Sturgis, South Dakota. As every year in August, the most popular motorcycle rally in America takes place in the town, and among bikers and tourists over 700,000 people are expected over the weekend, without the obligation of a mask or social distancing. Patience if the alarm goes up on the Delta variant, which in the last few hours has now led the United States to exceed 100,000 new cases of contagion per day: never so many since February and more than last year in full first wave of the pandemic. But if the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally risks becoming a deadly super-diffuser event, complete with the blessing of the governor Kristi Noem, in other US states life has been going on almost normal for months now, as if nothing had happened. Yet Governor Ron De Santis’s Florida has come to record a record of more than 22,000 cases per day, with a spike in hospitalizations that is again bringing state hospitals to their knees.
But no reverse on the decisions taken, including that of punishing those who force hospital or cruise ship staff to get vaccinated: “There is a kind of hysteria, they describe the situation in Florida worse than it really is”, defends De Santis, a rising star of the Republicans who aspires to be Donald Trump’s heir to the White House. He is one of the ‘rebellious’ and ‘irresponsible’ governors against whom Joe Biden threw himself a few days ago: “Please help us, but if you really don’t want to collaborate at least get out of the way”, the American president said bluntly , asking everyone to use their power to save lives, not to pursue their own political interests. And yes, because in the US more than in other countries, the fight against the pandemic has turned into a real ideological battle. And the White House is faced with no vax, no mask or no pass resistance, especially in various republican states. Like Ron De Santis, colleague Kristi Noem of South Dakota or Texas Governor Greg Abbott (who signed a decree banning anyone from introducing the vaccine requirement) are great allies of former President Trump, who has never he hid his skepticism about the recommendations of science and in the past he has repeatedly fueled denial theories.
Thus the pandemic map shows America split in two. And if in states like New York there is a higher rate of immunization and there are new severe restrictions, in others life goes on normal despite the fact that a large part of the population has not yet received the first dose. With the unvaccinated who in the US represent 98% of new infections. Meanwhile, as part of the vaccination campaign, many TV stations continue to broadcast videos of no vax repentant after contracting the virus: like the one transmitted by CNN which portrays an intubated man who regrets the risk of dying without being able to attend the wedding of the daughter.