Not each Republican is as bony-headed as Greg Abbott, because the vaccinations are over 2 million a day
In the United States, the total number of COVID-19 cases remains at around 65,000 new cases per day. Hospital stays have declined in most urban areas, but with some places still overcrowded and a national average of around 2,000 COVID-19-related deaths per day, there is no point the nation can breathe freely now. Texas is just one of several states, particularly in the southern United States, where many counties report that cases have risen sharply in the past seven days.
Change in COVID-19 cases over the seven day period ending March 1st
Since this card ends on March 1st dates, it doesn't yet reflect any changes from Abbott's mask prohibition guidelines, nor does it provide much insight into the 17 other states that have had fewer mask requirements or social distancing guidelines in the past two weeks . All restrictions have been lifted in Florida. South Carolina has lifted all mass gathering limits, and bars and restaurants are at full capacity. Ohio is rushing to open mass gatherings to "Graduations, graduations, weddings, sports and other spring events. " Arizona has mandated that all public schools "must return to face-to-face learning" in March. Mississippi has taken on Texas by banning localities from introducing mask mandates. Montana's new Republican governor threw his Democratic predecessor's masked mandate and curfew. And Missouri – perhaps America's new capital of extremism – has not only lifted all restrictions and banned masked mandates. Legislators are considering a bill to remove the authority of local health officials, mayors, or county executives to do anything useful about future epidemics.
However, not every state is moving in the "open far" direction. With the introduction of vaccines and the prospect of something nearing normal life, some governors and local officials are standing around to see if they can actually make it through a few more weeks without thousands of citizens facing unnecessary illness or stand death. In New Hampshire, restrictions are being expanded or even tightened, and in some places this might come as a surprise.
In Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb expanded restrictions on social gatherings and school events, pledging not only to override local mask mandates, but to support counties and cities with $ 20 million to enforce these requirements. In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey extended the state's mask mandate for a few weeks through April 9. In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice came to CNN to say: "I don't really know what the big rush to get rid of the mask is because those masks have saved many, many lives."
Ivey's expansion of the mask mandate in Alabama is particularly noteworthy given that she was one of the Republican governors least reluctant to take serious action at the start of the pandemic. Since then, Alabama has risen to the top 10 states for population deaths, and it appears Ivey has learned the lesson South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is still evading. Or maybe not. Confusingly, this is what Ivey said when she ordered that this mandate last until April 9th: "Let me be very clear that after April 9th, I will no longer maintain the mask order. While I am convinced that a mask mandate was the right thing to do, I also respect those who object and believe that this was a step too far in going beyond government. "This does not seem to leave any way to actually check the conditions before removing these masks.
Ivey might want to reconsider, given a small fact. Based on the CDC's vaccination records for each state, it's easy to see how many vaccines have been given raw and what percentage of the people in each state are now vaccinated. On that basis, Alabama … doesn't look great. At 14% of the vaccinated population, it is in the lower tier of the state (though still ahead of Texas). However, when examining each state's effectiveness in delivering vaccines – what percentage of vaccines they dispense actually got into a person's arm – things look a little different. With this move, Alabama is the last dead, 50th out of 50. Only 67% of the vaccine delivered to the state was actually given as of March 1st. That means a full third of all cans are still literally chilling in a refrigerator or have been thrown away.
Compare this to states like New Mexico, which exceed 90% when it comes to converting the vaccine received into an administered vaccine. A whole group of states – North Dakota, Minnesota, Massachusetts – are right behind, and all of them have vaccine delivery rates in excess of 85%. Unfortunately, Alabama also has society at the other end of the scale. Georgia, Delaware, and Arkansas all managed to get less than 70% of their vaccine into humans.
However, none of them are as bad as Alabama. Before Ivey lifts that mask mandate, Ivey may want to make sure she's checking the numbers of the vaccine being given, not just the vaccine being given.
And when Congress finishes with January 6th, it might be worth getting a few officials together to talk about how and where some of these states are supplying vaccines. For example, news came on Tuesday that Missouri Governor Mike Parson was flooding a small rural county with so much vaccine that most of it was wasted. That county happened to be one of the top three in terms of choosing Parson in the last election. But Parson may be far from the worst when it comes to targeting vaccine delivery.
As the Miami Herald reports, residents of one of the chicest age communities in the Florida Keys had their vaccination needs fully met by January, just weeks after the vaccines were available, and were way ahead of nursing homes and hospital workers elsewhere in the state. The Ocean Reef Club is full of wealthy donors for Governor Ron DeSantis, but one big check stands out in particular – a $ 250,000 shot in DeSantis' arm of former Republican Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner who happened to have a house in Ocean owns reef. This may seem impressive, but it is only part of an extremely suspicious pattern.
Since DeSantis has been using the state vaccine initiative to drive special pop-up vaccinations for select communities, its political committee has raised $ 2.7 million in February alone, more than any other month since it first started for ran for governor.
Trump didn't actually develop a vaccine distribution plan and instead left it to individual states to determine how the vaccine got to people. Unfortunately, Biden inherited that system and couldn't do much about what was happening at the state level other than just pump in more vaccine. But when officials like DeSantis trade vaccines for campaign money and cheat other communities in the process, it's nothing short of a crime.
But here's the good news. Bloomberg's vaccine tracker now reports that the US has hit more than 2 million vaccine doses a day for the first time in a solid week. Indeed, after a slow and uncertain start, Biden's team is increasingly delivering vaccines, so all American adults can expect to have the chance to get vaccinated by the end of May.
Psaki on criticism for not giving Trump enough credit for his coronavirus response: "I don't think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in this country have died from this pandemic." pic.twitter.com/kCSLwvBWgR
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 4, 2021