Astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, “Startalk” podcast host and occasional Twitter “intergalactic troll” Neil deGrasse Tyson on Aug. 31, 2021, penned a tweet he later deleted because he said it was “causing too many unintended Twitter fights.”
The deleted tweet compared the rate of COVID-19 deaths among “(unvaccinated) Republican voters” to Democrats.
“Right now in the USA, every ten days, more than 8,000 (unvaccinated) Republican voters are dying of COVID-19. That’s 5X the rate for Democrats,” the tweet read. The post also contained a drawing of a book titled, “How to Die Like a Medieval Peasant In Spite of Modern Medicine.”
The Brookings Institute, citing Kaiser Family Foundation polling data, has reported that anti-vaccine, anti-mask, and anti-social-distancing campaigns taken up by right-leaning political figures and media have had an effect on a segment of Republican voters, to the extent that Republicans are among the groups most likely to state they will “definitely” not get vaccinated.
Alba, Davey. “Virus Misinformation Spikes as Delta Cases Surge.” The New York Times, 10 Aug. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/10/technology/covid-delta-misinformation-surge.html.
Kamarck, Elaine. “COVID-19 Is Crushing Red States. Why Isn’t Trump Turning His Rallies into Mass Vaccination Sites?” Brookings, 29 July 2021, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/07/29/covid-19-is-crushing-red-states-why-isnt-trump-turning-his-rallies-into-mass-vaccination-sites/.
“COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Dashboard.” Kaiser Family Foundation, 24 Aug. 2021, https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/dashboard/kff-covid-19-vaccine-monitor-dashboard/.