The Republican party, which has, by design or by default, come to be associated with COVID vaccine hesitancy and skepticism, is now exhibiting a sea change, as even high-profile members are issuing appeals for Americans to step up and take the jabs.
DeSantis and Hutchinson Change Their Tune
So says the Financial Times, in an article appearing on 24 July. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Repbublican anti-vax hero who in May signed a bill banning businesses in his state from asking customers for proof of vaccination, and who also prevented Florida colleges from mandating student vaccinations, is now urging Floridians to get their COVID shots. 
“These vaccines are saving lives,” DeSantis said. “They are reducing mortality.” And the Republican governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, who in April banned vaccination requirements in his state, is now going around the state encouraging folks to line up and get vaccinated.
The list goes on. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is quoted as saying that “anybody out there willing to listen” should get vaccinated. And Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik joined a group of congressional Republicans who are also medical doctors in endorsing COVID vaccinations.  
The FT attributes such apparent reversals to Republicans not wishing to take the rap for the surge in COVID-19 cases, or being seen as having not done enough to promote vaccination. Mainstream media seem to take great delight in pointing out that largely Republican states, like Alabama and Mississippi, have higher infection rates and lower vaccination rates than other parts of the U.S. 
But some Republicans still temper their endorsement with the caveat that there are unresolved questions about the vaccines’ downsides, and still people for whom the shots are contraindicated. Trends Journal catalogued some of the reasons for vaccine skepticism in February 2021’s “STATS, SIDE EFFECTS & DEATHS.”
By and large, the party is trying to undo the narrative it has allowed to be established that Republicans are against the vaccine. FT quotes a man who conducted focus groups on the topic as saying, “It’s going to be very hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.”
TREND FORECAST: As the late great comedian George Carlin noted, “It’s one big club, and you ain’t in it.” Thus, the political clubs have united in selling the COVID Jab. 
It should be noted, there was a growing anti-vax movement in the U.S. that was ramping up before COVID-19. The number of American children not getting vaccinated for measles, mumps, and other diseases has quadrupled over the past 15 years, based on data published in October 2017 by the CDC.
As we had forecast back on 9 September 2020, beyond the United States, a key platform of new “populist” political parties (along with lowering taxes) will be a strong anti-vaccine movement. It will in fact spread globally with people from diverse political, racial and demographic sectors uniting under the “Freedom of Choice” banner. 

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