As many Republican elected officials and conservative media outlets urge people to get vaccinated, they continue to face the fact that some of their loudest voices continue to confuse the water.
During a press conference on Thursday, members of the Republican Doctors’ Group quickly noted 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 vaccination, and then come to the right vaccine decision for them,” said Maryland-based spokesman Andy Harris. At the same conference, Minority Household Representative Steve Scalize said he was recently vaccinated after having previously tested positive for antibodies, despite the vaccine being available to lawmakers since the beginning of the year.
“But with the Delta option, I felt I needed an extra layer of protection,” he told reporters Thursday.
Likewise, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, the state that recently had an outbreak of Covid-19 cases, said the best way to get people to get vaccinated and to provide them with the correct information.
“This is a medical decision, people themselves will make medical decisions. You can’t force them, ”said Mr. Hawley, the youngest Republican senator. Independent on Monday. “You cannot force them to do this, I do not believe that people are fooling it. Usually I tell them that I am vaccinated and encourage people to get vaccinated. “
Hawley is often cited as a potential Republican nominee for president in 2024, as is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose state makes up a fifth new cases of coronavirus in the country.
“If you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chances of you becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID are practically nil,” said Mr DeSantis. said in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. “If you look at the people who are hospitalized, more than 95 percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. Thus, these vaccines save lives. They reduce mortality. “
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who had polio as a child, also pushed for vaccinations.
“It never occurred to me that after developing three highly effective vaccines in less than a year, it would be difficult for us to get Americans to get vaccinated,” he told reporters earlier this week.
Conservative media figures such as Sean Hannity and Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doucey both promoted vaccine efficacy this week, despite other hosts on the web raising questions about the vaccine. The sudden turnaround even prompted President Joe Biden advertise the network’s altar call for vaccinations…
But the problem is that some of the most prominent figures in the conservative media were either hesitant about vaccines or outright lied about them. Mr Doucey and colleague Mr Hannity Tucker Carlson blew them up when he mentioned that someone in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive for Covid-19 after visiting Texas lawmakers in Washington.
“It’s strange how many vaccinated people are now spreading the virus,” said Mr Carlson.
Likewise, while former President Donald Trump took charge of Operation Warp Speed, his administration’s program to accelerate the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, he chose instead to link vaccine doubts and the Biden administration’s efforts to his own electoral grievances. which he continues. to falsely claim was stolen from him.
“He’s behind schedule and people refuse to take the vaccine because they don’t trust his administration, they don’t trust the election results, and of course they don’t trust fake news that refuse to tell the truth.” “Trump said about Biden.
Mr Trump, who had Covid-19 last year, was vaccinated in January and said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February: “So everyone, take a shot.” But this was again expressed in his rambling statements about the elections, and the message was confusing.
Likewise, Georgia’s conspiracy spokesman Marjorie Taylor Green was suspended from Twitter. after she tweeted that the virus is “not dangerous” for people under 65 and not obese. But when asked about young children and thin people who have died from Covid-19, she laughed it off the question…
As long as the most prominent voices of the conservative movement continue to either muddy the waters or strongly encourage distrust, it is unlikely that any efforts on the part of the more elite Republicans will bear any fruit. Mistrust Covid, like the virus itself, quickly spread through the conservative movement.