Out of all of the continental United States, Alabama currently has the lowest rate of vaccination against COVID-19, with only around 33.9% of its residents fully inoculated. Due to this lack of vaccination, the delta variant of the coronavirus is surging throughout the state, with new confirmed COVID-19 cases doubling in number from last week, and quadrupling in number from two weeks ago. Yesterday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey was asked about what the state should do to curb this surge, and she only had one answer: vaccinate.
“Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” Ivey told reporters in Birmingham. “The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with unvaccinated folks.”
Ivey added that those who refuse vaccination are “choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”
“We’ve got to get folks to take the shot,” she continued, calling the vaccine “the greatest weapon we have to fight COVID.”
Ivey has been fully vaccinated against the disease since December, having received two doses of one of the approved vaccines. “It’s safe, it’s effective, the data proves that it works, doesn’t cost anything. It saves lives,” she said.
“Start blaming the unvaccinated”: Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey calls out people refusing Covid vaccines in a remarkable plea to her state, which is the least vaccinated in the US https://t.co/MelSJ4EEtJ
— CNN (@CNN) July 23, 2021
As part of the stimulus package passed by the Biden administration earlier in the year, Alabama received billions of dollars in federal relief funds. None of these funds, however, have gone toward any kind of vaccination incentive program. So far, the only incentive the state has offered to residents is two laps around Talladega Speedway.
When asked what Alabama needs to do to convince more people to get vaccinated, Ivey simply said “I don’t know, you tell me.”