Republican politicians step up pro-vaccination messages as COVID-19 cases skyrocket – .

Republican politicians step up pro-vaccination messages as COVID-19 cases skyrocket – .

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Republican politicians are speaking out more and more this week in a bid to persuade people skeptical about COVID-19 vaccines to get vaccinated as a new, more contagious variant is skyrocketing the number of cases.

In recent press conferences and statements, some prominent Republicans pleaded with voters to put lingering doubts aside.

In Washington, the so-called Doctors Caucus met on Capitol Hill for an event aimed at tackling vaccine reluctance. And in Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis this week highlighted data showing that the vast majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had not received vaccines.

“These vaccines save lives,” DeSantis said. His statement contrasted with messages from his campaign team – he is considered a 2024 presidential candidate – who sells campaign masks and medical experts, including the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci .

In Congress, Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, the Republican House Whip, recently distributed pictures of himself receiving his first dose of the vaccine. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell – a childhood polio survivor who has always advocated for COVID-19 vaccines – urged the unvaccinated to ignore “all those other voices that are clearly giving bad advice.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise is featured on Thursday at a press conference outside the Capitol in Washington, DC. (J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

For months, many conservative lawmakers and pundits have fueled hesitation over the vaccine, refusing to be vaccinated or downplaying the severity of the virus, like former President Donald Trump. Republican governors signed bills protecting the unvaccinated from disclosure of their status and tried to roll back mask mandates.

“I think they finally realized that if their people are not vaccinated they will get sick, and if their people are not vaccinated they will be blamed for COVID outbreaks in the future,” said Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who has worked with President Joe Biden’s administration and public health experts to craft messages to eliminate vaccine hesitation.

In his focus groups, Luntz said many skeptics have found it difficult to assess the veracity of the things they read and hear.

“There is so much misinformation out there, and they can’t tell the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong,” he said. “So it’s virtually impossible to communicate when they don’t know what to believe. “

WATCH | The Biden administration identifies social media platforms for disinformation:


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