One of the puzzles about the particularly pathetic American version of the anti-vaxx Tonka Twuckers convoy is what, exactly, they’re protesting. With my jurisdiction ending the vast majority of COVID- related restrictions today, things are back to “normal” in virtually the whole country, and of course a substantial part of the country has been there since May or June 2021.
The answer, I think, can be seen in the failure of the congressional COVID-age aid package, even though it contained no coercive measures at all:
The United States is poised to run out of tests, treatments and vaccines to fight the coronavirus after a $15.6 billion funding plan collapsed in Congress on Wednesday, alarming health-care advocates and raising concerns about the fate of President Biden’s broader covid response plan.
Testing capacity … will decline this month. In April, free testing and treatments for tens of millions of Americans without health insurance will end. In May, America’s supply of monoclonal antibodies will run out,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing on Thursday.
With coronavirus aid stripped from a deal to fund the government, Democrats this week were left scrambling, unsure as to how they would advance a tranche of spending they see as critical. The House set in motion a plan to vote next week on a new bill that would provide $15 billion for testing, treatment and vaccines. But the proposal appeared likely to falter in the Senate, where Republicans have demanded that lawmakers redirect existing stimulus funds, or find some other way to pay for it.
Indeed, tests, vaccines, and treatments are all part of a strategy to mitigate COVID without restrictions on day-to-day life. But that’s not the point — for virtually all Republicans and too many Democrats, it’s not even about the restrictions, but a broader sense that COVID is something that people should never have to think about ever again, even as it continues to kill people at a level that would have been considered unacceptable by most people two years ago. And this mindset isn’t going anywhere if a new variant or a new virus hits, either, which is the scariest part of all. Ron DeSantis did in his own smirkingly nihilist way really win the pandemic.