Tag Archives: vaccine

GOP no longer ‘pro-business’ party?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If you thought that the Republican Party is the “pro-business” political organization, you might want to rethink that now-quaint notion.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican (of course), has signed a bill into law that punishes business for demanding that customers prove they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, the one that has killed nearly 600,000 Americans.

It seems that Abbott believes people have no need to prove to anyone they have been vaccinated against a highly communicable, infectious and still potentially fatal disease.

Sure thing, guv.

He can count me as one Texas resident has no problem providing proof to anyone that I have been vaccinated. Indeed, my wife and I got our shots relatively early and have been adhering to the mandates sought by federal medical authorities: masks, social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and so on.

The Texas Tribune reports: “Texas is open 100%, and we want to make sure you have the freedom to go where you want without limits,” Abbott said before signing the law, in a video he posted Monday on Twitter. “Vaccine passports are now prohibited in the Lone Star State.”

Sigh …

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs bill to restrict “vaccine passports” | The Texas Tribune

I am puzzled by the notion that a political party that used to tout its love for private business and sought to grant business owners relative autonomy from government interference is now endorsing this heavy-handed approach to preventing them from protecting their employees and those they serve.

Vaccine arguments: idiocy

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The debate in this country over whether to get vaccinated against a disease that can kill you simply is astonishing in the extreme.

I cannot get past this utterly irrefutable fact: vaccines save lives and prevent misery, agony and heartache.

Polio struck millions of Americans. Then in the 1950s, they discovered a vaccine. What happened to polio in this country? It vanished. The same can be said of tuberculosis and smallpox. Same for diseases such as scarlet fever, the bubonic plague. We vaccinate our children against measles, mumps, chicken pox, you name it.

But now we have a disease that has killed nearly 600,000 Americans and the debate rages over whether we should get vaccinated. I even have members of my family who suggest — and this just blows my mind — that the Food and Drug Administration didn’t actually approve the vaccines that are being given to Americans and that these family members simply refuse to get vaccinated because, um, it’s all political.

We need to get past the politics that has poisoned the national discussion about the pandemic and how the government has responded to it. If we do not, then I am confident in projecting many more unnecessary deaths … and heartbreak.

POTUS punished for good deeds?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It really must be true that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Consider the following:

President Biden took office in January as the nation was struggling to cope with the COVID pandemic. He promised tens of millions of vaccines in his first 100 days. He succeeded gloriously in outpacing that projection.

Then came a surge in consumer demand of supplies they couldn’t purchase because of restrictions caused by the pandemic. The worldwide supply chain has been strained as manufacturers struggle to meet the immense demand.

The punishment comes in the form of inflation that now has the White House troubled by the impact of that huge demand and the still-limited supply.

The Hill reports: All of those factors combined to push the consumer price index (CPI) up 0.8 percent in April and 4.2 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest annual rate since 2008, the Labor Department reported this past week. When stripping out the more volatile prices for food and energy, the index registered the biggest monthly increase since 1982.

While the ramped-up consumer spending is a sign of increased optimism, the Biden administration faces political risks as Americans find themselves dealing with inflation levels that the country hasn’t seen in more than a decade.

Inflation fears grow for White House (msn.com)

Joe Biden is a seasoned political hand. He knows he will get pilloried for the inflation. There is no way on God’s good Earth he is going to apologize for the accelerated vaccine distribution and vaccination rates that have contributed to the “crisis” resulting in the inflationary pressure.

Politicization: astounding and moronic

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Never did I think back when I was bringing two boys through childhood and into their teen years that we would engage in an astonishing — and frankly moronic — debate over vaccination against an infectious killer.

When our sons required vaccines, they received them. No questions asked. No concerns over the damn politics of the moment.

They were inoculated against polio, smallpox, flu, measles, chicken pox, mumps … you name it.  So was I. So was their mother.

Here we are now. The COVID-19 virus has killed nearly 600,000 Americans and 2 million or so around the world and yet Americans are arguing among themselves over whether to receive one of three certified vaccines that have been deemed overwhelmingly effective against the disease.

And why is that? Why are we debating it? Because some of us still cling to the idiocy that the pandemic isn’t real, that it’s a hoax, that it is the product of some conspiracy cabal intent on doing something, anything to bring mysterious harm to us.

OK, I know … we’ve got that J&J vaccine that’s been reapproved for use after that overblown scare involving six women who contracted serious blood clots after taking that vaccine. Six out of — how many? — 2 million doses. That sent red flags up everywhere.

Meanwhile, President Biden’s medical team is trying to tell us that the vaccines — all of them — are safe for human use.

Most of us are listening. Others are not. There have been arguments at family dinner tables over the vaccines and over whether we should be vaccinated.

It makes me want to pull out my hair!

COVID vaccines abound for foreigners, too?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Panhandle media are reporting that flights are arriving from Mexico carrying so-called “elites” who are getting vaccinated in Amarillo against the COVID-19 virus.

A news report from KVII Channel 7 says the flights are departing from near Mexico City, stopping in San Antonio and then going to Amarillo where passengers are getting the vaccines.

What is not being reported, and which could place this matter in its proper context, are the numbers of foreign nationals who are getting the vaccines. Is it in the dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?

I doubt it’s in the thousands of individuals. Hundreds might be a stretch.

Foreign elites flying to Amarillo for vaccination | KVII (abc7amarillo.com)

U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, the area’s newly elected congressman, said he opposes giving the shots to foreigners. He doesn’t stipulate, though, whether any local residents are being deprived of the vaccine. He said in a statement: “If this report is true, it is a serious problem. Amarillo should not be a hub for medical tourism at the expense of hardworking Texans. Non-citizens should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine in our state until all Texans who want a vaccine are vaccinated — bottom line.”

Amarillo has become something of a case study for how administering this vaccine is supposed to work. The inoculation protocol there reportedly has gone very well, and it has gotten the attention from those around the nation — and apparently across our borders.

If there remain enough vaccines for everyone, then I do not see a problem.

Politics overpowering pandemic battle

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

One of the more astonishing aspects of this fight against the coronavirus pandemic — and there have been so many of them — has been the political tug-of-war over whether to get vaccinated against a disease that has killed 500,000-plus Americans.

On one side we have the MAGA-hat crowd, the folks who continue to stand with an ex-president who spent much of the previous year denying the pandemic was anything to cause worry. They oppose getting vaccinated.

It fell, then, on Dr. Anthony Fauci — the world’s leading infectious disease expert — to implore Donald Trump to encourage his minions to get vaccinated. The ex-president did so and for that I applaud him.

For the life of me I cannot fathom how vaccination protocols have become something to kick around like a proverbial political football.

The evidence of all three U.S. government-approved vaccines’ efficacy is overwhelming. They are helping curb the infection, hospitalization and death rates. Still, we hear reports of individuals declining to get vaccinated because of some lie that refuses to be exterminated that the vaccines aren’t working.

In a related matter, we also hear about individuals refusing to wear masks while doing business with companies that their customers to wear them. Did you see the video of the woman in Galveston getting arrested in a bank because she refused to mask up even though bank policy requires her to do so? She shouts idiotic cliches about her “personal liberty” being infringed by rules aimed at protecting her life and those with whom she comes into contact. Ridiculous!

If there is a sign that the politicization of society has veered out of control, I believe we are seeing it play out in real time … at this very moment. It has to stop!

What? Trump does the right thing?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hey, did hell just freeze over or what?

Donald J. Trump, the one-time pandemic denier in chief, has issued a statement that urges Americans to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. I know what some of you are thinking. This can’t be true. Can it? I thought the same thing when I first heard it.

However, the ex-president has gone on the record in a Fox News interview that the vaccines out there are safe and are effective against the pandemic. Trump and his wife got vaccinated in the final days of the Trump presidency, only they didn’t tell anyone about it.

Trump’s suggestion for Americans to get vaccinated comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci — who needs no introduction — urged him to do what he did. “I think it would make all the difference in the world,” Fauci said on Fox News Sunday. “He’s a very widely popular person among Republicans. If he came out and said, ‘Go and get vaccinated; it’s really important for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country,’ it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him.”

Well, the former president did it.

Trump encourages Americans to get the Covid vaccine (msn.com)

It remains to be seen if his followers, many of whom remain skeptical about the vaccine and its efficacy, will follow suit. If they don’t and get sick, well … you know.

I am going to do something I didn’t think I would do, which is to thank Donald Trump for doing what, admittedly, he should have done a long time ago.

Cheering is contagious

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

All this back and forth among friends, acquaintances and even total strangers is amazing in the extreme.

I am referring to those who are using social media to proclaim that they have gotten vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Hey, I share their joy. I am vaccinated, too. So is my wife. Same for one of my sons; my other son has “antibodies” in his system, which tells me he must’ve caught the virus but didn’t show any symptoms.

This is a peculiar side effect of the pandemic response.

The vaccines are rolling out, tens of millions of doses at a time. Three big pharma companies have yanked out all the stops to deliver the vaccines in virtually no time. Operation Warp Speed kicked in and the drug makers delivered the goods.

I am just astonished at the enthusiasm we are expressing when we are able to obtain a vaccine. I cannot remember any time when public response to a crisis has reached this kind of level.

We are hearing the occasional grumbling, too. A member of my family had two vaccine appointments canceled when she was informed that she didn’t qualify under one of the two initial groups that were getting the shots. That changed today. She went to her local pharmacy and received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. What did she do? She called me to share the good news!

We’re getting giddy about the vaccine. I am going to wait anxiously for the time when we get word that we have reached the threshold of “herd immunity,” which is when a significant majority of Americans are inoculated.

If this initial reaction to the arrival of the vaccine is going to produce the kind of response I sense that we’re getting, well, then it’ll be Katie-bar-the-door when enough of us get inoculated against a disease that is still causing too much misery for us to cheer too loudly.

But I welcome the reaction. It’s as if we’re all having babies.

Where was No. 45?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Just a few moments this evening before President Biden began speaking to the nation about the fight against the COVID pandemic, I watched a brief public service announcement.

It featured four of the five living former presidents of the United States urging Americans to get vaccinated against the virus. There they were: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. (and Laura) Bush and Jimmy (and Rosalyn) Carter. They told us of their dedication to protect themselves and urged us to protect ourselves and those with whom we come in contact.

But …

Where in the world was Donald J. Trump? He doesn’t belong — or so it appears — to the exclusive Former Presidents Club.

The pandemic took the nation by the throat on Trump’s watch. And yet he was the president who downplayed its impact, he lied to us repeatedly about its seriousness, he mused aloud about injecting ourselves with cleaning agents to rid us of the virus. In short, he fluffed the nation’s response to a virus that has killed more than 500,000 Americans. Now we learn that he and the former first lady got vaccinated in private before leaving the White House; they never bothered to set the kind of example they should have set.

Now that I think more deeply about it, hearing Donald Trump talk to us about getting vaccinated would have been as insincere and inauthentic as every single thing that has flowed from his mouth.

We all scream for ‘vaccine’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There is this weird phenomenon occurring on social media.

Well, at least I consider it weird. It is that folks around the nation are proclaiming their individual triumph at getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Hey, I did the same thing when my wife and I received our second and final vaccine doses.

I’m not yet sure what to think of this recurring phenomenon. It does seem strange to me.

The last time the nation received a breakthrough vaccine, I suppose, occurred in the 1950s with the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk. Then came the “sugar cube” vaccine developed later by Dr. Albert Sabin, which we consumed by swallowing it.

Was the nation overwhelmed by either vaccine? Did Americans get on the phone and call each other to boast about getting it? That was a long time ago and I do not remember it happening. Then again, I was just a kid when the Salk vaccine was injected into my arm.

We didn’t have “social media” in those days. Social media these days have become the messaging forum of choice for billions of human beings around the world. And a lot of us are using various social media platforms to declare a form of victory in the fight against the COVID pandemic.

I am interested only in knowing whether my actual friends on Facebook — which appears to be the primary social media platform folks are using — are obtaining the vaccine. The rest of my alleged “friends” on Facebook? I’ll be honest, I don’t much care on any sort of a personal level.

However, there is something worthwhile about knowing that more Americans are getting inoculated against this killer virus. Maybe it’s not as “weird” as I implied when I began this blog post.