McConnell Hits Back At GOP Hesitancy Against COVID-19 Vaccines

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a press conference following the Senate GOP policy luncheon in the Rayburn Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mitch McConnell
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a press conference following the Senate GOP policy luncheon in the Rayburn Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2021 in Was... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a press conference following the Senate GOP policy luncheon in the Rayburn Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 5, 2021 1:24 p.m.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday addressed his concerns surrounding polls showing COVID-19 significant vaccine hesitancy among Republicans, especially men, many of whom are supporters of former President Trump.

During a press conference in Lexington, Kentucky, McConnell raised concerns about vaccine hesitancy among Republican men, citing an unnamed program he watched last week that brought up the issue.

McConnell urged Republican men to put aside their reservations so that the public can move on from the pandemic.

“I’m a Republican man and I want to say to everyone, we need to take this vaccine,” McConnell said. “These reservations need to be put aside because the only way, I think, we get to finally put this pandemic in the rearview mirror is with herd immunity.”

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McConnell also expressed his confidence in Dr. Anthony Fauci, who became a target of conservatives due to the nation’s top infectious disease expert refuting Trump’s downplaying of the pandemic that has killed more than 550,000 Americans thus far.

“I think he’s the principal person we’ve relied on the last couple of years,” McConnell said. “That’s become somewhat controversial, I gather. But, we have to take advice from somebody and for myself, looking at his history and background, he’s the most reliable witness I’ve seen.”

Last week, the Biden administration announced an ad campaign aimed at combatting vaccine hesitancy after the President set a new goal of administering 200 million doses into Americans’ arms by his 100th day in office and directed local officials to make all adults eligible for vaccinations no later than May 1.

Despite reportedly having quietly received COVID-19 vaccinations in January before leaving the White House, Trump did not publicly urge Americans to get vaccinated until his remarks at CPAC in February, saying “everyone should go get your shot.”

Trump was notably absent from a vaccine ad campaign last month featuring former presidents to boost confidence around the inoculation. After months of relative silence, the former president finally “recommended” the public to get vaccinated during an appearance on Fox News last month.

Watch McConnell’s remarks below:

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