'Out of spite': Former Tennessee vaccine official ​slams the GOP

'Out of spite': Former Tennessee vaccine official ​slams the GOP

A former Tennessee vaccine official claims the vaccine hesitancy among White male conservatives is nothing more than a form of resistance "out of spite" for Democratic lawmakers.

While it's no secret that many Republicans have a long history of going against the grain where COVID is concerned, one doctor is highlighting a specific group of conservatives dead set on pushing back even if it increasing their chances of contracting a more severe case of COVID.

Appearing on PBS' Amanpour & Company, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the former vaccine chief who was ousted in Tennessee, explained the demographical statistics behind her observation. "Our most hesitant population in Tennessee is the white, male, rural conservatives…They feel that if they get the vaccine, then they have placated the left," Fiscus said on Wednesday.

At one point during the segment, she noted how vaccine ideologies have shaped people's opinions and influenced their decisions on getting the shot.

"In Tennessee, and I think in a lot of our Southern states... [there] is this ideology that if you get this vaccine, you're somehow placating the left part of the political spectrum," Fiscus said. "What we're actually seeing is our most hesitant population in Tennessee is the white, male, rural conservative. They are stating that they are not going to get the vaccine really out of spite."

She added, "And they are willing to put their own lives and the lives of the people they love at risk. Because they feel that if they get the vaccine, then they have placated the left or done what the Biden administration wants them to do."

Fiscus' remarks come amid growing turmoil over COVID vaccine initiatives and mitigation guidelines in the state of Tennessee. As residents push back against efforts to combat the virus, case rates and hospitalizations are rising at an unprecedented speed and children are gradually making up a larger percentage of severe cases.

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