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Kinzinger says GOP fundraising on vaccine mandates are ‘playing on people’s fear’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) speaks to to a reporter outside the House Chamber on Monday, August 23, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Sunday criticized the Republican Party for fundraising off of vaccine mandates, contending that the strategy is “playing on people’s fear.”

Kinzinger told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that GOP governors who have voiced support for vaccines have been “pushed aside by some of those that are out to simply manipulate our base, raise money off of them and not care about their life, only care about what it means for their votes and their bottom line as politicians.”

He said some Republican members of Congress are “putting out fundraising after fundraising email about first it’s going to be a vaccine mandate, next thing the Gestapo is going to show up at your door and take your Bible away.”

“That’s not going to happen, and that’s playing on people’s fear,” he added.

Kinzinger’s comments come days after President Biden announced a new federal vaccine mandate on Thursday that will require all private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations or weekly testing.

The mandate, which could impact almost 80 million workers, will be issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the coming weeks.

Kinzinger on Sunday weighed in on President Biden’s claim on Friday that some GOP governors have been “cavalier” with the health of their constituents, contending that the president “has a point.”

“I think it’s gonna save lives and the failure here comes in leaders that have basically used vaccine status as some tattoo of what political tribe you belong to,” Kinzinger said.

“I mean we all hear stories of people that are in, you know, very red areas that are embarrassed to say they’re vaccinated. That is insane and silly, and that is a problem with leaders, particularly Republican leaders, that don’t stand up and give cover to people and say look this is not what Republicanism or conservatism should be,” he added.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Joe Biden

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