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McConnell says he will 'absolutely' take vaccine to reassure public

McConnell says he will 'absolutely' take vaccine to reassure public
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop Harry Reid 'not particularly optimistic' Biden will push to eliminate filibuster Senators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he would be willing to publicly take the COVID-19 vaccine to build confidence in its safety once he is eligible to receive it.

McConnell, speaking to reporters, noted his own status as a survivor of polio before that vaccine was developed in the 1950s.

“I’m a huge supporter of being vaccinated when you have a substance that you know works,” he said. “And so whenever my turn comes, I’m going to be anxious to take the vaccine and do my part to reassure those who are doubtful about this, that we really need to get the country vaccinated.”

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The majority leader also referenced recent polling indicating skepticism of the vaccine’s safety.

“When you have about half of the population either skeptical or saying they won’t do it, that’s not good news so I think all of us who do have at least some following in the country need to step up as the former presidents are and as I’m sure people in the entertainment world will as well to encourage people to do this,” he said.

Former Presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMcConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' The Memo: Biden strives for common ground after Trump turmoil MORE, George W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaNASA demonstrates why rocket science is still hard with the SLS test Joe Biden might bring 'unity' – to the Middle East Extremism in the U.S. military MORE have all said they will take the vaccine publicly to build trust. Both McConnell’s and the former presidents’ pledges come amid polling indicating a substantial minority of Americans are skeptical or reluctant to take it, with the share as high as 25 percent in a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

However, the same poll also found that the share of Americans willing to take the vaccine is up, with 71 percent saying they will definitely or probably get it, compared to 63 percent in September.