With members of his party still among the most hesitant to get vaccinated against coronavirus and his colleagues oftentimes sowing confusion, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is escalating his efforts to promote vaccination to Republicans, announcing a radio campaign Wednesday targeting his constituents in Kentucky.
In an interview with Reuters, McConnell reiterated his concerns about low vaccination rates in Republican-led states—many of which are now being rocked by surging numbers of infections due to the delta variant.
“Not enough people are vaccinated,” said the Kentucky Republican, who blamed misinformation about the jab he said is coming from “all over the place.”
McConnell said he is actively working to combat “bad advice” and announced his re-election campaign will be funding a slew of radio ads to promote vaccines in Kentucky.
A 60-second advertisement of the vaccines will play on more than 100 radio stations in Kentucky in the coming days, according to the Republican leader.
“We’re trying to get them to reconsider and get back on the path to get us some level of herd immunity,” McConnell said of vaccine-hesitant Americans.
McConnell has broken from a significant portion of his caucus in his endorsements of the coronavirus vaccines over the past few months. For a long time, many Republicans in Congress were either quiet in terms of promoting the shot, or actively sowed doubt about its safety and efficacy. However, the messaging has undergone a tone shift in the past couple of weeks, as a growing number of Republicans started publicly urging vaccinations.
40%. That’s how many Republicans are still hesitant about getting a Covid-19 vaccine or refuse to get one, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll released Tuesday. The poll identified the Republicans most likely to refuse the jab as those who consume far-right television news (46% said they won’t get vaccinated).