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Calls for Governor Reeves to order mask...

Calls for Governor Reeves to order mask mandates are not about public health anymore

By: Frank Corder - July 28, 2021

The brand is crisis, not improving outcomes.

Mississippi’s media establishment is moaning and wailing at the top of their lungs that Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves should use his “bully pulpit” more than he has to encourage citizens to get their COVID vaccines.

This is a moronic and demonstrably biased headline by Mississippi Today. But they aren’t the only ones running such bald-faced attacks.

Never mind the fact that Governor Reeves took the vaccine publicly, has literally spent hundreds of hours in public press conferences extolling the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and continues to promote the vaccine publicly.

This long ago ceased to be about public health for many in the media in Mississippi and beyond.  This is purely about politics and virtue signaling.  At this point, the media establishment is using COVID like a political hammer for their partisan ends.

COVID is a terrible thing, but it’s now clear that there’s not going to be such a thing as “zero COVID.”  This is something we are clearly going to have to learn to live with for the perceivable future.

We are now officially past the point where sanctimonious, blue-checkmark finger wagging is going to move the needle with the unvaccinated or with public officials they don’t agree with.  COVID has been politicized and the mainstream media establishment is the most culpable.  Screaming at people that they are idiots for not getting vaccinated is not only not working – it’s now having the opposite effect.

The bottom line is that the media establishment is bound and determined to politicize this pandemic.  Truthfully, that is costing as many, if not more, lives as the Governor “not using his bully pulpit.”  Yet, they are too blind and self-righteous to see this truth.

Maybe some of these media types and their backers will hop in a political race instead of just openly partisan campaigning against conservatives using their media outlets in 2023.  I’m certain they would find out how wildly out of touch they are with Mississippi voters.

Again, like Governor Reeves and public health officials, I have been vaccinated and will live like it… just like I’ve always done with other vaccines throughout my life. I know the risks and have weighed the costs.

COVID vaccines are medical miracles, but what is happening is not a failure of government.  Government has rolled out the vaccines for free and made them available to anyone who wants one.  Everyone who wants a shot has had plenty of time to get one.

The mainstream media is having a savior complex, and the hard truth is that they have not earned the trust of the public.  As we mentioned last week, conservatives have a 10% approval rating nationally for the media.  This plays into the argument.  What’s more, it’s not just conservatives that aren’t getting vaccinated.  Major urban centers like New York (once the epicenter of the pandemic), Chicago, and LA all have sub-50% vaccination rates.

Governor Reeves has learned a lot over the past year. He’s been hit with more natural and manmade disasters in his first 18 months in office than any previous Governor. He has publicly expressed regret for agreeing to shut down portions of the economy for a period of time and for being a tad more heavy-handed with executive orders than in retrospect he would have liked.  Hindsight is always 20-20.

Governor Reeves appears to have decided, at this point, that Mississippians have the data, the resources and the intelligence they need to make their own decisions as it relates to COVID. That is not a bad thing. Government’s proper role now is merely to make the vaccine available and ensure the people know it’s accessible and safe.

“The fact is, every single Mississippian has had an opportunity to get the vaccine,” Reeves told reporters two weeks ago. “There are some who have chosen not to. I encourage them to do so.”

After all, unless the federal government sends in troops and forcibly puts shots in arms, it’s up to individuals to make those calls.  No amount of shaming peoples’ intelligence or blaming or banning Facebook comments is going to amount to a hill of beans at this point, and neither is any celebrity or politician’s endorsement.

As for the media’s affinity with mask mandates and more restrictions, ponder this.

The CDC reports that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.

The CDC also reports that the two-dose measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps.

By comparison for COVID-19, Pfizer’s stated vaccine efficacy is 95%.  Moderna’s is 94% and Johnson & Johnson’s is 66%. Some reports now say the efficacy is lessened by a few percentage points with this Delta variant, and a booster could be needed. So be it.

Children 12 and up are able to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccine, and even if they don’t, they are statistically unlikely to contract a overly problematic form of COVID studies continue to show.

This means the messaging on making students – even those who have been vaccinated – wear masks this school year from the Biden Administration, the MSDH, CDC, teacher unions and other groups is a farce and does not follow the science as they are so quick to accuse others of doing while calling anyone who questions them names, further hurting the effort to increase vaccination rates.

The same goes for the general population at large.

If you’ve been vaccinated, live like it, just as you have done with other vaccinations. Be smart and do what’s right for you and your family.

Can you still get COVID? Unfortunately, yes. But before all of this hype, and still today, you could also still get the flu, measles, mumps, and other diseases even if vaccinated.

Further, the studies have shown that all three vaccines were 100% effective at preventing severe disease six weeks after the first dose (for Moderna) or seven weeks after the first dose (for Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson).

Enough of the mixed messaging, flip-flopping, and unscientific, needless mandates, and enough with the left and the holier-than-thou media trying to use COVID for the benefit of their donors and corporations to badger Governor Reeves into taking authoritarian actions that is not justified by science.

It’s time for the media and those in the public health establishments to take a good, long look at what they are doing.  If they want the public health goals that they are saying they want, they need to openly admit what’s being done isn’t working and that’s largely on them.  Perhaps try starting over with empathy and a genuine desire to help people instead of playing politics or virtue signaling for their media and left-wing pals.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank:
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