Hello Democrats! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. This week, we’re talking all about the push to get everyone who is eligible vaccinated with one of the COVID shots!
Now, I imagine most everyone reading this has already been vaccinated, except for the few who might have a medical condition or allergy that prevents it. That’s wonderful, but there are still many Washingtonians who haven’t yet gotten their shots, and friends, family, and neighbors can be the most important spokespeople for encouraging the hesitant to get vaccinated.
As of yesterday’s numbers, 50.3% of Washingtonians had received at least one dose of a vaccine and 43.3% of us have been fully vaccinated, with both shots in the case of the two-shot vaccines, plus the two-week period required for the vaccine to reach full efficacy. That means we’ve still got a long way to go to get every Washingtonian vaccinated. We’re averaging about 29,000 doses being given every day in Washington. We’re already seeing COVID cases and hospitalizations drop as a result, but we need to keep up the momentum and do even better!
National Month of Action on Vaccines:The Biden-Harris administration has declared June a National Month of Action in a push to get 70% of U.S. adults at least one vaccine shot by the 4th of July. The administration is mobilizing community organizations, local governments, influencers, celebrities, and more to spread the word. President Biden is doing the rounds in the media highlighting some of the efforts being made by businesses and organizations to make it even easier for folks to get vaccinated, and Vice President Harris will lead a National Vaccination Tour to encourage vaccinations in key communities across the country.
The second gentleman Doug Emhoff visited us right here in Washington a couple of months ago to recognize our work on vaccinations. While he was in Yakima, he visited the mass vaccination site at the Yakima Valley SunDome and met with Yakama Nation tribal leaders to learn about their work combating COVID-19. The fact is, Washington still has a ways to go, but we have a lot to be proud of and have been setting a high bar for other states to reach. We need to keep on being a great, nationwide example of how to get these vaccines out to everyone, and quickly.
Concrete steps that are being taken as a part of the Month of Action include pharmacies holding longer hours, major child care providers offering free care while individuals get vaccinated, canvassing and phone and text banking about vaccine events, business partnerships that create incentives for vaccinations like on-site shots at MLB games, and more. Speaking of “and more”...
Gov. Inslee’s Lottery:
Gov. Inslee has enlisted the help of the state lottery to encourage folks to get vaccinated! Starting Tuesday, the state lottery will conduct one drawing for $250,000 every week for four weeks among all vaccinated individuals. At the end of the four weeks, there will be an additional, final drawing for a $1 million prize. Vaccinated Washingtonians don’t need to do anything to be entered in the five drawings. The lottery will automatically gather names from the state Department of Health immunization database.
Inslee also announced a suite of higher education incentives, including tuition and book assistance at public institutions across the state. Nearly $1 million will be dispersed directly to our public four-year universities and two-year community and technical colleges to run their own drawings for free tuition and expenses for vaccinated students. Local sports teams and companies are also donating prizes of their own, like airplane tickets, sports events, and other cool stuff.
Perhaps this is a little cheeky, but if any of you reading this do win that $1 million, I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to help support us here at the Washington State Democratic Party. But what’s more important is that we’re all taking steps to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and finally beat this virus. You can read more about the state vaccine lottery here.
Where to Find Shots:
Local pharmacies, nonprofits, and government entities across Washington are offering COVID vaccinations every day. In many cases, you don’t even need an appointment anymore! I know some people are a little concerned about the side effects, but you needn’t be - in nearly every case, it’s nothing worse than one day feeling under the weather. This is something we can’t delay on - if you or somebody you know is still waiting, check out the Department of Health’s vaccine finder and find an appointment near you!
Issuing My Challenge:
WATCH VIDEO HERE
It’s really unfortunate that politics is one of the biggest predictors of vaccine hesitancy. The Inlander newspaper did a great investigation and found that support for Donald Trump in 2020 is the #1 best way to identify which areas are slow to get vaccinated. So it’s not enough for Democrats like me to talk to Democrats like you - we need to get our Republican neighbors on board, too.
That’s why I’m issuing this challenge to my Republican counterpart, Washington State Republican Party Chair Caleb Heimlich and GOP leaders Representative J.T. Wilcox and Senator John Braun. I’m happy to tell my party’s members that I’m vaccinated and I hope they take the vaccine; I challenge Caleb, J.T., and John to do the same with their party’s supporters. We’ll never be able to beat the virus if Republicans are so hesitant to get such an important vaccine. They should see Republican leaders who they look to and trust, like Caleb, J.T., John, and Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse, and Jaime Herrera Beutler ALL touting the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. That’s how we come together and beat this thing… because the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate based on party identification!
So whaddya say guys - willing to reach across the aisle and spread the word about the importance of beating the virus and getting vaccinated?
(And feel free to share my video far and wide, and make one of your own! Who knows - maybe we’ll have a new “ice bucket challenge” on our hands!
Upcoming National Democratic Training Committee Opportunities:
We’ve got a long list of great training opportunities for local Democratic candidates with the National Democratic Training Committee coming up next week! These are fantastic (and free!) resources for helping ensure that our local candidates are running the best, strongest campaigns possible in every race across Washington. I encourage you to share these with Democratic candidates running in your local area. Click these links to RSVP:
How to Build Your Political Campaign Communications Plan - Monday, June 7, 10 AM
How to Raise Money When You Can’t Meet in Person - Tuesday, June 8, 10 AM
How to Build Your Political Campaign Digital Plan - Wednesday, June 9, 5 PM
How to Maximize Your Personal Network to Raise Money - Thursday, June 10, 10 AM
The Secret to Successful Fundraising Emails- Friday, June 11, 10 AM
Something to Read: I think we all know at this point that the lies and conspiracy theories being spread by the Republican Party are a huge problem in politics these days, and it’s really scary how much of their base they’ve been able to brainwash to believe total nonsense. I thought this article from Science News about how our brains process misinformation was a fascinating look into how this kind of bogus stuff is able to spread and latch onto people. The article uses a lot of examples from COVID and the vaccines -- exactly the kind of misinformation that we’ve got to overcome. We can’t beat it if we don’t understand why it happens. Definitely, an educational read to go over and ponder.
Thanks for taking the time to read this today! I appreciate your help so much in spreading the word about how we get these vaccines out in folks’ arms, and keep every Washingtonian safe.