|Stacy George and his wife, on what must have been a slow news day|
Who has made the most ignorant statement about COVID-19 in the history of the pandemic? There is a lot of competition for that "honor," including from a former president of the United States. But we have to give the award to a candidate for governor of Alabama. (Gee, there's a surprise.) From a report at al.com:
Alabama gubernatorial candidate Stacy George today criticized Gov. Kay Ivey for making comments that he said belittled people who choose not to get COVID-19 vaccinations.
George responded to statements Ivey made Thursday to reporters who asked the governor about Alabama’s rising COVID numbers and how to get more people to take the vaccine.
Ivey said, “I don’t know. You tell me.”
“Folks are supposed to have common sense,” she said. “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down....I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t make you take care of yourself.”
Those comments marked a change in tone for Ivey, who has stressed personal responsibility as she has advocated for vaccinations and held news conferences when she received her shots in December and January.
George took offense at those comments, even though Ivey -- for once in her political career -- was absolutely right about something. In fact, multiple experts and frontline workers have said the Delta variant makes this a "pandemic of the unvaccinated." Ivey's words, it seems, simply were a statement of fact. Still, they ruffled Stacy George's feathers:
George, a correctional officer at Limestone Correctional Facility who announced his run for the Republican nomination on July 1, said he has not received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am one of those non-vaccinated people that Governor Ivey just scolded,” George said in a statement. “Unlike Governor Ivey I respect everyone who gets the vaccine as well as those like me that choose not to get the vaccine for various reasons. A governor should never belittle the people that disagree with her.”
George said he had a tough bout with COVID-19 last year and had fever for about seven days. Because of that, he said he believes he probably has antibodies to fight off the virus. But he said he would probably not receive the vaccine even if that was not the case, partly because he’s not in a high-risk population for serious illness from COVID.
In terms of ignorance, George was just getting warmed up:
“I just don’t see the need in healthy people like myself being vaccinated,” George said. “And that’s my opinion. But I respect people that choose to be vaccinated. It’s just a personal choice. Kind of like the free enterprise works in Alabama.”
The virus is surging in Alabama. The state reported that 727 COVID patients are receiving care in Alabama hospitals as of Friday, the most since the end of February.
As of today, Alabama continues to have the lowest vaccination rate in the nation with 33.9 percent of the population fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The more contagious Delta variant appears to be driving the rise in sickness.
Here are a few questions for Stacy George: (1) What makes you, a corrections officer, qualified to be governor of Alabama? (Answer: absolutely nothing); (2) How do you know you are super-duper healthy, considering you've already had COVID-19 once? Do you think all 4.2 million people who have died from COVID around the world were unhealthy to begin with? None of them were healthy?
And here is a message from planet Earth for the would-be governor: The coronavirus has a demonstrated capacity for turning healthy people into unhealthy people -- often in a span of about five days. And the virus has a demonstrated knack for turning unhealthy people into dead people. Stacy George's opinion appears to have no basis in scientific research, so it has pretty much zero value to Alabamians. And this opinion comes from a man whose "Que Sera Sera" approach to the virus already has failed to protect him once.
The good news? Stacy George has zero chance of becoming governor of Alabama, so hopefully no one will be sticking a microphone in front of his face again anytime soon.