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What the Devil won't tell you

Fatal words: Ducey's pro-COVID university order hurts those it's meant to indulge

Arizona's universities have mandated MMR vaccines for years, but governor prohibits requiring coronavirus shots, or even masks

Gov. Doug Ducey decided this week to prove himself the defender of liberty (or a son of anarchy) by issuing an executive order banning Arizona's three public universities from requiring masks or asking about incoming students vaccination status.

Then at an event in Nogales, he told people the vaccines work, it's a choice to take them, and summed up his position in five fatal words: "It's time to move on."

Right. I get that. It's just not how viruses operate. They don't respond to "Keep Out" signs or orders to "Go on now, git."

For political purposes, he's exposing people to a pandemic that will become increasingly localized among particular populations. That says to me, "So this is what Darwin meant."

I've more than ranted and raved about how Ducey is fine with killing us on a near-industrial scale if it suits his political ambition but that's not where I'm going.

The tone of this column isn't an outrage toward history. It's a giant "Huh? I'm not sure the governor understands ..."

See, on June 4, I get my second Moderna vaccine. I should have gotten it earlier but I'm a procrastinator. Get off me.

Then it will take two weeks for my immune system to ramp up to where I can't get the virus. So the point is, come July 19, I'm pretty safe.

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Looks like I'll be fine or much more fine than the MAGAverse.

I can still get the virus, but it's the odds of an old-school extra point that I won't die or require hospitalization. I'm in no real danger of becoming a long-hauler, dealing with persistent and debilitating health effects of the virus for the next however many years.

However, can I spread it to your Trump-loving lungs? Maybe. Science is still out on that. It seems to work OK at keeping non-symptomatic people from spreading the disease to the unvaccinated but the jury is still out.

If I have symptoms and I sneeze near you, then safety is far from shall we say "locked up."

And here comes Delta, heading toward country and western bars like a family of six heading to a shrimp buffet on a hot day.

Delta is the new variant, also known as B.1.617.2. It is up to 60 percent more infectious and rougher on the body than standard-issue SARS CoV 2. 

The liberals, cucks, never-Trumpers  are the ones getting vaccinated.  So too are people like Ducey, who knows better but is hyping Republican primary voters' ignorance as some sort of higher purpose. 

So let's have fun with logic and take after how Ducey tortures it.

How stuff works

His executive order hereby proclaims, first that "public education is a right."  Then he declares: “No person should be compelled to disclose to a governmental entity as a condition of attending classes, receiving services or participating in activities without a demonstrated compelling need,’’ he wrote in his executive order."

On his Twitter feed he elaborated. 

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"The vaccine works. But the vaccine is a choice. This policy is social engineering at its worst. Health policy should be based on science, not virtue signaling."

Oh boy. That's not how anything works.

Let's start with how it's not "a right" if you have to go through an admissions process. Try this on for size: No one gets to own a gun without a 650 verbal score on their SAT. What? No? That's not OK?

Know your triggers, governor

Also, he packed a couple of right-wing trigger terms in there. "Social engineering" is one of those catch-alls for "making the world better" but under no circumstances does it mean "prohibit protection of public health during a pandemic." 

Arizona law doesn't just say "Y'know, if you point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, that person may die. It's not the government's job to socially engineer behavior. We're just going to provide you with the information about the cause and effect of pulling the trigger. You decide if your cheating wife and the plumber she's in bed with get to live or die. Cuz God Bless Murica."

It's not social engineering to save lives. Nor is COVID-19 a hypothetical. It's the deadliest pandemic in a century and has killed 600,000 Americans. Meanwhile there were an additional 4,000 murders last year and the Right is losing it's shiite.

Virtue signaling against virtue signaling

Which brings us to virtue signaling. Virtue signaling is a term of art used to describe an action that is meant more to align one with a morally superior position without actually following through, thereby making it a hollow gesture of self-righteousness.

The modern Right's unending listed of grievances are a collective shout at the rest of us: "You're no better than me!"

Requiring life-saving policies is not "virtue signaling." 

Near as I can tell this right-wing fever dream means any action that displays a kinship to a noble cause, without actual fidelity to it when the going gets inconvenient.

Here's an example: Say a Republican governor shows his loyalty to a certain former president by declaring himself a protector of medical privacy, while at the same time requiring students at the state's three universities to disclose to "the government" proof of a Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine

That would be virtue signaling. Wait! That's exactly what's happening? I will not allow you to call our governor a liberal, sir! Honor forbids it!

Just an aside, here: Why are some people on the right side of the spectrum so pro-coronavirus? The virus seems to be the only form of wildlife they insist never goes extinct. 

It may be that defeating the virus has nothing to do with drilling for oil.

They're still trouble 

Of course, they are going to endanger the rest of us long-term by letting the virus percolate until it might mutate into something the rest of us aren't vaccinated against.

And Arizona's vaccine rate isn't exactly through the roof. Fewer than half of us have gotten even the first dose. That number will be higher by the start of the university school year. 

We need to do a much better job of providing vaccine equity — especially in the tribal communities. Many of them are dubious of white people bearing medical gifts and that's understandable.

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It's just that study after study shows Trump supporters who aren't likely to get the vaccine.

Look, I've always thought someone working a ranch of farm shouldn't be forced to wear a mask. But in these universities, people are right on top of each other in classrooms and getting lunch at the student union.

For their part, the universities don't seem to be fighting the order.

Maybe when it starts tearing through Kappa Kappa Gamma and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Kylie and Trevor will get the point. I'd stay away from Dirtbag's for the next year or so.

Ducey's order will put us at risk but his own people far more than others. Who are they most at risk from? Other QAnon-following fauna.

So if we are truly polarized and no longer associating with people who see the world our way, then some people are going to surround themselves with other deniers and provide the virus a big juicy feast.

Latte-lapping liberals will do a hell of a lot better.

I guess this is one way for Ducey to balance out voter suppression. He can just expose Republicans to a deadly virus without any defense.

A Chinese plague that's not that bad

Here's what I don't get about the self-deceivers who won't take basic public health prescriptions against the virus.

If I understand their paranoid worldview properly, then the coronavirus is a plague unleashed upon the world by the sinister Chinese Communist Party. Thank God, Donald John Trump heroically developed a vaccine to save us all from this Red menace.

On the other hand ... the virus isn't that bad and no one can tell them the vaccine isn't part of a giant conspiracy to use the SAT to take their guns away.

So ... yeah ... That's what we have to work with ...

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Yes I am

Know what would help? If I wore a mask. I could protect the unvaccinated if I just wore a piece of cloth over my face. That way I wouldn't have on my conscience the possible death or destruction of science denying lives.

I have a much lower chance of getting it than a COVID denier. I have a lot less chance of being hospitalized if I get the vaccine. Science deniers are are primed to be attacked.

So I'm going to continue to wear my mask because I don't want to spread the disease to a bunch of people who breathe with their mouths open.

I don't want them to die from this pandemic, even if they practically celebrated 600,000 deaths as the proof of "fridum."

If that makes me morally superior, I can live with that. More important, so can the people who insist I'm socialist.

Stick that in your virtue and signal it.

Blake Morlock is an award-winning columnist who worked in daily journalism for nearly 20 years and is the former communications director for the Pima County Democratic Party. Now he’s telling you things that the Devil won’t.

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Gov. Doug Ducey, photographed in Nogales on Wednesday, signed a campus coronavirus executive order that hurts the very people he's intending to satisfy.


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