Why science should not be politicized

There are health consequences…

Findings In this cohort study evaluating 538 159 deaths in individuals aged 25 years and older in Florida and Ohio between March 2020 and December 2021, excess mortality was significantly higher for Republican voters than Democratic voters after COVID-19 vaccines were available to all adults, but not before. These differences were concentrated in counties with lower vaccination rates, and primarily noted in voters residing in Ohio.

Meaning The differences in excess mortality by political party affiliation after COVID-19 vaccines were available to all adults suggest that differences in vaccination attitudes and reported uptake between Republican and Democratic voters may have been a factor in the severity and trajectory of the pandemic in the US.

There are economic consequences…

“…research suggests that between November and December 2021, over 692,000 preventable hospitalizations occurred in unvaccinated individuals, costing the US economy over $13.8 billion.” Focus: Vaccines: The Cost of Ignoring Vaccines - PMC.

That’s a lot of money for two months.

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What conclusions can be drawn by comparing the number of patients visiting ERs to remove light bulbs from their rectums? Poisonings from injecting bleach?

We’re living in crazy times.

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I have no idea what you are trying to get at.

Two years ago we had two different narratives about COVID. The first from the science community urged masks, vaccination, and caution. The second thought it was all overblown and an attempt to impose socialism. A lot more of one group died so we now know with some certainty which of the two narratives were correct.

I think that is important.

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In the back of my mind is the thought the motivation was any sort of precautions would slow the economy, and hurt profits. So tell the mob it’s all a hoax, and work and spend, as if nothing was happening.

Steve

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As much as the narrative appears to make sense, it becomes a bit muddier when looking into the details (figure 3):

The analyses stratified by age showed that Republican voters had significantly higher excess death rates compared with Democratic voters for 2 of the 4 age groups in the study, the differences for the age group 25 to 64 years were not significant

Those two age groups are 75+ and 85+ years. In the 65-74 age group however, Democrats suffered more excess deaths - how does that fit?

In Florida, the effect was insignificant overall - why?

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I agree, I think it’s important as well. I wasn’t trying to be flippant.

I suppose I was trying to get at this - As long as people are more willing to listen to politicians over scientists, regarding scientific matters - science will continue to be politicized. I don’t think scientific studies will change that.

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Florida was different from Ohio in that the Gov DeSantis strongly promoted the vaccination of seniors as soon as the COVID vaccine was available and mobilized the state health care system to do so. In fact, Florida led the nation for awhile in vaccinating seniors and it was a source of pride to FL government. https://www.flgov.com/2021/01/20/florida-leads-the-nation-in-vaccines-for-ages-65-with-seniors-first-approach/:
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I doubt during the time of the study whether there was much difference between FL dems and repubs with respect to vaccination rates for the most vulnerable demographic. Ironically, “Big Government” saved republican lives in Florida.

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