Here's why GOP lawmakers are really scrambling to raise awareness about the vaccine

Here's why GOP lawmakers are really scrambling to raise awareness about the vaccine
Congressman Steve Scalise speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo via Gage Skidmore.

Republican lawmakers are now scrambling to get behind efforts to promote the COVID-19 vaccine after several months of sowing seeds of doubt about its efficacy and safety.

With the rapid spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus, Republican-led conspiracy theories are being refuted left and right. From the conspiracy suggesting that COVID is a hoax to the endless horror stories about the possible side effects of the vaccine, there have been tons of misinformation campaigns that have deterred Americans from getting vaccinated.

However, things are a bit different now. According to HuffPost, a large number of Republicans are now backpedaling and expressing urgency about the vaccine. Reps. Andy Harris (R-Md.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), and a few others have even spoken publicly to raise awareness about the importance of Americans being vaccinated.

"We urge all Americans to talk to their doctors about the risks of COVID, talk to their doctors of the benefits of getting vaccinated and then come to a decision that's right for them about the vaccine," said Harris, a doctor who also serves as the co-chair of the House Republican Doctors Caucus. "If you are at risk, you should be getting this vaccine."

Scalise also made headlines earlier this week when he decided to get vaccinated. He also explained the reason behind his decision as he pointed out that most of the current cases are in unvaccinated individuals.

"I've talked to the hospital directors in my state, and over 98% of the people that are being admitted to hospitals right now for COVID are unvaccinated," Scalise said, "and I just felt this was the right time to get that extra level of protection and also thought it was important to publicly encourage people."

He added, "Ultimately it's everybody's choice and, you know, if they have questions, talk to their doctor, but at the same time it's safe and effective and I'm glad I got it."

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) also weighed in as he acknowledged that unvaccinated individuals are currently more at risk.

"If you weren't scared of the original COVID, you shouldn't be scared of the delta," Hudson told HuffPost. "I think most of the outbreak we're seeing is non-vaccinated people, but even among the non-vaccinated, the hospitalization and death rates are extremely low."

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