‘Time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks’: Alabama governor hits out as Covid cases rise in state

‘Folks are supposed to have common sense’, says frustrated Kay Ivey amid rise in Delta variant

Gino Spocchia
Friday 23 July 2021 18:21
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‘Time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks’: Alabama governor hits out as Covid cases rise in state

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Alabama’s Republican governor has hit out at unvaccinated people in her state, who she said were at fault for rising Covid cases and hospitalisations, and were living a life “of self-inflicted pain”.

Kay Ivery told CBS42 reporters on Thursday that the unvaccinated were “letting us down” in the fight to control the virus, and that it was on individuals to take care of their own health.

The warning comes amid a rise in infections and hospitalisations from the Delta variant of Covid, which has fast become the dominant version of the virus in the United States.

In Alabama, cases are reportedly up 311 per cent in a fortnight, with a 92 per cent increase in hospitalisations, according to New York Times analysis.

Infections are currently rising fastest in states with lower rates of vaccination, including Alabama, which has among the lowest numbers of adults fully protected from Covid, at 42.6 per cent. A further 9.3 per cent have had a first dose, Times analysis shows.

“Let’s be crystal clear about this issue,” said Alabama’s governor, Ms Ivey, on Thursday. “The new cases of Covid are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100 per cent of the new hospitalisations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks.”

Asked what could be done to boost the vaccination rate in Alabama, Ms Ivey said: “I don’t know, you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the vaccinated folks.”

“It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” she added. “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.”

The governor added that it was on Alabamans to look after others by having a vaccine, and that introducing a mask mandate would not help in the long-run because it was a “temporary” fix.

Vaccine hesitancy among Republicans has worried health authorities and the Biden administration, who missed a goal of getting 75 per cent of Americans protected by 4 July.

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