Monday, September 13, 2021

Gov. Kay Ivey holds the early lead in the Alabama GOP's race to make the dumbest statements yet in response to Biden's effort to get COVID under control

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

Alabama Republicans seem to be conducting a contest to see who can make the most vapid remarks about the vaccine mandates President Joe Biden issued last week. Right now, the contest is neck-and-neck, as we will show by examining some of the most rank comments. After that, we will take a look at statistics -- actual facts -- that show conservative "strategies," and intransigence from right-wing voters, have caused the nation to utterly fail at controlling the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Here are some of the gems we've seen so far from the Alabama GOP:


(1) Gov. Kay Ivey -- 

“Once again, President Biden has missed the mark. His outrageous, overreaching mandates will no doubt be challenged in the courts. Placing more burdens on both employers and employees during a pandemic with the rising inflation rates and lingering labor shortages is totally unacceptable. . . .

“Alabamians have stepped up by rolling up their sleeves to get the covid-19 vaccine, increasing our doses administered significantly in recent weeks,” she added. ‘We have done so without mandates from Washington D.C. or Montgomery. I’ve made it abundantly clear: I support the science and encourage folks taking the vaccine. However, I am absolutely against a government mandate on the vaccine, which is why I signed the vaccine passport ban into law here in Alabama. This is not the role of the government. . . .

 “Bring it on. Washington won’t be telling Alabama what to do. . . . 

" You bet I’m standing in the way. And if [Biden] thinks he’s going to move me out of the way, he’s got another thing coming. I’m standing as strong as a bull for Alabama against this outrageous Washington overreach."

Schnauzer sez --

If Ivey's leadership is "strong as a bull," why was Alabama's case count at 114,000 in August -- triple what it was in July and the highest count for the state since the pandemic began? Could it be because Ivey's efforts at virus control have been a miserable failure?

Ivey makes matters even more embarrassing for the state by talking like a juvenile. You've got to love this line: "Washington won't be telling Alabama what to do." Probably every third-grade teacher in the country has had some whiny brat use language like that. And here you have Alabama's governor stooping to such a low level. It's going to be tough for anyone to unseat Ivey from the No. 1 spot in this contest.


(2) U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt -- 

"Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is yet another anti-free market overreach, This administration, going around Congress once again, is trying to change the fabric of our nation from being built on individual responsibility to being marred by dependency on big government. Forcing businesses to do something against their will tramples the free market principles that have made America great.”

Schnauzer sez:

What do free-market principles have to do with controlling a public-health crisis? The word "nothing" comes to mind. Gov. Ivey has pretty much tried a free-market approach, and it has resulted in only 39 percent of Alabamians being fully vaccinated -- a rate that is even worse than those for Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Is it any wonder Biden felt the need to intervene?


U.S. Rep. Barry Moore --

"President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate is yet another breathtaking and blatantly unconstitutional power-grab by an out-of-control Administration. . . . 

"The Biden Administration’s statement that issuing vaccine mandates was ‘not the role of the federal government’ has now been revealed as a barefaced lie, just like the president’s claim that he had a plan for Afghanistan. It is clear to Americans and our allies abroad that deceit, ineptitude, and even subversion are at the foundation of this administration."

Schnauzer sez -- 

In 1905, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Jacobson v. Massachusetts that public health measures, like vaccination, imposed by states are constitutional because, in essence, living in society comes with restrictions, including those pertaining to public health.

At the heart of the case is the intersection between public health and a person’s individual rights. The court ruled that while the state doesn’t have absolute power to limit individual rights, it can impose reasonable limits when it comes to public health.

Now in the wake of the sweeping federal vaccine mandates President Biden announced on Thursday and claims by some Republican lawmakers that the rules are unconstitutional, experts say legal challenges to the measure are likely to be unsuccessful because of the strong precedent established by the Jacobson case.

“I think the Biden administration can clearly point to the fact that there is an ability of governmental entities to mandate vaccination,” Brian Dean Abramson, an adjunct professor of vaccination law at Florida International University, said of the Jacobson case.

In short, Rep. Barry Moore might need to brush up on constitutional law.

Americans are now getting infected with COVID-19 at 10 times the rate needed to end the pandemic, which will persist until more people get vaccinated, NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

Threat level: "The endgame is to suppress the virus. Right now, we're still in pandemic mode, because we have 160,000 new infections a day. That's not even modestly good control ... which means it's a public health threat."

  • "In a country of our size, you can't be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day. You've got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable," Fauci says.
  • Once enough people have been vaccinated, he adds, "you'll still get some people getting infected, but you're not going to have it as a public health threat."

Between the lines: Despite all of the buzz about the Mu variant, which appears to elude some protective properties of authorized vaccines and prior infections, the Delta variant continues to dominate in the U.S. and around the world.

  • The good news: Fauci says this means currently authorized vaccinations are still effective.
  • The bad news: Not enough Americans are taking measures against the Delta variant, which has already upped the stakes.
  • And, the longer it takes to end this pandemic phase, the bigger the chance we'll end up with a "monster variant" that not only eludes vaccines but also is dangerously transmissible.

Alabamians, it seems, have a choice: They can cling to the failed "free-market principles" that Ivey, Britt, and Moore espouse or they can get behind Biden's efforts to increase vaccination rates, reduce case counts, and get the virus under control -- increasing the odds that they, their children, and other loves ones and friends will live to see a mostly COVID-free country.


Anonymous said...

These Republicans you quote are political hacks. Like many of their colleagues in the GOP, they have no solutions for anything, so they play to the lowest common denominator of the right-wing base. Sad to see what has happened to the Grand Old Party.

legalschnauzer said...

This seems to be more dvidence that the GOP, in its current state of disarray, simply cannot govern. None of these three GOPers quoted offers a solution to the problem at hands, other than to continue with tactics that already have failed.

Anonymous said...

Katie Britt says government can't make business do things it doesn't want to do. Really? I think the record shows government most certainly can regulate the harmful acts of business. One example would be pollution controls and forcing polluters to clean up the messes they make.

legalschnauzer said...

I suspect Britt is just spewing BS she's heard from her patron saint, Richard Shelby. She might have an original thought at some point, but I'm not holding my breath.

legalschnauzer said...

Katie Britt has a problem with Biden "going around Congress" by issuing executive orderz? Where was she when Donald Trump was doing the same thing? From the Federal Register:

Donald Trump issued 219 executive orders between 2017 and 2021

legalschnauzer said...

From the Washington Post on executive orders, dated Oct. 2021:

Trump’s 193 orders to date exceed the numbers for other recent presidents: Barack Obama published 147 executive orders in his first term, George W. Bush 171 and Bill Clinton 128. But presidential scholars said the most notable difference is Trump’s eagerness to embrace a tool that most presidents have treated more as a last resort — stretching the boundaries of executive authority in ways likely to outlast him, whether through policies that endure or greater leeway for future presidents to deploy executive power.

legalschnauzer said...

Props to Kyle Whitmire of for spotlighting Ivey's failures on COVID:

This week Alabama’s Chief Brody, UAB infectious disease expert Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, gave a warning about the big fish offshore. New coronavirus vaccinations have slowed close to a standstill. Test positivity is up. Hospitalizations are, too. The Delta variant is looking for a fat swimmer and we’re the biggest in the sea.

And then she uttered the sort of warning that gets the souvenir shop owners making angry calls to the mayor.

“When you get to that point and healthcare delivery is threatened and you start to see the death rates increase, you’ve probably gotten past the point where some restrictions should really be considered,” Marrazzo said.

But before the tourists could start looking for fins in the water, Ivey assured everyone, there’s nothing to see here. The sun is hot and the water is cool.

“Vaccines are readily available, and I encourage folks to get one,” Ivey wrote on Facebook. “The state of emergency and health orders have expired. We are moving forward.”

Only, we’re not moving forward. And that was Marrazzo’s point. All our key COVID indicators are creeping backward again. That’s an objective fact. Just because Ivey insists we’re moving full speed ahead, doesn’t make it so.

Alabama is setting itself up for failure again. And Ivey is helping — by doing nothing. . . .

For weeks, Alabama has lagged at its usual spot, next to last, in coronavirus vaccinations. But Friday morning, CDC data showed Mississippi had slipped ahead of us, if only by a tenth of a percentage point.

Alabama had fallen to dead last.

legalschnauzer said...

Another thoughtful piece from Kyle Whitmire, focusing on Ivey's malarkey:

When I turned 18 years old, I went to the Post Office and filled out a piece of paper. It was a card, as I recall, on which I wrote my name, my birthday, my address and maybe a little more personal information. It didn’t ask for much.

That is unless the government decided to ask for more — maybe for everything.

That’s how most young men back then registered for the Selective Service. After a little Googling, I see today you do all that online. But not much else has changed.

Although it’s never been invoked in my lifetime, it’s bizarre to consider the Selective Service is a thing that still exists. At the government’s discretion, any young man in this country — including non-citizens, but not women — can be called to duty, given a few weeks of training, then shipped to some foreign place to kill or be killed.

Failure to register is a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines, although that, too, hasn’t been invoked in decades.

Despite all the resentment and bitterness toward the draft after the Vietnam War, we never dispensed with it. Despite fighting three wars and numerous other engagements since then with a fully volunteer military, we never got rid of it.

But maybe we should.

Because I keep hearing folks say, the government can’t tell us what to do, and if that’s true, I’d like to revisit the issue.

Just so we’re clear, Alabama mandates vaccines in schools already, just not the COVID vaccine. Ivey has never done anything to repeal those mandates, nor should she. Those mandates are the reason we don’t have to deal with diseases such as polio anymore. But it also goes to show, Ivey doesn’t care about mandates anymore than she cares about public health — just getting reelected.

Anonymous said...

Kind of strange to hear all the bitching from Republicans when it was their guy, Trump, who allowed the virus to get here and spread around the country.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, the GOPers tend to conveniently leave out Trump's role. Here is a Joe Biden Facebook post, from May 2020, which spells out the responsibility Trump desperately has tried to avoid:

We left a playbook. He ignored it.
We created an office to prepare for pandemics. He gutted it.
We had CDC officials in China to detect and contain outbreaks. He pulled them out.
Trump can try and shift blame all he wants, but the fact is his actions left us unprepared.

legalschnauzer said...

Headline: Alabama heart patient dies because COVID patients have made ICU beds scarce

The family of a Cullman antique dealer is urging people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after medical workers were forced to transport him to a free hospital bed nearly 200 miles away from his home.

Ray Martin DeMonia died Sept. 1 after suffering a cardiac event on Aug. 23. He was three days shy of celebrating his 74th birthday.

In his obituary, DeMonia’s family says hospitals across the South swelled with COVID-19 patients meant that medical staff at Cullman Regional Medical Center had to look elsewhere.

“In honor of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non COVID related emergencies,” the obituary reads.

“Due to COVID 19, CRMC emergency staff contacted 43 hospitals in 3 states in search of a Cardiac ICU bed and finally located one in Meridian, MS. He would not want any other family to go through what his did.”

Anonymous said...

Biden and his Administration are full Sh%%t. Ivey may finally be seeing the truth about our joke of a government. TRUMP 2020.