July 26, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Amid frantic warnings from the White House and mainstream media outlets alleging that “misinformation” about COVID-19 shots is “literally killing people,” a series of high-profile conservative figures have also become vocal about encouraging Americans to get the shot.
While many of the conservatives have long supported the jab, the recent remarks signal a heightening of rhetoric promoting the experimental injections on both sides of the political aisle.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters, “These shots need to get in everybody’s arm as rapidly as possible, or we’re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for that we went through last year.”
McConnell thus indicated his view that failure to vaccinate all Americans would lead to a repeat of last year’s lockdowns which crippled the economy, deprived Americans of fundamental liberties, and contributed to a 30% increase in overdose deaths.
A stern warning from @LeaderMcConnell “these shots need to get in everybody’s arm as rapidly as possible or we are going to be back in a situation in the fall, that we don’t yearn for, that we were in last year.”
— Allison Pecorin (@AllisonMPecorin) July 20, 2021
On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) of Alabama, whom former President Donald Trump called “one of the best” and who has banned vaccine passports in her state, told members of the media it was “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks.”
Ivey said getting the experimental gene therapy drug was “common sense” and the “unvaccinated folks are letting us down.”
Asked what it will take to up the vaccination rate in Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) snaps: “I don’t know, you tell me! Folks supposed to have common sense. It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks.”
(For more context, Ivey signed a ban on vaccine passports back in May.) pic.twitter.com/ZUMVDm4QHi
— The Recount (@therecount) July 23, 2021
Ivey also lashed out at members of conservative media who have questioned the hastily produced experimental jabs, to which rising rates of serious injury and death have been attributed.
Data released last week from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) recorded 491,218 total adverse events in the United States following injections of experimental COVID-19 shots from all manufacturers, including 11,405 deaths and 36,015 hospitalizations between Dec. 14, 2020, and July 16, 2021.
“Media, I want you to start reporting the facts,” Ivey said. “The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100 percent of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks.”
The statistic Ivey is referencing appears to come from a June 29 Associated Press article. In the piece, the AP cited former COVID-19 adviser to the Biden administration Andy Slavitt, who suggested that 98% to 99% of the Americans dying of the coronavirus are unvaccinated. It is unclear where Slavitt got the statistic.
The AP itself admitted that the “CDC itself has not estimated what percentage of hospitalizations and deaths are in fully vaccinated people, citing limitations in the data.”
The AP reporters who penned the piece later corrected the number of hospital admissions they had reported, decreasing the tally from 853,000 to 107,000. They also adjusted the initially reported percentage of hospitalized people who had been vaccinated to 1.1%, instead of 0.1%.
Ivey and McConnell were not the only GOP members to ramp up the rhetoric about vaccination.
On July 21, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has garnered significant support among conservatives for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, banning vaccine passports, eliminating mask-mandates, and promising to never again implement job-killing and socially-isolating COVID-19 containment measures, gave a press conference encouraging COVID-19 vaccination, arguing that “these vaccines are saving lives.”
“These vacines are saving lives”
In his most direct effort to encourage people to get vaccinated, Governor Ron DeSantis said 95% of the new COVID cases are those who are not vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/3RzHYEH1mI
— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) July 21, 2021
DeSantis has long supported making COVID-19 vaccines available, but has routinely insisted that the shots remain a choice. “We were not going to force you to do it,” DeSantis said in March. “We always wanted to say, ‘we provide it for all, mandate it for none.’”
The Florida governor has consistently opposed mandating the shots. While there are no indications that he would change his position, his encouragement of vaccination comes amid a cacophony of other conservative voices which have begun to emphatically encourage Americans to get the jab.
As LifeSite reported, conservative FOX News host Sean Hannity also joined the chorus, saying Monday, “I believe in the science of vaccination,” adding, “Just like we’ve been saying, please take COVID seriously.” Hannity emphasized that “it absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated.”
SEAN HANNITY: “Please take Covid seriously. I can't say it enough. Enough people have died. We don't need any more death. Research like crazy. Talk to your doctor… I believe in science. I believe in the science of vaccination.” pic.twitter.com/tOi5ebpqSf
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 20, 2021
After a media firestorm in which many argued Hannity was telling Americans to get the experimental shot, Hannity clarified on Friday that he simply meant to encourage Americans to “take it seriously,” “research,” and “talk to your doctor.”
“Let me say this one more time for all the idiots in the media mob to hear loudly and clearly,” Hannity said. “I am not a doctor. I will not dispense medical advice without a license.”
It remains to be seen whether most conservatives will continue to stand against vaccine mandates and other coercive strategies even as they promote electing to take the experimental drugs.
Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro, who has been a staunch supporter of personal liberty and pushed back against draconian lockdowns and mask-mandates, has long advocated for Americans to wear masks and was open about getting the jab himself.
On Tuesday, he took issue with an article in The Atlantic for suggesting that he was not always enthusiastic about the shots.
This piece suggests I have suddenly become enthusiastic about vaccination. That's ridiculous. I've been pro-vaccination from the very first day, overtly and repeatedly and loudly. https://t.co/wVyO14eB6D
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 20, 2021
The Atlantic has subsequently updated its reporting.
In a later tweet, Shapiro clearly spoke up for personal freedom regarding vaccination, noting that “[e]very adult has had the opportunity to get the vaccine,” and adding that “[a]dults can make their own decisions and live with the consequences. Freedom matters.”
Every adult has had the opportunity to get the vaccine. Serious cases springing from breakthrough illness are extraordinarily rare. This is not about the honor system any longer. Adults can make their own decisions and live with the consequences. Freedom matters. https://t.co/JoYGE0foil
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 23, 2021
As LifeSite reported on July 12, a British government “variant” report shows that 68% of the recent COVID deaths with the Delta “variant of concern” in the United Kingdom were among the vaccinated. More than half are among the fully vaccinated. There were 10,834 cases of “breakthrough COVID” – coronavirus infection in people who had already received two doses of COVID vaccine. 116 of them died. More than 26,000 people had received one dose of vaccine tested positive for COVID with the Delta variant.
In America, the government stopped counting these “breakthrough COVID” cases when the numbers exceeded 10,000 and the deaths among the fully vaccinated from COVID-19 hit 535.
In Israel, it was reported June 29 that the vaccine was failing and most new cases of COVID were in the vaccinated. Roughly 60% of the patients in serious conditions had been vaccinated and, according to Hebrew University researchers advising the government, around 90% of newly infected people over the age of 50 are fully vaccinated.
As high-profile American conservatives continue to push experimental coronavirus shots to their base, reports to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) – the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. – of deaths and injuries following the injections are about to hit 500,000. Children’s Health Defense noted on July 23 that these reports include a 13-year-old boy dying of an enlarged heart following vaccination; 2,127 reports of anaphylaxis among 12- to 17-year-olds with 99% of cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine; and 383 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis (heart inflammation) with 379 cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine.