Fauci 'heartened' to see top Republicans encouraging vaccinations

Fauci 'heartened' to see top Republicans encouraging vaccinations
© New York Times/Pool

Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciWhite House offers to answer Nicki Minaj's questions about COVID vaccine Trinidad health minister shoots down Minaj claims about vaccines Majorities in new poll support requiring proof of vaccine to fly, enter arenas MORE, President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE’s chief medical adviser, said on Sunday that he was “heartened” to see a number of top Republican officials encouraging vaccinations.

Fauci, during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” singled out House Republican Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Republicans ask FDA for details on any White House pressure on boosters MORE (R-La.), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida landlord requiring proof of vaccinations from tenants Anthrax was the COVID-19 of 2001 Governors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight MORE (R) and Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Biden's .5 trillion plan will likely have to shrink Sunday shows - Manchin says he won't vote for .5 trillion bill GOP governor: Biden's vaccine mandate 'increases the division' MORE (R) for their recent remarks that supported vaccinations.

“I was very heartened to hear people like Steve Scalise come out and say, ‘Hey we need to get vaccinated.’ Even Gov. DeSantis right now in Florida is saying the same thing. We've got to get more people who relate well to the individuals who are not getting vaccinated to get out there and encourage them to get vaccinated as well as the trusted messengers in the community,” Fauci told host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOvernight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Fauci responds to Nicki Minaj's vaccine worries Tapper presses top Biden aide on Afghanistan: 'How are you going to get those Americans out?' MORE.

“It’s really an outbreak among the unvaccinated. So this is an issue, predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we're out there practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated. That's the reason why it's very heartening and positive to hear people like Gov. Asa Hutchinson and others to go out there in their own state and say, ‘Hey let's get vaccinated because that's really the solution to this,’” Fauci said at a separate point in the interview.

The U.S. has seen an increase in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, as the country’s vaccination rate holds steady. The rise in cases, which is being driven primarily by the highly infectious delta variant, have mainly occurred in those who have not been inoculated.

Fauci last week said more than 99 percent of the people who died from COVID-19 in June were not vaccinated. He also said the loss of life was “avoidable and preventable.”

A number of Republicans have become more vocal in encouraging vaccinations in recent weeks, as concerns rise regarding the newest surge and the delta variant.

Scalise last week announced that he ultimately decided to get vaccinated, saying in an interview that “especially with the delta variant becoming a lot more aggressive and seeing another spike, it was a good time to do it.”

“When you talk to people who run hospitals, in New Orleans or other states, 90 percent of people in hospital with delta variant have not been vaccinated. That’s another signal the vaccine works,” he added, according to Nola.com.

The Republican House whip said he received his first shot last Sunday.

DeSantis endorsed getting vaccinated last week, saying during a press conference that the shots “are saving lives."

"They are reducing mortality,” he added.

“If you look at the people that are being admitted to hospitals …. over 95 percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all,” he said.

Hutchinson, meanwhile, called on his constituents to get inoculated last month, writing on Twitter, “The overwhelming majority of COVID patients in the hospital have not been vaccinated. These vaccines are effective, but we need more Arkansans to get the shot.”