Vaccine fights and misinformation are making Republicans riot in New Hampshire

Boston (AP) —Republican Rep. Ken Weiler dismissed the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine around the New Hampshire State House and opposed tens of millions of dollars in federal funding to promote vaccination. Was known.

However, a 79-year-old Wyler, a retired commercial pilot and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who chaired the legislature’s powerful financial committee, compared the vaccine to a “organized genocide” in a 52-page report. The Republican leader was forced to act when he sent.

“No one knows who agrees. It’s an absolute madness,” said Republican Speaker of the House Sherman Puckard. He immediately accepted his resignation from the Wyler Commission post.

This episode was especially serious in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, the former Speaker of the House died last year at COVID-19. It also exposed the Republican Party’s persistent struggle to eradicate false information that has become established in that class across the country.

A year and a half after the pandemic, Republicans are less worried about the threat of COVID-19 or its variants, less confident in science, and more vaccinated than Democrats and independents. They are unlikely to receive it and oppose the mandatory vaccination.

This is a combination of views with clear health risks and potential political implications. In places like New Hampshire, where Republicans want to regain parliamentary seats next year, fringeview politicians distract voters from the party’s agenda and drive out independents and moderates.

The risks are especially apparent in New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die, where the vaccination dispute has fueled Republican libertarians. The sector could dominate the Republican primary next year.

“I wonder if all of this is just the tip of the iceberg or the whole iceberg next year,” said Dante Skala, a professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire.

Republicans in New Hampshire have struggled to unite around a common position since the first pandemic.

Republican Governor Chris Sununu has been widely praised for dealing with pandemics, but has also been criticized by conservative critics. They pushed back his state of emergency, which imposed restrictions on business operations and rallies, and often made noisy protests, including some at his home.

Sununu, who is aiming to run for Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan in the Senate next year, has joined other Republican leaders to oppose the federal vaccine obligation. But it did little to soothe his critics. He repeatedly shouted fellow Republicans at a press conference last month to protest federal orders.

With a sign saying “I’ll die before I obey,” the crowd, including one protester carrying an automatic weapon, took over the podium and set up his own speaker who predicted that he would force a state hospital without evidence. I did. Close.

Opposition from Republican leaders to the federal vaccine order prompted one Republican, William Marsh, to change parties.

“The belief advocated is that their individual rights outweigh everything, and in this particular case no one has ever had the right to impose a vaccination obligation on a person,” said the vice president. Marsh, a retired ophthalmologist who was there, said. “For people in civilized society, I believe that individual rights are limited when they begin to affect the rights of others.”

Wailer’s controversy began last month when he first asked data on health and welfare services for state hospitalization. He suggested that most of the hospitalized people had been vaccinated and urged state health commissioners to blame him for disseminating false information. In fact, she said, 90% of those hospitalized were not vaccinated.

A September Gallup survey found that 57% of Democrats were very or somewhat worried about coronavirus infection, compared to 18% of Republicans. Democrats are also confident that the vaccine will protect against new variants and increase confidence in science. 79% compared to 45% of Republicans.

Weiler, one of a group of Republicans who are very opposed to the Biden administration’s vaccination obligations, called for refusing millions of federal funds aimed at supporting vaccination efforts. .. this week, Despite being asked by Sununu to accept funding, $ 27 million was rejected by a Republican-controlled executive council, a five-member committee that approves state contracts.

The money would have allowed the state to hire public health supervisors and a dozen workers to address public vaccine concerns. However, opponents feared that they would require the state to comply with the “future directives” issued by the Biden administration regarding COVID-19, including vaccine obligations.

After the vote, Sununu was forced to oppose the proposal that this was a new Republican stance.

“I don’t think most of the protesters were part of the Republican Party. These are rebel, shutdown, and anarchy individuals,” he told reporters.

Rebuild NH, one of the groups opposed to Mandate, called Sununu a despot on Friday and demanded that he condemn his role in “this crime against the people of New Hampshire” at the Executive Council meeting. Responded to the arrest of the protesters.

Democrats said it was too late for Republicans to seek Wailer’s resignation, accusing Wailer and his colleagues of damaging the state’s reputation, delaying vaccination efforts, and enabling anti-vaccine militants.

A report sent by Wailer claimed that the ammunition had perpetuated “the most organized mass slaughter in the history of our world.” It included claims about vaccines containing tentacled organisms and unfounded reports of babies from South American vaccinated parents born with signs of premature aging.

“I was pretty surprised that someone would send us this,” said Democrat Mary Jane Walner, who received the report by email.

In his resignation, Wailer said he resigned distractingly and apologized for not scrutinizing material, including “conspiracy theories and sections that offend groups of people.” He remains in the house of 400 members.

Asked for further comment, Wyler said he had nothing to say to the Associated Press.

Some experts who reviewed the report said it was full of false information and unverifiable claims drawn from social media.

“There is no way for you, me, or anyone on the receiving end to confirm the facts or assess the accuracy of the statements in them,” said Precision, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Associate Director Al Ozonoff said. The Boston Children’s Hospital vaccine program said in an email.

The authors of the report, including a doctor who mispromoted the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, told AP that they supported their findings.

“Pushing your head into the soil doesn’t change the reality. It only makes you blind and ignorant,” he said.

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