Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.) is blaming “bad advice” for lower vaccination rates, adding that there are not enough people vaccinated in the U.S.
"There is bad advice out there, you know. Apparently you see that all over the place: people practicing medicine without a license, giving bad advice. And that bad advice should be ignored," McConnell told Reuters.
"Not enough people are vaccinated," he added. "So we're trying to get them to reconsider and get back on the path to get us to some level of herd immunity."
Surges in coronavirus cases across the U.S. are prompting new restrictions to be put in place, such as fully vaccinated individuals wearing masks in areas with high transmission.
McConnell, who has been promoting the vaccine since he got the shot in December, will be running radio ads across his state encouraging residents to get vaccinated.
Republican Alabama Gov. Jay Ivey said last week it’s “time to start blaming the unvaccinated” for the rise in cases and that they are “letting us down.”
“These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle and self-inflicted pain,” Ivey said. “You know we’ve got to get folks to take the shot. The vaccine is the greatest weapon we have to fight COVID, there’s no question about that, the data proves it.”
McConnell told Reuters he was “encouraged” by Ivey’s remarks in a Washington Post article this week where she blamed “fake news and conspiracy theories” for low vaccination rates.
The U.S. has 49 percent of its population fully vaccinated as vaccinations nationwide have slowed down as COVID-19 cases have gone up.