Republican Support for COVID Vaccines: ‘Very Heartened,’ says Anthony Fauci.
Republicans in Congress and the media have recently shifted their positions on vaccinations, emphasizing the importance of immunization and chastising unvaccinated Americans. Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s principal medical advisor on COVID-19, is aware of the shift in tone.
Fauci said he was delighted to see Republicans advocating vaccines more during an interview on State of the Union on Sunday. He singled out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise in particular.
“It gave me a lot of hope to hear guys like Steve Scalise come out and say, ‘Hey, we need to get vaccinated,’” Fauci told Jake Tapper. “Right now in Florida, Governor DeSantis is saying the same thing. We need more people who can relate to those who aren’t being vaccinated to get out there and persuade them to get vaccinated, as well as trustworthy community messengers.”
Republicans’ shift in strategy corresponds with new COVID-19 outbreaks in every state. The growth has been attributed to the country’s stagnant vaccination rate, particularly among conservatives, as well as the introduction of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, such as the Delta form. According to Fauci, unvaccinated people accounted for 99 percent of the disease’s deaths in June.
In response to the increase in cases, Fauci told Tapper that he and his colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are debating whether to reinstate mask requirements, even for those who have been vaccinated. He also stated that the current CDC recommendations are flexible, allowing local governments to enact their own mask laws in response to increased instances.
“The CDC agrees with that capacity and judgment to say, you know, we’re in a scenario where there are a lot of infectious dynamics,” Fauci added. “You should wear a mask even if you have been vaccinated. That’s a local decision that’s not in conflict with the CDC’s overarching recommendations, which offer municipalities a lot of leeway.”
This recent shift in policy by a few lawmakers and individuals has not gone unnoticed, particularly among conservatives. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who served under former President Donald Trump, slammed the vaccine support. This is a condensed version of the information.