Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says it is “time to begin blaming the unvaccinated” for COVID spike

Alabama’s COVID-19 circumstances and hospitalizations are on the rise, and Governor Kay Ivey is venting her frustration with the selection many in her state are making to not get vaccinated.

At an occasion in Birmingham Thursday, she was requested by a reporter, “What’s it going to take to get folks to get pictures in arms?” Ivey retorted, “I do not know — you inform me. People are speculated to have widespread sense. However it is time to begin blaming the unvaccinated of us, not the common of us. It is the unvaccinated of us which might be letting us down.” 

The latest knowledge from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention exhibits that Alabama is forty seventh in vaccination charges — slightly below 52% of residents 18 and older have acquired a minimum of one dose. Alabama additionally tops the nation within the highest price of constructive COVID checks, with 40%, in response to Johns Hopkins College knowledge. Well being specialists don’t suggest that states reopen till their price of positivity drops beneath 5%.

“Virtually 100% of the brand new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated of us,” Ivey mentioned, in response to CBS Birmingham affiliate WIAT. “And the deaths are actually occurring with the unvaccinated of us. These of us are selecting a horrible life-style of self-inflicted ache.”

Ivey, a Republican, added, “I’ve accomplished all I understand how to do. I can encourage you to do one thing, however I am unable to make you handle your self.”

Whereas the federal authorities has been working onerous to vary the minds of these immune to being vaccinated, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki took a gentler tone Friday when requested by CBS Information’ Nancy Cordes about Ivey’s remarks. 

“I do not suppose our function is to put blame,” she mentioned. “However what we will do is present correct info to people who find themselves not but vaccinated concerning the dangers they’re incurring not solely amongst on themselves, but additionally the folks round them.” 

Psaki conceded that “we perceive her frustration, and we perceive the frustration of leaders on the market, and public voices who’re attempting to say the fitting factor” and mentioned the federal authorities would proceed to do its job by making the vaccine obtainable, preventing misinformation concerning the vaccine and dealing with officers and others to get folks vaccinated. 

Final week, Alabama and most states noticed a slight improve within the variety of folks getting a primary shot.

Alexander Tin contributed to this report.

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