Republicans urge supporters to receive the vaccine in a sudden change of tone

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Covid-19 vaccine update

This week, high-profile Republicans lined up to call on their supporters to get vaccinated, which is very different from the strong suspicion of vaccines expressed by many party members.

Party strategists said that the sudden sense of urgency reflected the growing awareness of Republicans that they might be blamed for failing to take adequate measures to stop the surge in infections in the red states of the United States where vaccination rates have been low.

EFB Advocacy partner and former Republican congressional assistant John Feehery said: “We as Republicans have decided that we must fully invest in vaccines, although we are not sure where our followers are.”

“The idea of ​​re-closing the country has real political risks. I don’t think Republicans want to be blamed for this.”

Republican governors, who have made headlines in recent months for prohibiting officials, companies, and universities from enticing people to vaccinate, turned this week to promote the benefits of vaccinations to hesitant state residents.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Ron DeSantis), widely regarded as a 2024 presidential candidate, signed a bill in May prohibiting businesses in the state from requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination. He also legislated to prevent universities from compulsory vaccinations for students.

But this week DeSantis urged Floridians to get vaccinated. “These vaccines are saving lives,” he said. “They are reducing the death rate.”

His Arkansas colleague Asa Hutchinson signed a bill banning the demand for vaccines in April, but he has begun to patrol the state in an attempt to overcome deep-rooted suspicions about vaccination .

Their plea was answered in Washington, where Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, this week urged “anyone who is willing to listen” to “vaccinate.”

On Thursday, a group of Republican congressmen of equally trained doctors teamed up with two high-profile pro-Trump congressmen Steve Scarlis and Elise Stefanick to broadcast similar messages. .

However, the message from the party is far from reaching its climax. One of the Republican MPs attending Thursday’s event, Andy Harris, later told the Financial Times that “for those who benefit significantly more than the risks…should be vaccinated”.

But he added: “However, for others, there are still side effects exposed, and these decisions should be discussed with a trusted healthcare provider.”

Some public health experts pointed out that the party’s position was chaotic, and a few months later, they allowed vaccine hesitation to take root in the Republican stronghold.

“We have established that Republicans oppose vaccines,” said Brian Castrucci of the De Beaumont Foundation, who conducted a survey this week on voters’ attitudes towards vaccinations.

“According to our focus group, it seems difficult to put toothpaste back in the tube,” he added.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as a whole, at least 56% of the population in the United States has been injected once. In Republican Alabama and Mississippi, the figures are 42% and 38%, respectively.

As a result, the rate of positive Covid-19 cases in these states is now rising faster than in other parts of the United States, driven in large part by the highly spreading Delta variant.

The head of the White House Covid-19 Task Force, Jeff Zients, said on Thursday that 40% of Covid-19 infections now come from only three states, all of which are led by Republican governors: Texas, Missouri and Florida.

The sudden change in the Republican tone was reflected in the right-wing television news channel Fox News, where the host often questioned the safety of vaccines.Outlet broadcast this week Public Service Announcement The audience is urged to shoot.

One of the channel’s most famous hosts, Sean Hannity, told his audience this week: “I believe in science. I believe in vaccination science.”

This week, during the Ohio City Hall televised, Fox’s change of heart caused a mild ridicule from US President Joe Biden.

“They have an altar phone, some of them. Suddenly, they said outside,’Let’s get vaccinated, let’s get vaccinated’.” But he added: “I shouldn’t make fun of this. That’s good. of.”

Although it may be good, it may also be too late, at least according to the members of the Kastrucci focus group.

When asked to respond to Hannity’s call, the audience did not believe it. “It looks like he was forced to say that,” one participant said.

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