It’s that last group I want to focus on — especially because Monmouth broke out the “nevers” by party. And here’s what they found: More than 4 in 10 (43%) of self-identified Republicans said they would “likely never” get the vaccine. That’s up from 1 in 3 (36%) of Republicans who said the same in March. And the GOP number is roughly double the 22% of independents who say they never plan to get the Covid-19 vaccine and more than 8 times higher than the 5% of Democrats who say the same.
Take a breath. Go back and read that last paragraph. And consider what it is we are talking about here.
Given those two choices, getting the vaccine seems like the better one! Right? Right!
So, why do nearly half of Republicans say they will “never” get it?
Some part of that group is either broadly suspicious about vaccines or has their doubts about the Covid-19 vaccine in particular because it was developed far faster than any previous vaccine.
But my educated guess is that those sort of skeptics likely fall more heavily in the “wait and see” category in the Monmouth poll. The large number of Republicans who say they never will get the vaccine seems to me to be better explained by the fact that, unfortunately, the coronavirus has been politicized — largely by ex-President Donald Trump — almost since it arrived on our shores.
The politicization of the virus is how we get to the point where more than 4 in 10 Republicans are willing to say that they will never do a thing that is the only serious path back to normal. It didn’t have to be this way — and more people could die, who didn’t need to, because of it. And what’s worse? It’s hard to imagine anyone being able to change that reality.