'I don't like being told what I have to do': Libertarian explains vaccine refusal as he struggles to breathe
Although the COVID-19 Delta variant is potentially deadly all over the United States, the areas that are being hit especially hard tend to be Republican-leaning areas with low vaccination rates — areas like the one that New York Times reporter Alexander Stockton examines in a video that has been posted on YouTube.
The Ozarks, Stockton notes in the video, has some of the United States' lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates as well as what the reporter describes as "one of the worst COVID case rates in the country."
"I wanted to find out why residents here aren't getting vaccinated," Stockton explains.
The video shows Ozark residents expressing anti-vaxxer views as well as unvaccinated patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. One of them, 53-year-old Christopher Green, is "fighting for his life," Stockton notes. And Green is hardly unique in that regard.
"Like 90% of the patients in this packed hospital, he's unvaccinated," Stockton reports.
Asked why he refused to be vaccinated for COVID-19, Green — obviously struggling to breathe — told Stockton, "I'm more of a libertarian, and I don't like being told what I have to do." Green died 9 days after the interview, at age 53, the video explained.
The COVID-19 vaccinate rate is so low in Mountain Home, Arkansas, Stockton reports, that at a local hospital — Baxter Regional Medical Center — only half of the staff has been vaccinated.
A nurse working in that hospital, interviewed by Stockton, laments, "There are just a lot of people that you cannot convince to get vaccinated: patients, employees. It's very frustrating."
Watch the video below:
Dying in the Name of Vaccine Freedom | NYT Opinion www.youtube.com
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