Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Politics

Florida Sen. Manny Diaz wants to “review” all vaccine mandates

Florida State Senator Manny Diaz wants to “review” all vaccine mandates in Florida, not just COVID-19 mandates. This was always the endgame for the antivaccine movement, and COVID-19 might just make it happen in some states, thanks to the embrace of antivaccine and antimask “freedumb” by Republican politicians

Of all the cesspits of anti-science and antivaccine nuttery in the US, Florida has a strong claim to being the most anti-science and nuttiest. First, it has Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose embrace of Great Barrington Declaration-style, “don’t worry, be happy,” “let COVID-19 rip” policies recently led to his appointment of an utter crank to head up the entire medical and public health bureaucracy of the state. This crank, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, was a member of America’s Frontline Doctors, the same group that was pushing hydroxychloroquine a year ago (and is pushing ivermectin now and antivaccine misinformation now) as a miracle cure for COVID-19 and counts among its members a grifting quack and a physician who thinks that demon sperm from sex with demons is responsible for a number of gynecological maladies and was a signatory of the Great Barrington Declaration, which basically advocated letting COVID-19 infect the “healthy” population and using “focused protection” to keep the elderly and others at high risk of serious disease and death safe, neglecting the impossibility of protecting high risk people if the virus is ripping through the population. Unfortunately, Dr. Lapado is not the only crank in charge. Enter Florida State Senator Manny Diaz, whose recent bloviations are remarkable mainly for being utterly honest about what the endgame always was for those resisting COVID-19 mandates:

Florida’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be a major focus during the 2022 Legislative Session for Sen. Manny Diaz, the top Republican shaping health care policy in the upper chamber.

His work could include revisiting existing vaccine requirements long in place in schools, a response to the debate about whether COVID-19 vaccines should also be required.

Diaz, who came down with COVID-19 last winter, said he wants to review the state’s vaccination efforts as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ work on getting monoclonal antibody treatments to those who test positive for COVID-19.

The Senator, who acknowledges he hasn’t gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, says he’s firmly against vaccine mandates. At the urging of the Governor, the Legislature earlier this year passed a bill that would prevent private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from their customers. But the bill did not ban employers from requiring their employees to be vaccinated.

Before I go on to discuss this further, note that this is not just some random back bencher, some irrelevant crank. (Sen. Diaz is a crank all right, but by virtue of his position he is unfortunately far from irrelevant.) Between politicians like Gov. DeSantis and Sen. Diaz plus COVID-19 crank physicians like Dr. Ladapo, it’s almost as though Florida is trying to let as many people as possible die. After all, remember how Dr. Ladapo said that he thought that vaccination against COVID-19 was being overemphasized, even going so far as to say that the vaccines have “been treated almost like a religion, and that’s just senseless”? As I pointed out before, whenever someone likens vaccination to a religion, he is, knowingly or unknowingly, parroting a common antivaccine talking point.

Tommy Beer at Forbes provides some key background about Florida:

The Florida Department of Health has long required the following vaccines to be administered before children may enroll and attend childcare or school in the state: diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, inactivated polio vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), varicella (chickenpox), Haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcal conjugate, and Hepatitis B. Under Florida law, only parents who declare such immunizations conflict with their religious tenets can exempt their children from vaccination requirements. Some GOP lawmakers in Florida have been criticized for taking a stance against Covid-19 vaccines while not previously, or currently, fighting against other state-mandated inoculations. Earlier this year, the Republican-led Florida Legislature passed a bill that banned businesses, governments and schools from requiring “vaccine passports.” 

It is true that Sen. Diaz qualifies his statement (apparently in order to seem reasonable) by saying that MMR, polio vaccine, and all the others have a long history of safety and efficacy, in contrast to the COVID-19 vaccine, but the fact that he would even propose reviewing school vaccine mandates gives away his game and is a dangerous development. Florida’s school vaccine mandate is actually pretty much in line with most other states. It’s even slightly more rigorous than some in that the only nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates that it allows are religious exemptions. It does not all “personal belief” exemptions, which includes, in essence, any reason for not vaccinating based on “personal belief.” Of course, I also oppose religious exemptions to school vaccine mandates (or any vaccine mandate), and antivaxxers have long abused religious exemptions, claiming fake religious exemptions, going all the way back to before I had even started paying attention to the antivaccine movement and predictably continuing right up through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to around a decade ago, school vaccine mandates had long enjoyed a status that was as close to apolitical as any policy has ever enjoyed in the United States. At the very least, they enjoyed broad and strong bipartisan support and were relatively uncontroversial for decades, representing a reasonable compromise between public health and freedom. There was no compulsory vaccination, but if parents refused vaccines for their children there were consequences in terms of not being able to access public schools and daycare facilities. Because of the privileged position religion has always had in the US as a belief system, there were always religious exemptions. Then, more and more states started allowing nonreligious “personal belief” exemptions, which then led to problems with low vaccine uptake in a number of states, which led states to start trying to make such exemptions harder to obtain or banning them altogether.

Enter the Disneyland measles outbreak during the 2014 Christmas holiday season, which was due to low MMR vaccine uptake and galvanized California state lawmakers. In 2015, they passed SB 277, a law that, for all intents and purposes, eliminated nonmedical religious and “personal belief” exemptions to school vaccine mandates. Unsurprisingly, the antivaccine movement strongly opposed passage of the law and during the battle over SB 277 figured out that framing resistance to school vaccine mandates as a matter of “freedom” and “parental rights” could attract the support of right wing groups opposed to government regulation. Within a couple of years, the issue of school vaccine mandates had become hopelessly politicized, with right wingers and Republicans coming down on the side of making exemptions easier to obtain and weakening school vaccine mandates.

In the process, Republicans started backing all sorts of bills to make measles great again and becoming more and more opposed to public health interventions of any kind intended to control infectious diseases, justifying their opposition with bromides like “freedom” and “personal responsibility.” This led to attempts to pass laws like the one in Michigan that would have make personal belief exemptions easy to obtain and even restricted public health officials from being able to bar unvaccinated children from school in the middle of an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease. Although fortunately this bill never became law, it’s hard not to see it as a precursor to the many bills proposed by Republicans this year that would strip authority to issue emergency public health orders from governors (not coincidentally nearly all Democratic governors) and state and local public health authorities.

Meanwhile, a veritable ecosystem of disinformation and astroturf grew and grew to feed the conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and misinformation behind antivaccine and antimask propaganda. As a result of this and its having played footsie with the devil for political power, over the last six years, Republicans have gone from just pandering to antivaxxers without really having their hearts in it because right wing activist groups were opposed to vaccine mandates to many of them openly expressing antivaccine conspiracy theories themselves. For example, in 2018 one of the Republican candidates held an antivaccine—excuse me, “vaccine choice”—roundtable in my very own congressional district, chock full of conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and other nonsense promoted by a local antivaccine group called Michigan for Vaccine Choice. I documented it all by attending as a mole. Elsewhere, a number of statehouses have a large contingent of antivaccine legislators (or those willing to play ball with them, like Sen. Diaz). Yes, I’m talking to you, Ohio and Oregon (where, although Democrats control the legislature, Republicans were able to block a bill to strengthen school vaccine mandates by refusing to come to work and denying the bill a quorum). Truly, as Sen. Diaz demonstrates, the Republican Party has gone from just pandering to antivaxxers in 2015 to inarguably being the party of antivaxxers, and this process was nearly complete before the pandemic.

And Florida is not alone:

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, Tennessee’s medical director in charge of vaccinations, was fired in mid-July after promoting vaccination to young people, an effort state legislators like Scott Cepicky, a Republican representative, found “reprehensible.” And then the state suspended vaccination outreach for all vaccines.

Dr. Fiscus says the anti-vaccine movement is partly to blame. “I think it’s been this insidious growth of their influence on susceptible legislators,” she said, “especially in Southern states where they have taken the ‘medical freedom’ kind of angle.”

Though Tennessee has since resumed most of those programs, the pause was a bellwether. Had widespread Republican opposition to Covid vaccination now apparently reached the point of interfering with routine childhood vaccinations?

Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Diaz, Rep. Cepicky, and their fellow travelers are but the latest manifestation of this conversion, which was turbocharged by the pandemic. As Tara Haelle recently put it, the pandemic is the moment that antivaxxers have been waiting for to eliminate all vaccine mandates:

At the anti-vaccine Health Freedom Summit in 2020, several anti-vaccine activists spoke. Jennifer Larson, who believes vaccination caused her child’s autism, described how she had worked to gain the trust of Minnesota legislators. She and another vaccine opponent, Mark Blaxill, had formed a political party in 2011 to run candidates who oppose vaccine mandates and “medical injury,” but they found the two-party system to be too entrenched. So they pivoted to supporting major-party politicians who would champion their causes.

“If they say something that might be considered controversial, we have a community of people who will run to have their back and support them,” Ms. Larson said at the gathering. “If you can, get involved … Get to know them, get them to trust you.”

That became the anti-vaccine playbook theme . And in state after state, vaccine opponents have gradually leveraged their state and local Republican parties to their ends, riding the “freedom” wave that has become so central to messaging. Hence the seamless marriage between anti-vaccine activists and groups protesting mask mandates and lockdowns.

Note the year: 2011. That’s when The Canary Party was formed with the express purpose of opposing school vaccine mandates, indeed, vaccine mandates of any kind. Back then, it teamed up with Tea Party-affiliated groups, but nonetheless remained a very fringe group. These days, The Canary Party still exists, but it’s not really fielding candidates. Instead, it’s wielding influence, and you can see why its message resonates among Republicans if you read its position paper, which does criticize conservatives for “reflexively” opposing regulation, but criticizes “progressives” more for supporting vaccine mandates.

Those of us who have been following and opposing the antivaccine movement for years have always known that one huge part of the endgame for the antivaccine movement has always been to eliminate all vaccine mandates of any kind, be they mandates for school, government, or business. (The other major goal has been to be able to extract huge money through lawsuits from vaccine manufacturers for “vaccine-induced autism” and other claimed “injuries” due to vaccines.) The COVID-19 pandemic might have put the goal of eliminating most or all vaccine mandates within reach, at least in some states, thanks to the embrace of antivaccine “freedumb” by Republicans like Sen. Diaz and Gov. DeSantis. If antivaxxers are successful, this will bode ill for public health not just during the pandemic but for many years to come, even after things finally return to a semblance of normalcy.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

91 replies on “Florida Sen. Manny Diaz wants to “review” all vaccine mandates”

It’s astonishing.
How can they close their eyes to the evidence? Mask and vaccination mandates work. Florida and Texas, two of the loosest states w.r.t. masks and vaccines are among the hardest hit. They are being wilfully blind.

I suppose it is not about evidence, but about ‘freedom’.

The same kind of thing that is heard where I live.
As from tomorrow one should show one is vaccinated, has had Covid-19 or is tested negative, before entering a restaurant, pub, or theatre. People are complaining this limits the freedom of people. This morning I heard someone from a theatre state, they did everything to be there for everyone and now this was not possible. Well, to get access to a theatre, you have to be able and willing to buy a ticket, so this can be a limitation for people as well. One can get vaccinated for free, or tested for free. If one wants to visit a pub, when one feels like it, just get vaccinated.

@ Renate

Certainly isn’t about evidence, would agree, and not so sure it is about freedom either. Can’t forget that those who want to provide the safest environment by requiring masks in schools are being fined for doing so. At some point, are they going to throw educators or business owners in jail to show the world just how backwards Florida government is willing to move?

Be reminded — in Florida, getting a vaccination is nothing special. So do us all a favor and get one — live a little more.

Eddies in the spacetime continuum created a brief closed time-like curve, during which a 64-TB flash drive fell through containing a 2030 edition of Wikipedia. Let’s open one of the entries.

Partition of the US

The partition of the US echoed that of the partition of India in mid-20th century, except that instead of religion the reason was public health measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 to 2022, and subsequent measures to manage the resulting endemic in the following years.

As mandates tightened in most states, several states in the south and southeast, notably led by Texas and Florida, went in the opposite direction. Beginning with reduction of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in 2022, by 2024 all vaccine mandates were eliminated. The so-called Union of Free States, and then, formally, the FSA (Free States of America) increasingly aligned their legislative agendas, leading to partition talks.

The talks came to nothing until Florida passed the No Shedding Act of 2025 which outlawed all vaccines and forced all vaccinated residents and visitors to wear a yellow band around their necks so that compliant citizens could avoid them and bar them from an increasing number of public and private spaces. Texas followed a month later, and the other states of the alliance soon after.

Instead of the civil war that many expected the ensuing partition occurred. First a trickle and then a flood of migrants flowed over the nascent border. In all it has been estimated that about 20 million people moved in each direction over a 3-month period in 2026: 20 million vaccine averse and conspiracy mongers flowed to the FSA and 20 million vaccinated individuals and family flowed out of the FSA. Unlike the Indian partition, which was mostly afoot, they predominantly traveled in SUVs and U-Haul trailers.

While there were incidents of violence (road rage, altercations at Interstate rest stops) the partition was largely peaceful. Border scuffles continued intermittently for several years.

Although nominally free, it was not only vaccines that were outlawed. Additional restrictions soon followed. First to go was abortion, then it was mandatory gun ownership to replace public funding of law enforcement. Political parties that advocated against any of the new measures were disbanded and their leaders exiled to Key Largo, which became a penal colony. More restrictions followed…

OMFG! See my near simultaneous comment!

Only Key Largo is too nice for a penal colony.
Not a fan of Florida though at all.

Key Largo is an excellent choice as a penal colony, since the climate change that the Republicans don’t believe in will see it end up mostly underwater by 2070. “It’s not my fault all the gulagers drowned,” the future state governor will claim. “They just didn’t put themselves right with the Lord.”

RS, you have outlined a scenario that I’ve been mulling for a while. The southern states, along with Montana and Wyoming, dominated by Trumpers and fundagelical nuttery, are becoming increasingly hostile to those who disagree with them. I’m in southern MO, and the Bible thumpers have always irritated me at times, but I could coexist.

Now I’m asking if I want to stay in a place that still hasn’t hit a 50% vaxx rate? (Maybe next week; finally getting close.)

Due to family concerns, I can’t move too far, but seriously considering relocation to Columbia or Lawrence KS. Both have high vaxx rates and reasonably sane populations.

It just increasingly feels like people need to be around likeminded folks, and looking at relocation if they are in a place that is not a good fit.

If you look at Covid-19 maps on Mayo Clinic’s website, there is a startling divide amongst US states concerning rates of Covid per 100 000 and the rate of vaccination.
If this keeps up, will it eventually be more appropriate to call the place the Bipartite States?

I know, I know: it’s probably already there! Internal passports, anyone?

I must have missed Respectful Insolence complaining about California/Newsom setting up a board to review the coronavirus vaccine.

I don’t remember Respectful Insolence complaining about NewYork/Cuomo reviewing the coronavirus vaccine either.

I don’t remember Respectful Insolence objecting to Biden and Harris saying that they weren’t going to get the vaccine because,
you know, because it was a “Trump” vaccine.

It’s one of the reasons there is vaccine hesitancy

Now you want to complain about someone questioning the enforcement of a vaccine mandate.

There is vaccine hesitancy because dishonest people like yourself misconstrue and twist those three situations (among others) to posit false controversy. Newsom, Cuomo, Biden and Harris weren’t convinced the vaccines were all that simply because Trump was peacocking them as he is wont to do. Now that it’s known that the vaccines are all that and more based on a boatload of scientific evidence rather than mere punditry, the controversy is over. Nobody has forgotten anything. We’ve moved on.

Your points are spurious. Both articles you link to are about a year old. That was when Trump was President and there were valid concerns that he would force through a vaccine regardless of whether or not it was safe and effective.

Consider the source.
Only a fool would trust anything a known bullshitter like Trump would say without thoroughly verifying it.

Dude is at war with COVID! He be tough! You won’t die — just think it through (your mind rules). You with me — don’t be soft on COVID — er … wait a second. There is no COVID in Florida (that the local government cares about). Move along please — bring money if you visit (Thanks!). Dude is hiring health ministers who don’t understand health! Cool!

Everyone gets 2 packs of smokes free when they cross the FL border — that’s just good hospitality!

Just trying to be your next top leader!

“Newsom, Cuomo, Biden and Harris weren’t convinced the vaccines were all that simply because Trump was peacocking them as he is wont to do”

So its Trumps fault they didn’t believe the science.

“Both articles you link to are about a year old. That was when Trump was President and there were valid concerns that he would force through a vaccine regardless of whether or not it was safe and effective.”

Of course the links are a year old, that was when those science deniers were questioning “Trumps” vaccines.

Can you cite those valid concerns were they said by scientist or were they political talking heads, even our host (Orac) changed his vaccine hesitancy in Aug-Sept. Biden/Harris/Newsom/Cuomo made those remarks in October/November

The problem is the democrats/liberal/left were so intent on ‘getting’ Trump and sowing the seeds of doubt to the public about the Trump’s/vaccine (as those 4 people demonstrated with their public statements) that now the very people that those people convinced that government officials were not being honest/trustworthy then, are the very people they are trying convince that the “Trump” vaccine or science, is now some how a good thing.

You people are living in an alternative universe if you don’t think that the public statements by those 4 people had an effect/affect of the public perception that the vaccine was bad and you claim that fact is ‘spurious’.

If you want to see something get forced thru the approval process, just look at what the head of CDC just did, with the approval of a booster, despite the advisory panel voting down the booster.

were so intent on ‘getting’ Trump and sowing the seeds of doubt to the public about the Trump’s/vaccine (as those 4 people demonstrated with their public statements) that now the very people that those people convinced that government officials were not being honest/trustworthy then, are the very people they are trying convince that the “Trump” vaccine or science, is now some how a good thing.

But that is what right wing radio did through the last half of summer last year and then turn around into fall and said the libs are the reason for the antivax even though there was not yet a vax*

It appeared intent was more want for business as usual, all hands on deck, let’s get back to eatin’, baby without all the worrisome waiting on a vaccine or any other health measure.

*well thank God somebody had a lick of sense to withhold it because fail.

I am dang pissed about not being approved for my (booster? or third dose?). I am thinking about having my lackey drive a couple states over and bust a lick on a couple BNT162/b2 or COMIRNATY or whatever. They are just going to spoil anyways.

I guess the CDC is going along as a somewhat partner of WHO and silently projecting the whole “morally reprehensible” angle. I just learned alot about myself. I’m that guy.

“So its Trumps fault they didn’t believe the science.”

Phase 3 trials weren’t complete, so there was no science to “believe.” This has nothing to do with science anyway. It was to get at Trump. Pure politics. The only people who continue to bring up “the libs sowing doubt early on” are the antivaxxers that are trying to sow doubt. It’s intentional obfuscation and misdirection, and you’re contributing to it, Billiam.

Show me a single person that isn’t getting vaccinated because “Biden had doubts about the vaccines a year ago.”

Grow up William. Trump threatened and interfered with the FDA and CDC. He was well known as someone who ignored experts in favour of his own opinion. If he had rushed the approval of a vaccine through, with his lackeys at the helm of any of the organisations responsible for determining safety, then it would have been common sense to doubt. He would probably have sacked anyone who stepped out of line.

If memory serves me right,Trump cut the bureaucratic red tape of the FDA and this behemoth govt regulations in order for the warp speed program to take off and get private industries involved in the vaccine manufacturing and also PPE for frontline workers. I know the real facts are hard to swallow. If your vaccinated you should be thanking Trump bec under a Biden administration none of those cuts of big govt red tape would have occurred and a vaccine would be 5-7 years away at least.

Those of you who are alarmed that the sun may not rise tomorrow morning, fear not! I have been tirelessly working to remove every astronomical roadblock, and I have temporarily suspended the laws of gravitation to ensure that the sun will indeed rise.

(a day later)

See! The sun rose, and right on time. You have me to thank for averting disaster. No one but me could have accomplished this astounding feat. Remember that in 2024.

@Alvin Santa He promoted HCQ, not to mention bleach, He did not cut any red tape (that is, FDA safety and efficiency rules), thankfully. He did start Warp Speed, a good idea with a ridiculous name, and did not rush vaccines, thankfully. But would you believe a person promoting bleach is capable to this ?

“get private industries involved in the vaccine manufacturing and also PPE for frontline workers”

Memory doesn’t serve you right. Trump and his white trash family who were running things actually intervened to stop PPE deliveries: they stole things states like MI and others had ordered and put them up for sale.

It’s also worth noting that Pfizer did not participate in the “warp speed” gimmick.

Why do you folks on the right lie so much about history?

to the tune of Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance:
All we are saying
is give germs a chance
All we are saaaying
is give germs a chance

Ev’rybody’s talking about
Rubella, Brucella, Shigella, Legionella, Salmonella
Yersinia, Chlamidia, Listeria, Neisseria, hysteria

So for months the political leaders of the the democrat party were publicly saying these things about the ‘Trump’ vaccine. They publicly attacked the vaccine, manufacturing process and the government approval process and now you want to say that hasn’t lead to some doubt about the vaccine?

‘Kamala Harris wouldn’t trust a Trump vaccine, and neither should anyone else’
‘In debate, Kamala Harris says she won’t take a COVID vaccine just on Trump’s say-so”
‘Biden Says Americans Can’t Trust Trump on Vaccine’

‘Kamala Harris wouldn’t trust a Trump vaccine, and neither should anyone else’

I am sure that the dailykos is a hot bed of antivax

‘In debate, Kamala Harris says she won’t take a COVID vaccine just on Trump’s say-so”

Yahoo news, another rightwing anti vax website

‘Biden Says Americans Can’t Trust Trump on Vaccine’

New York Times, they should be banned because they are so anti-vax

Can you please cite you source when Trump threatened and interfered with the FDA and CDC process. Speculation on your part ‘If he had rushed’ does not constitute a fact. You can’t have it both ways. Either it was not tested enough and is not safe or it was tested and found to be safe.

Again it was the democrats/left/liberals who were pushing the idea that this vaccine was unsafe (as the cites i posted shows), can you cite where the right was saying the same thing about the vaccine?
You didn’t want people to believe in the science under Trump, but now that Biden is in charge you want people to now believe in science from those same drug manufactures/FDA etc. that were making the vaccine during Trump.

Cite my source? Well it would be easier if you just read the entire Wikipedia entry detailing the Trump teams efforts to alter the advice that the CDC gave out because they thought that it disagreed with their own political message. They’ve summarised the events quite nicely. It’s pretty easy to find news stories about how Trump wanted to override the FDA with respect to the amount of safety data they wanted from the vaccine manufacturers. Apparently his ego was so big that he thought everything was about him. Plenty of scientists at various organisations have gone on record claiming months of bullying and harassment because they weren’t falling into line with the Trump message.

The man was an overpriced estate agent with an ego the size of the planet. He had no business corrupting or trying to corrupt the information from agencies who’s job is to look after the health of the people. That goes for any politician or political party. If you don’t think that this would compromise confidence in the vaccine then you really are politically blinded.

Just FYI – Florida’s religious exemption is a check the box exemption. They can’t review exemptions and have to accept them. In practice, it’s as broad as a personal belief one.

Worse, private schools in Florida can’t refuse unvaccinated children who have an exemption, unless the school is a religious school that decides it’s against its religion to allow unvaccinated children.

Florida’s mandate is already easy to avoid. (Not to discount that yes, this is a serious concern, but what he’s attacking is a very weak mandate already).

‘On September 24, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the state will independently review all vaccines authorized by the federal government. “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion,” he said in a statement.

While vaccine skepticism was still higher among Republicans—as it has been historically—there was a marked increase among Democrats. In May, 50 percent said they would “definitely” get the vaccine. By September, this had fallen to 24 percent.’

The left/news/reporters et. al. steered the ship of ideas, with their rhetoric and claims, to distrust the federal government by relentlessness pounding the theme that it was a Trump vaccine and not to take it or be skeptical of the vaccine because of their hatred of Trump, not because of science. The seeds of distrust were sown by the left and now, as Malcom X said the “chickens are coming home to roost”

Touche – great comment and quite the point. Those who are ideologically against getting vaccinated don’t care what anyone says. Those who hope to score political points or hold some political flank are quite happy to blame someone else for the impending and obvious failure contributing to their death (by those who are wrong). That is what we are seeing now.

Florida is dying, and FL state government is sure eating more fruit is the cure! 53k dead and we don’t care …

Spitting on people gets great headlines … doesn’t really do anything to help when looking over time.

The seeds of distrust were sown by the left and now, as Malcom X said the “chickens are coming home to roost”

At best, that’s an impressively bad mixed metaphor.

Why do people (mostly liberals) on this website resort to name calling? I thought this was a science based website not a grade school playground “nimrod”.

“The survey found comparable vaccination rates among Democrats and Republicans, with 52 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans saying they’re fully vaccinated. Forty-two percent of independents also said they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The people who you need to convince are the independents, who have been the least vaccinated and who the liberals scared the most about the Trump vaccine.

Talk about living in a fantasy world indeed. You’ve concocted this scenario from whole cloth, and for what purpose? Repeating it doesn’t make it so, Bill.

William is fishing dubious claims out of his nether regions and using stale polling data to boot.

The electoral group most linked to Covid-19 vaccine refusal, by a wide margin, remains Republicans – not just the rank and file, but especially G.O.P. politicians. It is laughable to suggest that they were scared off by Biden and Harris’ long-ago doubts about whether a Trump-pushed vaccine in the absence of overwhelming support from the medical community could be trusted.

“As of September 13, 2021, 52.8% of people in counties that voted for Biden were fully vaccinated compared to 39.9% of Trump counties, a 12.9 percentage point difference (Figure 1).”

And the gap is increasing.

The gap is even wider when it comes to booster shots.

“Eighty-seven percent of Democrats said they are likely to get a booster shot, 3 percentage points more than the previous survey.
Seventy-one percent of independents said they are likely to get a booster shot if needed, 3 percentage points down from the last poll.
Fifty-five percent of Republicans said they are likely to take a booster shot, down 12 percentage points from May.”

Try to be less concerned about “tone” and more about facts, William. And try directing your ire at the supposed “leaders” who continue to discourage and denigrate effective means of overcoming the pandemic – almost entirely Republicans.

Boosters are bad. mmkay?

I am more looking forward to my daily huff of nanobody llama snot to thwart the coronavirus and own the GOP. I know it is not real snot but I feel like it works really good anyway and is only slightly nutty and a tintsy bit astringic.

Dang boosters. They got us by the deltoids boys.

Five months (ok to ‘wane’)? Screw that. I hate needles. I vote for Fifi llama snot.

Willy’s numbers date back to the very beginning of May, when people were still signing up on wait lists to get vaccinated. How about we fast forward to mid-August, when any adult who was able to get vaccinated could just walk in to a clinic (NB: some people are unable to get vaccinated because of work schedules).

Democrats: 88 percent +36
Independents: 60 percent +18
Republicans: 55 percent +4

Looks like we’ve done a great job convincing liberals and a decent job for independents. Republicans basically haven’t shifted the meter since early May.

“Republicans basically haven’t shifted the meter since early May.”

And “Republicans” will not*. No amount of reason or evidence or compassion can change The Right Side member’s mind even when given the go ahead by the “leader” {You can wear a mask if you want and you can get a shot if you want. I did wink }. It trends a fundamentalist dumbset.

They trust and are loyal to the information they were told to pay for, implement, and pass on down. Their mouth piece loud speakers all in lock step, they will not stray from their perceived tribal course. Why would they for the February March April May June 2020 democrat hoax virus? Didn’t they heed the wise wisdom of Mark Levin?

see: Drug War, Patriot Act, Sunday blue laws {puts drunks on the road sometimes a hundred miles round trip}, HOAs and obscenely pernicious lawns. Possibly Flex Seal.

I think we all LOST a couple of IQ points after we read you well sourced and insightful posts.

1000 Links to a Furlong

You link to a U-tube video, that is some real science based information.


‘Spitting on people gets great headlines … doesn’t really do anything to help when looking over time.’

But to you point, 53,000 Floridians have died from covid.

Florida did not lock down as severe as New York did. New York has instituted masks, covid vaccine requirements and basically shut down for at least 10 months.
Florida not so much.

So Florida has a population of 21.5 million with 12,187,692 fully vaccinated and has had 53,000 people die from Covid and cases/deaths are declining.

New York has a population of 20.2 million with 12,303,125 fully vaccinated and has over 55,000 people die from Covid and cases/deaths are increasing.

according to John Hopkins….. but maybe they will make a U-Tube video for you

So maybe you should look at death vs population over time.

Saturday morning (Sep 25, 2021) I walked into the Rite Aid drugstore without an appointment and got the booster shot. It took about 10 minutes to do the paperwork, get called up, and get the shot. My arm became a bit sore by evening, and is already getting better.

As to all this historical argument — Any sensible person would distract anything Trump said in early 2020 (as at any other time) and it was obvious that Trump was appointing incompetent loyalists to cabinet posts and agencies. He had his own party line (ivermectin anybody?) and his followers were expected to go along. So skepticism about Trump statements and about what Trump appointees did was not only obvious, it was intellectually mandatory.

Careful consideration that the FDA and CDC and Fauci et al were being straight with us leads us to the obvious conclusion that getting the vaccine is an enormous plus.

The idea that Democrats were skeptical of Trump should not be taken as criticism, but as recognition of their basic good sense.


you cite counties that voted for Trump but are hesitant to get the vaccine has very little real information. I am positive that I can find counties that over whelming voted for Joe Biden that have vaccination numbers in the teens or mid 20’s. The researchers didn’t break it down to Republicans, democrats or independents. Why didn’t your research site take one more step to break counties down to Republicans, democrats or independent.

you second poll question is

If periodic booster shots are needed in the future to prevent the spread of COVID-19 how likely are you to get it?


That question and responses are pure conjecture at this point as it is a question about future activities. The same question could be asked about joining Elon Musk’s Mars exploration flights or will you buy a new car in the next year or buy a new house in the next year …… the list could go on with a very affirmative answers.

The real question is did you get a booster shot? We will only know that answer in 6 -10 months. when that question is ask then you can post more meaning full poll results.

And when Governor Cuomo said.

“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion and I wouldn’t recommend to New Yorkers based on the federal government’s opinion,” he said in a statement.

So that’s your idea of

“it was intellectually mandatory.”

“I am positive that I can find counties that over whelming voted for Joe Biden that have vaccination numbers in the teens or mid 20’s.”

Do it. I’m sure you still have at least a few IQ points hanging around to do some minor analysis.

Although upon second thought given your inability to apply context to any situation, perhaps not. I’ll echo what I and others have already said: Cuomo said what he said one whole year ago under a completely different administration.


That question and responses are pure conjecture at this point as it is a question about future activities.

That’s why pollsters always wait until after elections to present panels with questions, of course. And focus groups are post hoc analytic tools.

It’s almost enough to drive one to emoticons.

“Cuomo said what he said one whole year ago under a completely different administration.”

Did the vaccine change under the biden administration or was it just YOUR and Cuomo’s attitude.

There is this thingy call a search engine you might want to try it before you make that kind of statement.

Albemarie county NC
85 % of the vote went to Biden
15 % vaccinated

Billy, my dawg…

I just don’t know what to say. Yes, of course our minds changed upon ingress of new information eg actual trial results vs Trump’s word. The aspersions were cast at Trump and his dubious words, not the vaccine itself. No matter how you try to spin it this is still the case.

“There is this thingy call a search engine you might want to try it before you make that kind of statement.

Albemarie county NC
85 % of the vote went to Biden
15 % vaccinated”

Albemarie, Albemarie… I found Albemarle County, NC, abolished in 1739, The city of Albemarle in Stanly County, NC, and Albemarle County, VA. Albemarle County, NC doesn’t exist anymore, and thus has a vaccination rate of 0% and a Biden rate of 0%. Stanly County, NC voted 75.1% for Trump. Albemarle County, VA voted 66.1% for Biden and has a vaccination rate of 58%. Truly astounding.

(vaccination rates sourced from NY Times, vote percentages sourced from Politico)

There is this thingy call a search engine you might want to try it before you make that kind of statement.


Albemarie [sic]county NC
85 % of the vote went to Biden
15 % vaccinated

Fully vaccinated 58%

I’m sure you can find confounders, but the overall trend is clear from this article in the New York Times.

Since Delta began circulating widely in the U.S., Covid has exacted a horrific death toll on red America: In counties where Donald Trump received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed about 47 out of every 100,000 people since the end of June, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst. In counties where Trump won less than 32 percent of the vote, the number is about 10 out of 100,000.

There are lots of graphs, but the fifth one is especially clear.

Counties with large Trump vote shares are running 1.2 deaths per 100K residents compared to about 0.4 for counties with large Biden vote shares.

“That’s why pollsters always wait until after elections to present panels with questions, of course. And focus groups are post hoc analytic tools”

The polls all showed Hillary was going to win in 2016, but……

Vicky was right

Even the AP is now starting to see the enormous profits the drug companies are making, off of Covid

“Andersen expects Moderna, which has no other products on the market, to generate a roughly $13 billion profit next year from all COVID-19 vaccine sales if boosters are broadly authorized.”

“WBB Securities CEO Steve Brozak said the booster shots will represent “almost pure profit” compared with the initial doses.”

Given your own ideology and fiscal responsibility, I would have thought that you, in particular, would have embraced the psuedo llama snot. Now that you sort; (<– I hear “;” is not vogue these days and it is a little bit like a dirty sanches so that’s why I’m using it) with a large enough data set on the behaviour of humans, you are gonna stick to the horse paste, go broke, run out of gas 115 miles short of Keno, and die. As you die, you know that your daughter still hates you. Because you could not reach her to explain, you relatively essentially broke yet another promise to her.

You did not smash enough tablets. I’ll still be alive to help her put back the fragments.


I seethe with rage at the thought that a company could profit from a life-saving product.

If boosters are approved. Why do you think that boosters are pure profit ? They must be manufactured, after all. This costs money, I assure you.

Yah, the first bullet point is familiar. It basically takes one step to get from PMC 7556303 to the impressively something** PMC 8437699, that being PMC8091897.

** With two authors who are “independent consultants.”

June 20, 2021 at 1:19 pm
For the thousandth time, if you don’t like what Orac posts, you don’t have to read it. He isn’t running a science news site, and never claimed to be.

so she must be a friend of yours.

Interesting that you would support such large profits from a drug company, which incidentally beat all oil company profits except 1, the drug companies spent more on marketing then they do on research & development and spent more on lobbying congress then the oil companies. But I guess that ok since the oil companies aren’t saving lives, just supplying manufactures with the plastic to make the syringes, the lab equipment to make the vaccines, the PPC and masks, the keyboards and monitors, the fuel to transport the vaccines, the electricity to supply the lights and refrigeration.

At what point do you start to question the drug companies ?

as to the voter data I used the new york times on voter and the CDC for vaccination rates
I did make a mistake on the identification of the county it was Stanly county, for which I apologize, Albemarle is the county seat . Several counties that voted for biden have vaccination rates so low the CDC just puts and asterisk|Risk|community_transmission_level

June 20, 2021 at 1:19 pm
For the thousandth time, if you don’t like what Orac posts, you don’t have to read it. He isn’t running a science news site, and never claimed to be.

Oh, I see. You were blind-citing someone using two different spellings for her name from a three-month-old post.

I take it that you were a business major.

I have a hard time understanding this anti-corporation attitude of some of the American right wing. Half the time it’s all about removing red tape and allowing a free market and the other half of the time it’s complaining about the consequences. What? You think people like Trump get rich by being nice?

“Oh, I see. You were blind-citing someone using two different spellings for her name from a three-month-old post.
I take it that you were a business major.’

I wasn’t aware there was an expiration date on posts? Please inform us of when post expire.

Actual an accountant/CPA. And you had no problem with people calling me ‘billy, bilum,bro, billy my dog’. but you have a problem with a form of the word vicki.

I have no issues with any company making money, I don’t care for companies that make a huge profit off of the sick or dying or desperate and in a time of crisis, if a everyday company did this (it called price gouging) and is illegal in most states . And then have limited legal liability with a product they produce on top of that. As I pointed out the drug companies spend more on marketing thn they do on research. Actually a lot of rich people are very nice, Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, Elon Musk, Arthur Blank comes to mind you just don’t notice them, all rich people are not like Jeff Bezo, Mark Zuckerberg.

“The federal government has granted companies like Pfizer and Moderna immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccine”

In February, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The 2005 law empowers the HHS secretary to provide legal protection to companies making or distributing critical medical supplies, such as vaccines and treatments, unless there’s “willful misconduct” by the company. The protection lasts until 2024.
That means that for the next four years, these companies “cannot be sued for money damages in court” over injuries related to the administration or use of products to treat or protect against Covid. ”

but CNBC is a right wing Trump website.

He is a nice man and also a man that can get to orbit can put one on top of your house. Besos could get to orbit if he had a taller rocket. Maybe. Bring it, Below Orbit.

NASA: “All of this once-in-a-generation momentum, can easily be undone by one party—in this case, Blue Origin—who seeks to prioritize its own fortunes over that of NASA, the United States, and every person alive today”

stpid links why can’t you people just see?


The article you cited was using figures from the fiscal year that ended in 2020.
At that point in time neither Pfizer nor moderna had made a dime off of the vaccine.

Two public releases that each company made that I post showed a NET profit of over 6 BILLION dollars for just the first 6 months of this year on the vaccine for EACH company. Remember Moderna hadn’t developed a product until the vaccine (so had no income prior to 2021 and actually posted a loss)

That puts Pfizer and Moderna in the top 20-25 companies in the world for profit for 2021. Pfizer at 13-15 billion and Moderna at about 12 Billion.

“I find strange that you never got your profit data straight”

Now do America’s Frontline Dingleberries. A hacker exposed their sad grift to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Be consistent.

The story is easy to find online. The Intercept reports that hacked data “reveals that 72,000 people paid at least $6.7 million for Covid-19 consultations promoted by America’s Frontline Doctors and vaccine conspiracist Simone Gold.”…

“The Intercept has obtained hundreds of thousands of records from two companies, and Ravkoo, revealing just how the lucrative operation works. America’s Frontline Doctors, or AFLDS, has been spreading highly politicized misinformation about Covid-19 since the summer of 2020 and refers its many followers to its telemedicine partner, which uses Cadence Health as a platform. People who sign up then pay $90 for a phone consultation with “AFLDS-trained physicians” who prescribe treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to prevent and treat Covid-19. The drugs are delivered by Ravkoo, a service that works with local pharmacies to ship drugs to patients’ doors. Of course, that’s if patients ever get the consultation; many customers told Time they never received the call after paying.”

Given a choice between a few drug companies making billions from selling effective, life-saving vaccines and scam artists allegedly pocketing millions from worthless remedies, I’d take the former.

I copied and pasted this from Pfizer Guidance

“Revenues for BNT162b2(1)……………………….Approximately $33.5 billion

Adjusted Income(3) Before Tax (IBT) Margin for BNT162b2(1)(previously approximately $26 billion)………High-20s as a Percentage of Revenues.
and that was just for the BNT162b2 and their over all reported NET income is 10 billion.

Their revenue is going to go up and NET is going to go way up they only sold about 5 billion dollars of vaccines in the first quarter but 9 billion in the second quarter. The R&D expenses are going down and with the booster costing nothing to R&D as I quoted earlier. 20% of 33.5 billion is 6.6 billion and their Guidance was high 20’s so as much as 9-10 billion and that was based on sales remaining steady. And the doesn’t include the price increase they announced , per dose and only 40% of the world population vaccinated and the booster they have a cash cow.

“WBB Securities CEO Steve Brozak said the booster shots will represent “almost pure profit” compared with the initial doses.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You argument is with capitalism not public health. Quit conflating the two.

to the yeti

Please list all the new drugs that were developed under the British system of health care? or Cuban health care or Venezuela or Canada or what ever social medicine country you pick.

You claim to be a doctor, guess how much you would make under socialism in Britain, you would make about 60-70 K, Cuba about 10K.
Let us know when you want to take a pay cut and work with fewer life saving drugs.

my argument is with the obscene profits these drug companies make, but if you want to defend that………..


Do you even read your own links?

The guidance was (from the Pfizer report)

9.2 billion for the 2nd quarter and 14.1 billion for the 6 months. and expected to be 33 billion by year end

From that story read this……
“The 2021 ranking of the world’s most profitable companies was compiled based on financial statements of the largest corporations by net profit for 2020.”

I will repeat BY NET PROFIT FOR 2020, irrelevant to the vaccine profit of 2021

the covid vaccine had only been on the market for about 2-3 week at the end of 2020. the profits would not be reported for another 3 months

Here is a better source which gives a break down of cost, profits, revenues, assets, market value, and fortune 500 rank, three of them were drug companies.

Do you know that AstraZeneca is British/Swedish and GSK British company ? They develop lots of drugs. You may remember COVID vaccine.
Vaccine profits may actually go down, if booster shots are not needed. Thus this year may be an exception. Your link was US companies, which allow US pharmaceutical companies to get higher rank
Give citation for 33 billion. Copying a link is as easy as content of it.

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