At a press conference Thursday, members of the Republican Doctors’ Caucus were quick to note the role they have played in encouraging people to get vaccinated.
“We urge all Americans to talk to their doctors about the risks of Covid, talk to their doctors about the benefits of getting the vaccine, and then make a decision that is right for them about the vaccine,” said Representative Andy Harris from Maryland . At the same conference, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said he was recently vaccinated after already testing positive for antibodies, although the vaccine has been available to lawmakers since the start of the year.
“But with the Delta variant, I felt I wanted that extra level of protection,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Likewise, Sen Josh Hawley of Missouri, a state that has seen a recent outbreak of Covid-19 cases, said the best thing to do was encourage people to get vaccinated and give them the right information.
“It’s a medical decision, people will make their own medical decisions. You can’t force them to do it, ”said Mr. Hawley, who is the youngest Republican senator, The independent Monday. “You can’t force them to do it, I don’t think you should challenge people about it. I generally share that I am vaccinated, I encourage people to get vaccinated.
Mr Hawley is often seen as a potential candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, as is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose state represents a fifth of new cases of covid in the country.
“If you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is effectively zero,” DeSantis said. said in St. Petersburg Wednesday. “If you look at people admitted to hospitals, over 95% of them are not fully or not vaccinated at all. And so these vaccines save lives. They reduce mortality.
Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had polio as a child, also pushed for vaccinations.
“It never occurred to me that after developing three very effective vaccines in less than a year, we would have a hard time convincing Americans to get vaccinated,” he told reporters earlier this week.
But the problem is, some of the most prominent faces in the conservative media have either hesitated when talking about vaccines or lied about them. Mr. Doocy and Mr. Hannity’s colleague Tucker Carlson undermined them when he mentioned that a person from the Office of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, had tested positive for Covid-19 after meeting with Texas lawmakers in Washington.
“Weird how many vaccinated people seem to be spreading the virus at this point,” Carlson said.
Likewise, while former President Donald Trump took credit for Operation Warp Speed, his administration’s program to accelerate the development of a vaccine against Covid-19, he chose instead to link vaccine reluctance and the Biden administration’s efforts to address its own gripes about the election, which it continues to falsely claim was stolen from it.
“He is very late and people refuse to be vaccinated because they do not trust his administration, they do not trust the election results and they certainly do not trust the Fake News, who refuse to say the truth, ”Mr. Trump said of Mr. Biden.
Mr Trump, who had Covid-19 last year, was vaccinated in January and told the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, “So everyone, go get your shots. But it was once again worded in his election ramblings and the message got muddled.
Similarly, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the conspiratorial congresswoman from Georgia, was briefly suspended from Twitter. after tweeting that the virus was “not dangerous” for people under 65 and not obese. But when asked about young children and skinny people who died from Covid-19, she laughed at the question.
As long as the most prominent voices of the conservative movement continue to muddy the waters or promote mistrust, it is highly unlikely that the efforts of the most elite Republicans will bear fruit. Mistrust of Covid, much like a virus itself, has spread rampantly through the conservative movement.