As President Joe Biden, advocacy groups, the medical community, and others have been urging minorities to take the coronavirus vaccine, but one key demographic is notably absent from that effort, white Republicans.
White Republicans are not getting the vaccine and are using every excuse in the book including that they got sick after taking the flu shot.
“This is a brand new vaccine,” Gabriel Smithson told CBS News. “I’m not going to jeopardize my health, I’m not going to put my kids in harm’s way. … I don’t want to play guinea pig.”
A recent poll conducted by NPR/PBS showed 49% of White men who consider themselves Republicans have no plans to get the vaccine. Additionally, a CBS poll showed 34% of Republicans say they will not get vaccinated. Just 10% of Democrats in the poll said they wouldn’t get the vaccine.
Many Republicans are avoiding the shot due to the lack of urgency and caution of former President Donald Trump throughout the year before he lost his bid for reelection. However, he and his wife Melania Trump quietly took the vaccine before leaving office and former Vice President Mike Pence received the vaccine on television.
Democrats were on the fence about the vaccine as well, but most of that was because of Trump. Current Vice President Kamala Harris said during the VP debate last October she wouldn’t take the vaccine if Trump suggested the vaccine but others including Dr. Anthony Fauci did not agree.
Biden said during an address to the nation Thursday that the country is working with pharmaceutical companies to ensure all Americans will be able to get a vaccine regardless of age by May 1.
Despite the vaccination effort, the virus is still impacting the country. Duke University and the University of Virginia both had basketball games canceled this week due to positive tests among the team.