Good examination of the failure of the U.S. to match the rest of the world in getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The country got off to a good start, but now falls somewhere around 36 in its vaccination rate despite being the primary driver in the development of successful vaccines.

Derek Thompson writes in The Atlantic that some of the usual excuses — mixed messaging from the FDA, differences over effectiveness of vaccines and their side effects — apply in the rest of the world.

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So here’s his bottom line:

Instead, the data point to three key reasons the United States is 36th and falling: It is unusually uninsured, unusually contrarian, and unusually polarized. These are three familiar—even defining—attributes of American life.

I’d tilt the scale to Door No. 3, political polarization. Look at the frenzied resistance in the Arkansas legislature and meetings of school boards and other public bodies. A significant number of Americans (the percentage is higher in states like Arkansas) would rather die and threaten others than trust science over the leaders of their particular political religion. (You know who you are, GOP.)

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I should add: The shameful failure of the U.S. to provide universal health coverage as most of the developed world does is a political byproduct, too.