As the pandemic slowly dies, more and more anti-vaccination activists in Florida are causing chaos.
“As the coronavirus began pushing the nation into lockdown in Mar. 2020, Joshua Coleman, an anti-vaccine campaigner who organizes anti-vaccine rallies, went on Facebook Live to give his followers a rallying speech. He laid out what he thought the pandemic really was: an opportunity,” said David McNew, a New York Times reporter.
Over the last six years, anti-vaccine groups have begun to organize politically more and more. By creating state political action committees and building a vast network that is now the foundation of vaccination opposition created by conservatives and legislators, this activist group has grown more vast than ever before.
They claim that medical decisions should be autonomous and private, kept to the person and the doctor. As vaccines began to roll out during the Covid-19 pandemic, this group of activists is now using full efforts to protect Americans from the virus. Many have different beliefs about the virus, but all have one thing in common: vaccines are harmful and dangerous.
Back in mid-2021, a conservative radio host from Florida who criticized the coronavirus vaccination efforts called himself “Mr. Anti-Vax.” Marc Bernier later contracted covid-19 himself and died.
“In December, Bernier told one guest: “I’m not taking it … Are you kidding me? Mr. Anti-Vax? Jeepers,” said Pengelly, a staff writer for The Guardian.
As the Delta variant spread through the nation, states led by Republicans that were resistant to public mandates, Florida included, were struggling with massive surges of hospitalizations and deaths. The majority of hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 are among the unvaccinated people in the nation.
As the spread of Covid-19 comes to a slow-down, you can look at the charts and see that more and more people are being vaccinated. This could be for two of many reasons: the unvaccinated are beginning to feel safer with the vaccine, or most jobs are beginning to require vaccination to continue work.
“As of late May 2021, a majority of U.S. adults have received a COVID-19 vaccine, with 62% of adults reporting having gotten at least one dose according to the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor. There are still substantial shares of the adult population who have not received a vaccine and many do not plan on getting vaccinated,” said Sparks, a staff writer for the Kaiser Family Foundation.