McConnell says he will get coronavirus vaccine in ‘coming days’

Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he will receive the coronavirus vaccine in the days ahead.

“Because of government continuity requirements, I have been informed by the Office of the Attending Physician that I am eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which I will accept in the coming days,” McConnell said Thursday.

“Even with a vaccine, I will continue following [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC guidelines by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing my hands frequently,” McConnell added. “I would strongly encourage everyone to continue following these important guidelines. It is the only way we will defeat COVID-19 once and for all.”

McConnell reiterated his concerns about skepticism surrounding the vaccine or reluctance to take it, invoking his own history as a polio survivor.

“As a polio survivor, I know both the fear of a disease and the extraordinary promise of hope that vaccines bring,” he said. “I truly hope all Kentuckians and Americans will heed this advice and accept this safe and effective vaccine.”

Former presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton have all vowed to take the vaccine publicly to boost confidence in its safety. Vice President Pence has also said he will be vaccinated publicly, and President-elect Joe Biden is expected to receive it publicly as early as next week.

“I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden said this week. “When I do it, I’ll do it publicly, so you can all witness my getting it done.”  

McConnell previously expressed concern about skepticism surrounding the vaccine earlier in the week.

“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.

Tags Barack Obama Bill Clinton Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine Joe Biden Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell Vaccine

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