each contender received at least 45 percent of the vote in the “swing” counties.

The fact that the number of Covid-related deaths has remained flat in swing and heavily Biden areas over the previous two months, despite an increase in overall case counts, is significant. Increasing caseloads do not automatically translate to increasing death tolls in heavily vaccinated communities.

However, in many American counties, the vast majority of people have yet to receive a Covid vaccination injection. Dr. Peter Hotez of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston warned Wednesday that “despite the widespread availability of immunizations,” 150,000 unvaccinated Americans have died needlessly since the summer.

Anti-vaccine sentiment is fuelled in part by conservative media channels such as Fox News, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh. In spite of their general disdain for vaccinations, many of the commentators on these sites will not tell their readers to refuse vaccinations.

There is a lot of backlash against vaccine mandates, and there is a lot of hype about rare adverse effects. As far as I know, they don’t convey the unambiguous message that scientists and Democratic politicians have: Please get vaccinated, as soon as possible.

The fact that many conservative journalists are themselves immunised would strengthen their pro-vaccine stance. It would be more convincing than anything President Biden, Anthony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky, or a New York Times journalist could say.

“We are staring at a winter of terrible disease and death if you are unvaccinated,” Vice President Joe Biden said at the White House Wednesday.

Less Harsh, But More Costly?

If Omicron turns out to be less harmful than expected, there is hope. Early research suggests that the virus is less harmful than in the past. In addition, a large percentage of unvaccinated Americans have previously received Covid, which provides some immunity.

Nevertheless, it appears that those who have not been immunised face a serious risk. For starters, immunity diminishes with time. For another, millions of individuals have no protection since they have not been vaccinated or afflicted with the disease.

Finally, Dr. Robert Wachter of the University of California, San Francisco, highlighted to me that even a minor drop in severity—such as the decline indicated in an early research from South Africa—could nevertheless lead to a huge surge in deaths.

In order to prove my thesis, I’ll use some simple math: Even if the mortality rate in an Omicron case is 30% lower than in a Delta case, it is ten times higher in an Omicron case. There is a significant risk of death as a result of this combination. “It’s a bad number multiplied by a good number, and you get a bad number,” Wachter added.

Omicron presents a complex set of questions for vaccinated Americans, and I’ll write about them in greater detail next week, including: My question is, when should I expect to see a jump in my performance?

Now, according to experts, this is the best course of action Should schools be closed at a certain time of day? (Rarely.) How much should the behaviour of the elderly be altered? There’s no easy answer to this one; it all comes down to how they feel.)

Unvaccinated people are advised to get a vaccination that could save their lives. Unvaccinated Americans may or may not hear that message from the people they trust.

Laila Soueif writes about her son, an Egyptian political activist who is imprisoned: “He felt another world was conceivable.”

David Zweig writes in The Atlantic that school mask rules are based on “quite dubious research.”

In the morning, I like to read.

Video messages are a new beginning for a deaf man who has been burned by unfulfilled promises in the past.

Wirecutter’s advice: Make your house a cosy cabin.

For the sake of hunger aid in Africa, Ken Kragen organised a recording session, which resulted in “We Are the World.” He died at the age of 85.

What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Pandemic

The first of four cards is dealt.

Over 800,000 people have died in the US. To date, the United States has had more Covid deaths than any other country with more over 800,000 reported cases. People 65 and older accounted for 75% of the 800,000 deaths. The virus has claimed the lives of one in every one hundred senior citizens in the United States.

The People of 2022

If you want to discover how well you know some of the biggest names in 2021, take the New York Times Faces Quiz! We’ve settled on the number 52. The name must be given to us as soon as we show you a face. (Yes, we are forgiving when it comes to spelling.)

Play it here, and see how you stack up against other Times readers in terms of your score.

Thank you for visiting The Times for a few minutes this morning. See you on Monday. — David, thank you!

As a side note, has holiday shopping (or flying, or delivering a present) become more difficult this year? During this second pandemic winter, one of our colleagues, Sarah Lyall, has written about the frustrations of employees and consumers. Tell her about what you’ve seen and done in your life..

“The Daily” focuses on the pandemic’s next phase.

Ashley Wu and Sanam Yar gave their thoughts to The Morning with contributions from Claire Moses and Ian Prasad Philbrick. The staff can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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