Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Sunday called out his Republican colleagues who turned President Biden’s initiative of sending people door-to-door trying to get more people vaccinated into a fear-mongering tactic aimed at discouraging more Americans from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
During an interview on CNN, Kinzinger was pressed on his Republican colleagues’ outrage over Biden’s door-to-door outreach initiative to encourage more COVID-19 vaccinations. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) invoked Nazi-era imagery while mocking the Biden administration’s initiative.
Last week, Boebert painted Biden’s door-to-door vaccinators as “needle Nazis.” Greene similarly likened officials carrying out Biden’s latest vaccination initiative to Nazi-era “brown shirts,” just weeks after issuing an overdue apology for “offensive” comments she made that likened the House’s mask mandate to the Holocaust.
Kinzinger — who has emerged as a vocal critic of former President Trump and was among the 10 House Republicans that voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” — took aim at his colleagues who invoked Nazi-era imagery to discourage vaccinations during an interview on CNN.
“It’s absolute insanity,” Kinzinger said. “Now, what President Biden said — and maybe he could have said it slightly different — is, we’re willing to come to your house to give you the vaccine. At no point was anybody saying they’re going to break down your door and jam a vaccine in your arm, despite your protest.”
Kinzinger added that his GOP colleagues’ fear-mongering tactic shows the “outrage politics” that the Republican Party has increasingly embraced.
“And it’s going to get Americans killed. Our party has been hijacked. My party has been hijacked,” Kinzinger said. “It is on its way to the ground.”
Kinzinger went on to blast his colleagues who have risen to prominence by espousing rhetoric that endangers Americans’ lives before urging Republican voters to dismiss Greene’s outlandish claims.
“Listen, if you are a Republican voter, do not listen to people like Marjorie Taylor Greene. The vaccine is safe. COVID is real,” Kinzinger said, noting that Greene bragged about the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” that led to the creation of COVID-19 vaccines.
Kinzinger demanded that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other GOP leaders to call out “these garbage politicians, these absolute clown politicians playing on your vaccine fears for their own selfish gain.”
The White House’s door-to-door efforts to encourage more vaccinations comes on the heels of the country falling short of the President’s goal of 70 percent of Americans receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines by July 4.
Rates of vaccine hesitancy is higher amongst Republicans — especially those who are Trump supporters — compared to Democrats.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical adviser, on Sunday found the scene of audience members at the Conservative Political Action Conference cheering on COVID-19 vaccine refusal “horrifying” during an appearance on CNN.
“It’s a public health issue. It doesn’t matter who you are. The virus doesn’t know whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or an independent. For sure, we know that,” Fauci said. “And yet there is that divide of people wanting to get vaccinated and not wanting to get vaccinated, which is really unfortunate, because it’s losing lives.”
Watch Kinzinger’s remarks below:
"It's absolute insanity … this is outrage politics that's being played by my party, and it's gonna get Americans killed. My party has been hijacked" — Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Republicans comparing vaccine door-knocking to Nazis or communism pic.twitter.com/nA4kTzyGFV
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 11, 2021