McConnell encourages people to get vaccinated, ignore anti-vax voices

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Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell encouraged everyone to get vaccinated for COVID-19, saying it can prevent severe illness and hospitalization. Referring to those who oppose the coronavirus vaccine, the Kentucky Republican said people should “ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice.”

Video Transcript

MITCH MCCONNELL: You've seen the statistics. 97-- 97% of the hospitalizations in the country for COVID are unvaccinated people. It never occurred to me, after three highly effective vaccines were developed in under a year, that we'd have difficulty getting Americans to take the shots. But that's obviously where we are.

I want to underscore in the strongest possible manner I can-- and I say this with some authority, as you all know, as a result of being a polio victim myself, and being very aware that it took seven decades to come up with two effective polio vaccines-- this was done in under one year. These shots need to get in everybody's arm as rapidly as possible, or we're going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don't yearn for that we went through last year.

The economy does not need this tax and spending spree. It's lifting on its own as we come out of this. The way to defeat getting back into the position we were last year is to get vaccinated. This is not complicated. 97% of the people who are in the hospital now for COVID are unvaccinated. So if there's anybody out there willing to listen, get vaccinated.

- Leader McConnell, on that note, there are-- the Republican governor of Utah said this weekend that conservative talking heads are, quote, literally killing their supporters. Would you speak out against people who are actually speaking out against the vaccine?

MITCH MCCONNELL: Well, I don't know how I could be any more clear than I have been. I've been saying the same thing about vaccinations all along the way. Others can say whatever they choose to say, but this is something I think I'm a good example of, something I know the answer to. It is not at all unclear that the way to avoid getting back in the hospital is to get vaccinated. I want to encourage everybody to do that, and to ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice.