Corporate media and the White House have spent the last several months blaming white Republicans and social media for people being hesitant to get the vaccine, but they’re completely ignoring other groups who are hesitant to get vaccinated.
White Republicans have been a common scapegoat for low vaccination rates. While it is true that Republicans are the most likely of all political groups to say they definitely won’t get the vaccine, experts caution that the explanations for the political and demographic divides are not simple.
“What I’m really worried about is building up this identity of, ‘if you’re a Republican, you don’t want the vaccine,'” Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told Axios. “I think a) that’s not correct and b) it’s really, really harmful.”
During a segment, CNN host Brian Stelter said, “white male Republicans … don’t want to get the shot.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disease detective, Seema Yasmin, agreed. She claimed that “there is no group in America more likely to say” no to the vaccine than white Republicans. (RELATED: Vaccine Hesitancy Among Fox News Viewers Hits All-Time Low After Network Promotes The Jab, Poll Finds)
CNN host Chris Cuomo blamed “Trumpers” for refusing the vaccine, and one MSNBC segment claimed that “there actually is very little vaccine hesitancy at the moment between African-Americans and Latino communities.”
A survey says that the top 3 reasons for vaccine hesitancy:
– waiting for others to take first (42%)
– other people need it more (35%)
– fear of side-effects (34%)
NOT “high price of vaccines” & “religious belief”
Hence community involvement is the KEY.#SaturdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/13cko3Up0I
— Dr. Amar Patnaik (@Amar4Odisha) July 31, 2021
An anonymous Facebook executive reportedly told NBC News that “the White House is looking for scapegoats” to blame for vaccine hesitancy, which is why they came down so hard on social media platforms. Accordingly, President Joe Biden blamed Facebook and other social media platforms for vaccine hesitancy. The president claimed disinformation on Facebook is “killing people” and the administration vowed to work with social media platforms to flag misinformation.
But data shows that the administration and media’s chosen scapegoats do not capture the picture of vaccine hesitancy.
According to a Facebook blog post, vaccine hesitancy shrunk significantly among Facebook users. From January to mid-July, the percentage of Facebook users who said they have or want to get the COVID-19 vaccine rose from 70% to between 80 and 85%. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all flag and removed vaccine misinformation from the platforms.
The breakdown of minority communities with vaccine hesitancy also varies.
Asian Americans are the most likely to get the vaccine, with 66% of the Asian population has received at least one dose. Moreover, 49% of white Americans have received at least one dose, followed by 43% of the Hispanic population and 38% of the black population, according to data from KFF.