GOP Utah Gov. Spencer Cox: Vaccine hesitancy 'literally killing' people

GOP Utah Gov. Spencer Cox: Vaccine hesitancy 'literally killing' people
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Utah's Republican Gov. Spencer Cox is pressing his state's residents to get vaccinated for the coronavirus, saying that vaccine hesitancy is “literally killing” people.

Cox said at a press conference that Republicans should be taking credit for the vaccine being developed so quickly under former President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE, but says the GOP can't take the credit if it does not now promote getting vaccinated, Deseret News reported.

“But I don’t think we can take credit for getting the vaccine and then tell people there’s something wrong with the vaccine and you shouldn’t get it. That just doesn’t make sense to me,” Cox said. “We have these talking heads who have gotten the vaccine and are telling other people not to get the vaccine.”

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It “is ridiculous. It’s dangerous. It’s damaging. And it’s killing people. It’s literally killing their supporters and that makes no sense to me,” Cox added.

Utah has been one of the fastest states to vaccinate its residents as it is close to the 70 percent threshold experts say is needed for herd immunity.

The governor previously apologized for a calculation error this week that stated the state hit 70 percent when the real number was just over 67 percent. 

“The plans are just to continue to get people vaccinated. I mean, those are the plans,” Cox said. “Again, that’s the only answer. Vaccines work better than masks, the vaccines work better than social distancing. Vaccines just work and they allow us to do all the other things we want to do. We are absolutely continuing with our efforts.”

In polls among those who have vaccine hesitancy, there is a growing gap in partisanship with Republicans being more skeptical of the vaccine than Democrats.

Officials have said areas that have a large number of unvaccinated individuals are vulnerable to the virus, especially the new delta variant that has caused an increase in cases around the world.