GOP Rep. Steve Scalise Finally Gets COVID-19 Vaccine, Says It’s ‘Safe And Effective’

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) acquired the COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday after months of holding off, encouraging those that are hesitant to get vaccinated amid one other rising wave of infections.

At the start of April, the Louisiana Republican had stated he would get vaccinated “soon,” and gave the identical reply a month later. Scalise lastly received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine this previous weekend at a clinic in Jefferson Parish, in accordance with NOLA.com.

“Especially with the delta variant becoming a lot more aggressive and seeing another spike, it was a good time to do it,” the No. 2 House Republican informed the outlet in explaining why it took him so lengthy to get vaccinated.

“When you talk to people who run hospitals, in New Orleans or other states, 90% of people in [the] hospital with [the] delta variant have not been vaccinated,” he continued. “That’s another signal the vaccine works.”

Scalise additionally stated he waited partly as a result of he had examined constructive for COVID-19 antibodies and believed he had current immunity from what was seemingly a light case of the virus.

While public well being officers have stated that antibodies from contracting the virus could present some safety, they don’t seem to be a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine.

New COVID-19 instances have been rising considerably since May due to the extraordinarily contagious delta variant. Cases have surged this month, with a median of 35,547 new instances as of Monday, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overwhelming majority of latest instances are among the many unvaccinated, prompting some areas of the nation to reinstate public well being measures to guard towards the virus’ unfold.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported on Monday that space hospitals have essentially the most COVID-19 sufferers since February, when the lethal winter surge was beginning to reduce. The state is seeing a median of 1,425 new instances per day, a stark enhance from the common 903 instances per day only a week earlier than. 

Scalise informed NOLA.com that the politics of getting vaccinated weren’t a think about his choice. However, the staunch ally of former President Donald Trump has publicly supported conspiracy theories that undermine public well being officers’ efforts to encourage vaccination, together with the baseless accusation that main infectious illness skilled Dr. Anthony Fauci coated up the virus’ origin.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News ballot earlier this month, 86% of Democratic respondents stated they’d acquired at the very least one vaccine dose, in comparison with 45% of Republican respondents. About 47% of Republican respondents stated they aren’t prone to get vaccinated, in comparison with 6% of Democrats. Scalise stated that whereas he would encourage individuals to get vaccinated, he doesn’t consider it ought to be necessary.

“It’s safe and effective,” Scalise stated. “It was heavily tested on thousands of people before the FDA gave its approval. Some people believe that it might have been rushed. That’s not the case.”

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