Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Biden Administration's Vaccination Campaign

There's a lot of buzz on the internet right now about the efforts on the part of the Biden Administration to get Americans to take the vaccine. Often in the context of overcoming the vaccine hesitancy which is -- regrettably -- pretty widespread in the US.

It's true that there’s nothing at all he can do to compel or force Americans to get vaccinated. What he — and his Administration — can do is devise and implement plans and programs to educate citizens in the benefits of getting vaxed, encourage and incentivize them to do so, and enlist the help of health care professionals and community leaders to help spread the message. The Administration can and has encouraged States and employers to offer incentives to get the jab.

My employer is on-board with that last one. They add four hour’s pay to your check if you get vaccinated, whether you actually had to take time off or not.

One of my former employers used to enlist the help of private nurses working on contract to come two days every year to administer flu shots. It was done cooperatively with our Health Insurance carrier and helped to keep illness — and, of course claims — lower. I suspect that some companies are now teaming up with their insurance providers to do something similar now that workers and people of any age are eligible for the COVID shot. I know many hospitals and long-term care facilities have done so.

Another important part of the Administration’s plan is to have competent and highly visible staff craft and put into action serious and sustained PR campaigns to educate and to essentially coax citizens to do it.

As you may know, Dr. Fauci and the current Director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky have been making appearances at all kinds of events and doing interview after interview in all kinds of media to help the cause. And many other staffers in Biden’s Administration are doing that sort of thing, too. It’s a very big effort and it’s helping.

I hate to have to say this, but it’s entirely possible that the vaccine holdouts are going to keep us from achieving herd immunity and thereby keep COVID alive in the US. It’s too early to see if that’s the way it’s going to go, but it will not surprise me if that’s the unfortunate outcome.

On a personal note, I got vaccinated ASAP and was one of the first to get it done by showing up at one of Florida’s four FEMA mass-vax sites. It was the one in Orlando. It seemed kind of special that I got stuck by an active-duty tech in the 101st Airborne Division at a site sponsored by an “arm” of our Government. 

So to sum up, the government can’t do anything to make people get themselves vaccinated. But the Biden Admin is doing absolutely everything possible to educate and encourage Americans to do so. And that’s why there have been over 200 millions shots in arms in the US so far.

The whole thing is a perfect example of the good our Government can — and with President Biden providing real leadership — can and will do! Thank you, FEMA. And thank you, President Biden.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

George Floyd's Killer is Convicted

On Tuesday evening, former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted on the three counts he faced for killing George Floyd last May.

Although there actually are Americans who feel he should have been acquitted, the American Public at large was sickened by the spectacle of Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground for nine minutes plus, snuffing out his life while remaining perfectly calm and seeming to use the domination and the killing as a training moment for the novice cops in his charge.

The conviction was exactly what this brutal, heartless bastard deserved. 

The question is where we go from here. It seems clear that the proportion of the American people who realize that we have a serious problem with Police violence against Black and Brown people has increased greatly because of what Chauvin did.

And while that is cold comfort for Floyd's family, it will undoubtedly help us move forward, to begin to get our collective mind around the issues and carry forward the work. The work that so many have been struggling mightily to do for a very, very long time.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Priority One for the GOP Today is...

There was a gathering of the Republican Party faithful and -- more to the point -- a lot of the Party's big-time donors in West Palm Beach last night. The get-together carried a lot of importance with the 2022 mid-term elections starting to heat up.

It goes without saying that trump's speech at this RNC event was the highlight. And although I don't have the stomach to go through this rancid speech in any detail, the main takeaway now that the event's over is clear: the Republican Party's top priority these days -- even with Dear Leader out of power -- is to continue to kiss trump's ass and allow him to steer the ship.

Aren't you surprised?

I wasn't expecting it to go any other way, of course. The QOP will continue to worship and enable this hateful con man. It won't stop -- it can't stop -- as long as getting and holding power is all that the party and the party faithful value.

You can follow this link to read a brief feature about last night's event and trump's rambling, self-serving speech in particular.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile