On Friday’s episode of “Real Time” on HBO, after host Bill Maher said that the pandemic is effectively “over,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) responded that the focus now needs to be on “supporting vaccination around the rest of the world.”
“Just resume living, you know?” Maher said before citing the case numbers in California. “I know some people seem to not want to give up on the wonderful pandemic, but you know what? It’s over. There’s always going to be a variant. You shouldn’t have to wear masks … vaccine, mask, pick one. You got to pick; you can’t make me mask if I’ve had the vaccine.”
Guest Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic echoed Maher, noting that she had “broken up with COVID,” and that she is “triple vaxed,” so if she contracts COVID, it’s “fair play … because it will put up a fight against me, but I’m not staying in my house again.”
The conversation then turned to Sen. Coons when Maher said that traveling in red states is “a joy,” and “blue states are a pain in the a** for no reason.”
Coons pivoted, arguing that we aren’t safe until the world is sufficiently vaccinated.
“One of the critical things that’s being discussed right now by President Biden, one of the things we have to recommit ourselves to is supporting vaccination around the rest of the world,” Coons said. “There’s still a lot of countries that are very, very minimally vaccinated because if a variant develops out in the world that is able to defeat the vaccine, we are all the way back at the beginning.”
So, in the United States, in most of the Western world, we’re ready to be done with this, but we’re not done until the world is safe, and we’re not safe as a world until the world’s vaccinated.
Maher pushed back, claiming that the U.S. doesn’t recognize “natural immunity,” while the rest of the world does. Coons responded by stating that if someone tests positive for COVID-19 antibodies, he’s okay with that.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 82.3% of Americans aged 75 and over have been fully-vaccinated; 87.5% of Americans aged 65 to 74 have been fully-vaccinated; 75.4% of Americans aged 50 to 64 have been fully-vaccinated; 67.9% of Americans aged 40 to 49 have been fully-vaccinated; 59.5% of Americans aged 25 to 39 have been fully-vaccinated; 55.4% of Americans aged 18 to 24 have been fully-vaccinated; and 49.7% of Americans aged 12 to 17 have been fully-vaccinated.
According to the CDC, as of Sunday, “The current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (68,793) decreased 7.4% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (74,290).”
Charts from the CDC also show that daily COVID-19 cases and deaths have been largely declining since around mid-September.