Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday called on all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, singling out GOP men who appear to be the most reluctant to roll up their sleeves.
“As a Republican man, I wasn’t reluctant to get it when I was eligible, and I would encourage everybody to do that,” Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said at an event in Owensboro.
The senator said there may be some segments of the population who are leery of the shots for “one reason or another.”
However, “there’s no real good reason not to get the vaccination, and the sooner we can get to 75% — the herd immunity — and get our economy up and open, the better,” he said.
Mr. McConnell said people should continue to wear masks and maintain physical distancing in the meantime, with the hope of wrangling the pandemic by early summer.
The senator hailed the development of safe and effective vaccines in less than a year under former President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” as a “modern medical marvel.”
“I was a polio victim as a youngster, and I’m fully aware, as I grew up, how long it took — decades, literally decades — to develop a vaccine to end the polio epidemic,” Mr. McConnell said. “Honestly, I was a little skeptical as to how quickly we could get to a [COVID-19] vaccine.”
He said the COVID-19 shots are highly effective, even better than the flu vaccine, and pointed to bipartisan support for their development in 2020 as he criticized a Biden agenda he views as hyperpartisan.