Story at a glance

  • McConnell is aiming to boost vaccination rates by airing 60-second radio ads on more than 100 stations in the coming days.
  • In the ad, McConnell reportedly recounts his time as a child dealing with polio and the decades it took to develop a vaccine for the disease.
  • McConnell has consistently promoted the utility of vaccines over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) plans to run radio ads across Kentucky urging residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the delta variant and low vaccination rates fuel a surge of new cases, according to the Louisville Courier Journal

The outlet reports McConnell’s campaign is using unspent campaign money to air 60-second radio ads on more than 100 Kentucky radio stations to promote the vaccine in the coming days. 

In the ad, McConnell reportedly recounts his time as a child dealing with polio and the decades it took to develop a vaccine for the disease. 

“This time, thanks to American investment and ingenuity — and especially thanks to the tireless work of our scientists, doctors and health care heroes — it took less than a year for us to develop three highly-effective COVID vaccines,” McConnell says in the ad, according to the Courier Journal. 

“If you haven’t been vaccinated, do the right thing for you — for your family — and get vaccinated right now,” he said. 

Just 45 percent of the population in Kentucky is fully vaccinated with about 52 percent receiving at least one dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


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McConnell has consistently promoted the utility of vaccines over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, while many Republican lawmakers and conservative media pundits have remained reluctant to confront vaccine misinformation and skepticism. 

In an interview with Reuters, McConnell blamed misinformation for lagging vaccination rates. 

“There is bad advice out there, you know. Apparently you see that all over the place: people practicing medicine without a license, giving bad advice. And that bad advice should be ignored,” he told Reuters. 

“Not enough people are vaccinated,” he said. “So we’re trying to get them to reconsider and get back on the path to get us to some level of herd immunity.” 


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Published on Jul 28, 2021