A Stat on Vaccinations Prompts Plea From Fauci

He asks former President Trump to urge his supporters to get shots
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2021 10:11 AM CDT
Congress Has Access to Vaccines, but 25% Opt Out
In this Feb. 11, 2021, photo, a woman protests the COVID-19 vaccine outside a church-hosted vaccination site in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Every member of the House could be vaccinated by now, but Mike Allen of Axios calls attention to what he views as a "stunning" stat—25% of representatives haven't gotten a shot, or aren't reporting they have if they did. No specifics have been made public about which members have refused the shots or their reasons for doing so, but the figure is delaying a return to normalcy for Congress. More on that and related stories:

  • Generally, Democratic leaders in Congress want the 75% to go higher before they resume a regular schedule on the House floor, per a separate story at Axios. When GOP Minority Whip Steve Scalise argued the figure was already high enough, Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer responded, "It would be a lot simpler if every member had been vaccinated." Democrats are abiding by the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician, which continues to recommend social distancing by House members.

  • A poll by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist shows a clear political spit on vaccinations, reports NPR. Among Republican men, 49% say they don't plan to get a shot, compared with 6% of Democratic men. More specifically, among those who backed former President Trump in the last election, nearly half—47%—say they don't intend to be vaccinated. By contrast, only 10% of Joe Biden supporters say the same.
  • The stat about Trump helps explain why Dr. Anthony Fauci made a public plea on Sunday to the former president to urge his supporters to get shots. "It would be very helpful for the effort for that to happen," Fauci told Chris Wallace on Fox News, per the Hill. "I'm very surprised by the number of Republicans who say they won't get vaccinated." He added, "I just don't get it, Chris, why they don't want to get vaccinated."
  • Facebook, meanwhile, is in the midst of a comprehensive study about those who express doubts about vaccines, reports the Washington Post. One early takeaway: A relatively small group of people seem to be responsible for spreading views that lead to "vaccine hesitancy." While the site forbids posts with false or misleading claims on vaccinations, the Post notes that many posts fall into a "gray area," such as those in which people worry about side effects.
(Read more vaccinations stories.)

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