COVID-19 was never meant to be partisan issue. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit while Donald Trump was still in office. And fearing that the fallout could affect his reelection chances, Trump chose to politicize the issue.
Joining the former president in pushing COVID disinfo were cable networks like Fox, Newsmax and OAN. In addition, politicians like Rand Paul, Marjorie Ron Johnson and Madison Crawthorn have made is so their constituents were less likely to get inoculated.
When Mitch McConnell was asked about vaccine hesitancy among Republicans on Thursday, he acted surprised. He told reporters, “I’m perplexed by the reluctance of some to get vaccinated, totally perplexed.”
It’s not hard to see, though, why Republicans may be confused about the inoculation. Rand Paul, the other senator from McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, has been a major pusher of COVID disinformation. Paul, who contracted COVID early in the pandemic, has said that he will not be vaccinated.
This wasn’t the only news the senate minority leader made on Thursday. He also talked about checking Joe Biden in 2022. McConnell told reporters, “What I want you to know is if I become the majority leader again it’s not for stopping everything. It’s for stopping the worst. It’s for stopping things that fundamentally push the country into a direction that at least my party feels is not a good idea for the country. And I could make sure Biden makes his promise … to be a moderate.”