Speed Reads

history repeats itself

McConnell implores unvaccinated Americans to get shots 'as rapidly as possible'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pleading with unvaccinated Americans to get their COVID-19 shot — or else, he warns, history is going to repeat itself.

On Tuesday, McConnell, a polio survivor who has encouraged vaccinations before but not with quite this intensity, said it "never occurred" to him that after "three highly-effective vaccines were developed in under a year that we'd have difficulty getting Americans to take the shots. But that's obviously where we are." High-profile members of McConnell's own party, as well as conservative news hosts have, for months, erroneously denounced the COVID-19 vaccines as unsafe and ineffective.

McConnell added that he wants to "underscore in the strongest possible manner I can ..." that "these shots need to get in everybody's arm as rapidly as possible, or we're gonna be back in a situation in the fall ... that we went through last year."

As misinformation surrounding the coronavirus vaccines continues to spread, the Biden administration has urged hesitant Americans to abandon partisan inclinations and treat what the country is seeing now as a "pandemic of the unvaccinated." The highly contagious Delta variant now accounts for 83 percent of known U.S. COVID-19 cases, and the increase is "primarily occurring in areas with lower vaccination coverage," per The Wall Street Journal