Dr. Peter Hotez argued that the real reason a number of Americans are not getting vaccinated is their political ideology.
“They’re tying their political allegiance to the political right, unfortunately. And we’re seeing this play out in the bottom ten states in terms of vaccination coverage,” which is half of the coverage seen in the top ten states, said Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The top ten states with the highest rates of residents receiving at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose also chose President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Polls show that more than 40% of Republicans are not planning to get vaccinated.
Hotez told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that regional flare-ups over the summer in the states with lower vaccination rates could lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ask Americans to wear masks again.
The CDC relaxed mask guidelines for the U.S. on Thursday and said fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay 6 feet away from others in most settings, whether outdoors or indoors.
The updated guidelines have drawn widespread criticism, but Hotez said that’s because the new guidance arrived earlier than expected.
“I was expecting this sometime in June, so it’s a couple of weeks early,” Hoetz explained. “I think it will be okay. But I think the stores, the businesses, the universities need a little time to catch up and have some internal discussions.”