As the Delta variant of the virus that's killed over 600 thousand Americans continues to fill hospitals and stall nationwide recovery, Republican governors are growing increasingly frustrated with the willfully unvaccinated people's bulwark against the safe return to some version of normal life.
Vaccines against the virus have repeatedly proven to be safe and effective, even against more transmissible variants like Delta. Sadly, right-wing media and even some far-right elected officials continue to sow distrust of the vaccines and any efforts to sway Americans to take them.
Like other far-right conspiracy theories, beliefs that the vaccines contain microchips or magnets or marks of beasts have leapt from the dark corners of the internet, permeating into school board meetings, private businesses, and other facets of daily life.
West Virginia's Republican Governor, Jim Justice, railed against these conspiracy theories in a recent address, visibly frustrated with the continued refusal to get vaccinated.
"For God's sakes a livin', how difficult is this to understand? Why in the world do we have to come up with these crazy ideas? And they're crazy ideas. That the vaccine's got something in it and it's tracing people wherever they go. And the same very people that are saying that are carrying their cell phones around."
This is the latest instance of Justice's continued exasperation with willfully unvaccinated West Virginia residents. Not too far away, in deep red Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey also expressed frustration at "unvaccinated folks that are letting us down" in a testy exchange with a reporter late July.
People identified with Justice's frustration.
Others pointed out the right-wing disinformation that's hindered progress on the pandemic since the start.
Hopefully Justice's urgency will convince some of his constituents.