From The Bulwark, by Charlie Sykes:
I admit that I’m struggling to come up with an analogy that would shed some light on the sheer insanity of this moment.
Try to imagine, for example, a campaign to mock attempts to improve airline safety in the wake of a crash that killed hundreds. Or try to envision a political class that would ridicule and undermine engineers who were trying to shore up the foundations of condominiums in Florida in the days after a horrific building collapse there.
None of that, however, even comes close to the genuine depravity of the current burst of performative anti-vax demagoguery we are seeing right now.
Four million people worldwide have died from COVID-19. That includes more than 600,000 Americans.
The delta variant is exploding and the infection rates are rising — and nearly all of the new hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.
In Missouri, where vaccination rates have lagged, “the Springfield area has been hit so hard that one hospital had to borrow ventilators over the Fourth of July weekend and begged on social media for help from respiratory therapists.”
Some of the least vaccinated states are the most pro-Trump. Trump won 17 of the 18 states with the lowest adult vaccination rates. Many of these states have high proportions of whites without college degrees.
The irony is that many of those who now deride the vaccines also objected to lockdowns, social distancing, and the wearing of masks. In a rational world, they would see the vaccines as a ticket back to normal life.
Instead, at this moment, they have chosen to go full anti-vax. Even with hundreds of thousands of dead, and hospitals again filling up, the lies continue; media types tell them to get clicks and likes; pols spread the lies to raise their profile and bring in cash.
And their recklessness will kill people. This is not hyperbole.
The toll of the lies —the tweets, cable hits, and performative demagoguery — can be measured in human lives. The right’s burst of dishonesty means that more fathers, mothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, even children will die.
How to describe the enormity of the malignancy here? Words like “irrational” and “insane,” don’t cover it.
In the law, however, there is category known as “depraved indifference to human life,” which “reflects a wicked, evil or inhuman state of mind, as manifested by brutal, heinous and despicable acts. It is evinced by conduct that is wanton, deficient in a moral sense of concern, and devoid of regard for the life or lives of others.”