What if, actually, vaccine advocates want people *not* to die?

Since vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death after contracting covid-19, there’s a reason to suspect that lower-vaccinated states would see worse outcomes. But since the pandemic has been so deeply politicized for well over a year, Reeves tried to suggest that Biden’s forceful advocacy for vaccines had an ulterior motive.

“The president’s not focused on saving lives,” he said. “The president’s focused on a — taking unilateral action to show — to show his power, to show that he’s doing something, but that’s not going to solve things.”

In other words, Biden is just trying to demonstrate authority, not to save lives.

Over at Breitbart, long the megaphone for fringier right-wing rhetoric, a commentator actually took this line of thinking further: Biden and Democrats are encouraging Republicans to get vaccinated so that they reflexively don’t get vaccinated — and therefore die. It’s an effort both to blame Biden for low vaccination uptake among Republicans, which is the case, and to score political points against him while doing it.

Here’s a theory that contrasts with both Reeves and Breitbart: maybe Biden is trying to have fewer people die at a moment when deaths are disproportionately concentrated in places that vote more heavily Republican.

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