Dr. Peter Hotez argued that the real reason some Americans don’t get vaccinated is because of their political ideology.
“They unfortunately tie their political loyalty to the political right. And we see this in the bottom ten states in terms of vaccination rates,” which is half the coverage in the top ten states, said Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The ten states with the highest rate of residents receiving at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine also voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Polls show that more than 40% of Republicans don’t plan to be vaccinated.
Hotez told CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith that regional summer flare-ups in states with lower vaccination rates could lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to urge Americans to wear masks again.
The CDC on Thursday relaxed mask guidelines for the US, saying that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay 6 feet away from others in most environments, whether outdoors or indoors.
The updated guidelines have received widespread criticism, but Hotez said this was because the new guidelines arrived earlier than expected.
“I was expecting it sometime in June, so it’s a couple of weeks early,” said Hoetz. “I think it will be fine. But I think the shops, the corporations and the universities need a little time to get information and have internal discussions.”