Very interesting stuff here, which may point to a pretty dramatic conclusion. In a piece headlined, “the Left’s vaccine problem,” the New York Times‘ David Leonhardt notes that conservative governments — at the national and state level — seem to be outperforming their leftist counterparts on the vital metric of getting citizens vaccinated quickly and efficiently. After some throat-clearing about left-leaning governance being better at earlier stages of the pandemic (debatable), he looks at the data on vaccination rates:
Over the last few weeks, as vaccination has become a top priority, the pattern has changed. Progressive leaders in much of the world are now struggling to distribute coronavirus vaccines quickly and efficiently: Europe’s vaccination rollout “has descended into chaos,” as Sylvie Kauffmann of Le Monde, the French newspaper, has written. One of the worst performers is the Netherlands, which has given a shot to less than 2 percent of residents. Canada (at less than 3 percent) is far behind the U.S. (about 8.4 percent). Within the U.S., many Democratic states — like California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and tiny Rhode Island — are below the national average. “The parts of the country that pride themselves on taking Covid seriously and believing in government are not covering themselves in glory,” The Times’s Ezra Klein has written.
At the same time, there are clear success stories in places that few people would describe as progressive. Alaska and West Virginia have the two highest vaccination rates among U.S. states, with Oklahoma and the Dakotas also above average. Globally, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have the highest rates. Britain — run by Boris Johnson, a populist Conservative — has vaccinated more than 15 percent of residents. International patterns are rarely perfect, and this one has plenty of exceptions…So far, though, it’s hard to find many progressive governments that are vaccination role models.
But why? Leonhardt’s top hypothesis is damning: “A common problem seems to be a focus on process rather than on getting shots into arms. Some progressive leaders are effectively sacrificing efficiency for what they consider to be equity…Some blue states have also created intricate rules about who qualifies for a vaccine and then made a big effort to keep anybody else from getting a shot. These complicated rules have slowed vaccination in both California and New York.” In other words, in addition to over-meddling, red tape-laden, bureaucratic incompetence, a fixation of “equity” is slowing things down where leftists are in charge. Equity is a popular buzz word in the Social Justice lexicon these days. It is presenting an obstacle to getting shots in arms because some lefty governments are obsessed with process and and “fairness,” over just getting the job done. If Leonhardt is correct (and I think he’s posed this theory as his top accusation for good reason), it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that wokeness is actually killing people. As is good old fashioned mismanagement, of course:
Across New York State, medical providers have had “to throw out precious vaccine doses because of difficulties finding patients who matched precisely with the state’s strict vaccination guidelines — and the steep penalties they would face had they made a mistake.”
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) February 5, 2021
Leftists often warn that conservative governance is necessarily inferior because its practitioners are definitionally hostile to the very idea of government. But too many leftist governments have become so infatuated with government that they’re struggling to make strong, decisive decisions with so much on the line — while permitting ideological orthodoxies to interfere with life-saving public health practices.
We’re seeing a similar phenomenon play out on reopening schools, in which the ‘science’ worshippers can’t bring themselves to implement sound policy based on clear science when that requires crossing another sacred cow within their dogma. Sacrificed on the altar of woke and partisan orthodoxy are efficient vaccinations and the well being of public school students. Congratulations, ostensibly pro-science, pro-government “progressives.” I’ll leave you with good news on the vaccine front:
How good is each vaccine?
Quite good. pic.twitter.com/GWlITfAHxq
— Tomas Pueyo (@tomaspueyo) February 7, 2021
💉VACCINE DATA UPDATE (Feb. 6)💉
…🚨U.S. posts *first* 2M+ doses daily total…
— Drew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) February 6, 2021
But this? This is definitely not helpful:
this will discourage people from getting vaccinated and will land among many as demoralizing goalpost shifting — counter-productive imo https://t.co/8amXyxsz9o
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 4, 2021
And how is this real? It’s a clip from February 2021, not April 2020:
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain speaks with @LesterHoltNBC about the plan to send masks to every American.
“We’re gonna do whatever we can to make masks more available to people.”
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) February 4, 2021