search
Sections List
American Journal News

McConnell: 'I don't think it serves any particular purpose' to call out vaccine lies

The Senate Republican Leader suddenly doesn’t think it is useful to criticize others.

By Josh Israel - August 30, 2021
Share
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked on Monday why he has not called out members of his caucus for their dangerous anti-mask and anti-vaccine rhetoric. The Kentucky Republican said he did not think speaking out against other people was helpful.

“I don’t think it serves any particular purpose to start criticizing others,” told a reporter at a University of Kentucky event. “I think the best thing for me to do is to say how I feel about it and try to encourage those people who care what I think to do the right thing.”

McConnell, who just Tuesday accused President Joe Biden of “cutting and running from Afghanistan” in “a colossal failure, even by the Administration’s own metrics,” has endorsed face masks and vaccination as ways to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

But many members of his Republican caucus have been actively undermining efforts to curb the spread of the virus and have pushed misinformation.

In December, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin invited an anti-vaccine doctor to testify before a Senate committee on hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial medication shown to be unhelpful and possibly dangerous as a COVID-19 treatment. In May, he objected to “indiscriminate vaccination” against the virus, and in June, he held an event to highlight the supposed health dangers of inoculation.

“This misinformation is putting people at risk and already hurting people,” one Wisconsin physician said at the time.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial board called Johnson “the most irresponsible representative of Wisconsin citizens since the infamous Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy in the 1950s.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has incorrectly called mask requirements “antiscience.” He refused to get vaccinated himself, citing his “natural immunity,” and urged other people who have already had COVID-19 to ignore expert advice and skip vaccination.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (TN) said in July that mask requirements are “about power, not science.” On Aug. 18, she falsely claimed that “emotional, psychological, physical health issues that have arisen from children wearing masks.” The American Academy of Pediatricians has recommended “everyone older than age 2 wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.”

Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy told Fox News on Aug. 5 that the COVID-19 is safe and effective, but “if you don’t want to take the vaccine, don’t take it.”

Beyond just rhetoric, several GOP senators have proposed legislation to undermine mask and vaccine requirements. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota filed bills on Aug. 9 prohibiting both.

“My view on vaccines is simple. I got the vaccine because it was the right choice for me. But I also believe in individual freedom,” Cruz explained.

“Efforts by the Biden Administration and its allies to bully or force people to comply with mask and vaccine mandates — even though their guidance has been inconsistent and haphazard throughout the pandemic — will only succeed at infringing upon the rights of the American people,” Cramer added.

Through his leadership PAC, McConnell has contributed thousands to each of those colleagues.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

Abortion care and transgender health care are ‘parallel struggles’ in 2024 legislation

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - February 16, 2024
Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers

Jackson bill seeks to lower the price of insulin, ease access for nonprofit manufacturers

By Evan Popp, Maine Morning Star - February 14, 2024
Oregon lawmakers look for ways to curb prescription costs 

Oregon lawmakers look for ways to curb prescription costs 

By Ben Botkin, Oregon Capital Chronicle - February 12, 2024
Hispanic and teen fertility rates increase after abortion restrictions

Hispanic and teen fertility rates increase after abortion restrictions

By Eleanor Klibanoff, Texas Tribune - January 26, 2024
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024