Behold the McDonald’s coffee cup this month, and you see everything you need to know about the shape-shifting nature of arguments about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The cup is designed to promote vaccination but says nothing about medicine or health. It doesn’t even mention COVID-19.

Instead the message “We can do this” is overlaid on an image of the U.S., evoking the iconic “We can do it!” message promoting women working during World War II. The cup also urges coffee drinkers to “protect yourself and the people you love” and directs them to a government website promoting vaccines.

The campaign is emblematic of messaging around vaccination for COVID-19, both for and against. Often the disease itself is a bit player in a conversation built around other issues such as patriotism, freedom, winning a million dollars or college tuition, or standing athwart government overreach. Vaccination, or lack thereof, is even entering…

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