The Kentucky Republican urged fellow party members to get vaccination shots to help fight the pandemic.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged "all Republican men" to get the Coronavirus vaccine, with polls suggesting they were skeptical about the shot. "I can say as a Republican man, as soon as it was my turn, I took the vaccine. I would encourage all Republican men to do that," said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. This comes at a time when the right-wing ecosystem including conservatives doubted the efficacy of the vaccine. McConnell said the vaccine is safe and urged others to take the shot to protect themselves and the ones around them, reported CNN. McConnell said that there is "no good argument not to get the vaccination. I would encourage all men regardless of party affiliation to get the vaccination." He made comments during a news conference in Hazard, Kentucky, outside a health care clinic.
There is also a significantly marked difference in the percentage of Democrats and Republicans that have got their vaccination shots. Through a survey and series of interviews by CNN earlier this month, it was found that 189 Democrats out of 219 in the lower chamber of Congress had been vaccinated, whereas only 53 House Republicans of 211 could be confirmed as having been vaccinated. Thirteen Republicans confirmed they hadn't been vaccinated while 145 House Republicans didn't respond to the survey. Many Republicans said it was a violation of their privacy to be asked if they had been vaccinated.
If you're curious why McConnell is speaking directly to Republican men, it's in response to this survey about vaccine hesitancy pic.twitter.com/GlrIiVEh7d— The Recount (@therecount) March 30, 2021
CNN also surveyed the people and found that 92% of Democrats said they had gotten a dose of the vaccine or planned to get one, while only 50% of Republicans replied the same. In the same poll, 46% of Republicans said that they wouldn't get the shot. In a similar poll conducted by PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist, 49% of Republican men said they didn't plan on getting vaccinated.
Democratic Representative Dan Kildee of Michigan was highly critical of his colleagues from across the aisle. He urged them to listen to science and protect themselves and their loved ones. "The first thing I would tell them is to grow up. I mean, this is science, this is health, this is a national pandemic, and we're trying to get work done here to deal with it. And the idea that because of their own political vanity, they are unwilling to do something that protects themselves, their neighbors, their families, their colleagues, to make some sort of a bizarre political statement, grow up. That's what I'd tell them," said Kildee.
Not all Republicans are against vaccination shots. Louisiana Representative-elect Julia Letlow, who lost her husband complications of Coronavirus, drew from her personal loss to encourage others to get vaccinated. "Look at my family. Use my story," she said on CBS' Face the Nation. "You know, I experienced a tragedy in my immediate family, and Coronavirus can touch every family out there," wrote Letlow. "And so there is a vaccine that has life-saving capabilities, I want to encourage everyone to trust it and get the vaccine." Letlow's husband had won last year's election but died at the age of 41 in December. She then won a special election in Louisiana earlier this month to take the seat.
The Biden administration is aware of the risk that comes from a big chunk of the American population refusing to take the vaccine. Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee warned that the pandemic could get worse if everyone didn't get vaccinated. "Vaccines are our only way out of this. If we don't have 80-plus percent of the population vaccinated before next winter, this virus is going to come back raging," said Dr. Offit, reported NBC News. "What worries me is if 25 percent of Republicans say they won't get vaccinated, that's going to be hard to do."
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