Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos
Despite the number of lives the novel coronavirus has claimed and the amount of time the world has been battling this ongoing pandemic, some Republicans just don't get it. A new variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly worldwide, this one highly contagious with scientists believing it may be twice as transmissible as the original coronavirus, The New York Times reported.
But instead of acknowledging the dangers of the Delta variant, GOP representatives nationwide are continuing to downplay the severity of COVID-19, some even taking it to another level by offering unsolicited advice. In a since-deleted social media post mocking the threat of the Delta variant, Rep. Lauren Boebert said "the easiest way to make the Delta variant go away is to turn off CNN." But the tweet doesn't end there, she continued: "and vote Republican."
Clearly Boebert is living in another universe, because Republicans are the ones who have both downplayed the virus and called it a hoax since the start of the pandemic. So given this trend, instead of ending the virus or making it go away, voting Republican would actually have the opposite effect.
Of course, Boebert—or someone from her team—realized how stupid the tweet really was and deleted it, but not before a screenshot could be taken and shared. Given the number of cases Colorado has of the Delta variant, especially in Mesa County, which is part of the congressional district represented by Boebert, it's no surprise Boebert received a good amount of backlash. Her comments only fuel the misinformation around the novel coronavirus and contribute to the irresponsible downplaying of it.
"Lauren Boebert proves once again that stupidity has a champion in Colorado," Colorado state lawmaker Steven Woodrow said in response.
Woodrow wasn't the only one who called out Boebert. Others tweeted in response, noting the high rate of infections in Boebert's own district.
The Delta variant is no joke. While those vaccinated should be protected from the variant, data shows that vaccine efficacy seems slightly lower with this variant of COVID-19, CBS News reported. Plus not everyone in the U.S. is vaccinated—specifically in the state of Colorado, the variant is spreading rapidly. Even more so in Mesa County, there has been what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers an outbreak of the Delta variant, making Boebert's mocking of the variant even more inappropriate.
"There's probably one big underlying reason for why we are seeing transmission in Mesa County and why other counties in Colorado might be at risk, and that is we know that the vaccination rates in Mesa County are lower than they are in certain parts of the state," Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado's State Epidemiologist, told CBS News.
Contrary to what Boebert says, the best way to stop this variant is not to stop watching CNN or vote Republican but instead to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a mask. "That's really going to be the best way to stop this variant like all variants of COVID-19," Herlihy said.