The Unvaccinated Are the Extreme Fringe

And pols are starting to treat them that way.

Will Leitch

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One of the biggest stories this week has involved Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest tennis players of all time (he’s tied for all the all-time majors lead, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, at 20), being booted out of the country (the continent!) of Australia because he has not been vaccinated. Djokovic is being stupid for a variety of reasons, from his apparently willingness to let a whole continent tear itself apart over his fear of getting a shot that my seven-year-old has gotten (twice!) to the incredible own goal of missing one of the four majors, while he’s trying to set an all-time record (and Nadal is still around trying to pass him). But he’s also being stupid for an even bigger reason: He thinks people are on his side.

People like Djokovic — and Aaron Rodgers, and Kyrie Irving, and Joe Rogan, and Ice Cube — always think people are on their side, like they’re the leaders of some sort of vast movement, like they have public opinion entirely on their side. But they don’t. They’re in the vast minority. And it’s not just that: It’s that most people are absolutely furious about their vaccine stand, and they’re not going to stand for it anymore. People like Rogan believe the majority of people are on their side because that small number of people who are on their side are so loud. But being loud does not make you plentiful.

First there are the basic numbers. To take part in the public discourse is to sometimes believe there are a lot more unvaccinated people than there actually are. Eighty-seven percent of American adults have had at least one vaccine shot; 74 percent are fully vaccinated. Eighty percent of all Americans aged five and up have had at least one shot. These are astounding numbers. It is nearly impossible to get 80 percent of Americans to agree that the sky is blue and grass is green. Would you like that number to be higher? Of course. Ideally it’d be 100 percent and we’d all be done with this. But ideally we’d all have wings and be able to fly to…

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Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com