Similarly, when vaccine skeptics focus on countries that have had (or have) high case rates despite also having high vaccination rates, like Israel and Britain, and compare them unfavorably with the United States, they never mention that these other countries test far more than the United States does. That means that those countries identify many more infections than the United States does, and that their larger per capita caseloads are largely an artifact of testing. This summer, for instance, Southern states with low rates of vaccination had much higher positive test rates than Israel did, suggesting that their coronavirus infection rate was much higher as well. But because they were testing so much less, the states’ case counts looked better. And so the most common social media refrain from vaccine skeptics in July and August was “What about Israel?,” not “What about Tennessee and Mississippi?”

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