During the last presidential election contest, Republicans stood almost unanimously with Trump, several of them complicit in the attempt to take down the government in the attack on Capitol Hill. For the most part, that collegiality with Trump remains in place, and dangerously so as too many of them have refused to be vaccinated.

It’s one thing to spout differing opinions about government programs, suggesting that Biden’s American Rescue Plan favors the rich and not the poor, and quite another to refuse to be vaccinated against a virus that continues to devastate our country.

Some of the reasons for refusing the vaccine ring as hollow as their justification of allegiance to Trump, then and now. And too many of their constituents agree with this decision much as they did during the election when they voted against their self-interest—they are now refusing vaccination, and that will be against all of us.

There was no way to force them to vote a certain way and there appears to be few options to change their mind about the danger of the virus. In many respects, they harbor feelings and concerns that mirror that hostility that raged on Jan. 6. At a moment in America’s history when we are struggling to reach herd immunity and put the pandemic behind us we have too many in our population who are deathly opposed to it, and “deathly” is the operative word here.

Many of those who refuse to be vaccinated claim that since so many have had the virus and with others vaccinated there is no need for them to get the needle, but they seem ignorant to how the disease continues to stalk the land and now we learn of a variant that could be even more menacing.

Not until the Republican leadership, it seems, roll up their sleeves and line up for the shots will their followers agree to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, the virus is gathering new momentum in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean is a porous shield. We must continue to use every precaution to guard against another lethal outbreak, and that cannot be done without the total commitment of all, including those knucklehead resisters.