Some GOP members of Congress are still pushing vaccine misinformation.
Punchbowl News reported a roundup of House Republicans raising doubts about the vaccine.
The lawmakers attacked Biden’s latest approach to get people vaccinated.
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Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and some high profile congressional Republicans are still pushing dangerous lies about the virus and its vaccine.
Punchbowl News reported a roundup of House Republicans who have stoked fears about the COVID-19 vaccine by attacking President Joe Biden’s latest approach to get more Americans vaccinated.
Biden announced earlier this month that as mass vaccination sites shut down, “We need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door – literally knocking on doors – to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.”
Several conservative members of Congress responded to Biden’s statement by wildly misrepresenting the effort and denouncing it is an example of government overreach.
“Don’t come knocking on my door with your ‘Fauci ouchie,'” freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas earlier this month, per Punchbowl. “You leave us the hell alone.”
“There’s a sheriff in one of the counties I represent in Texas, who just told a crowd, if any of these vaccine feds come up to your property, you kick them off and I’ll be there to defend you and back you up,” Rep. Chip Roy of Texas told Fox News host Tucker Carlson last week.
One Republican member, Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, falsely claimed on Twitter that the “Biden administration wants to knock down your door KGB-style to force people to get vaccinated.”
Rep. Mike Garcia of California also slammed the Biden administration’s strategy in a tweet, writing: “We can’t continue to infringe upon people’s Constitutional rights under the guise of public health.”
The federal government is not carrying out any sort of vaccine check or requiring a so-called vaccine passport, but that has not stopped GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona from falsely claiming that it is. He told Fox News the “door-to-door vaccine checks on Americans are a blatant abuse of government authority and a pure power play by the Biden administration.”
Some Republicans have gone a step further and pushed basless conspiracies about government officials stripping away people’s rights. “Now they’re talking about going door-to-door to take vaccines to the people,” Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina told the Right Side Broadcasting Network at CPAC. “Then think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could then go door-to-door to take your guns. They could then go door-to-door to take your Bibles.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was suspended from Twitter for 12 hours on Monday after she posted false claims about the virus and vaccination programs. The controversial Georgia Republican wrote that COVID-19 is “not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65” and therefore “should not be forced on our military” – a tweet that the social media platform deemed “misleading.”
Older people and those with obesity are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But younger adults and individuals without medical conditions can still contract the disease and get seriously sick or die from it.
The GOP condemnation comes as the US continues its battle against the virus. Nationwide, confirmed coronavirus cases are up about 70%, hospitalizations have increased by 36% and deaths have climbed by 26%, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An overwhelming majority of the cases – 97% – are coming from unvaccinated individuals, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing on Friday.
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” she said.
Recent national polling found that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they won’t get vaccinated.
One Washington Post/ABC News survey showed that 47 percent of Republicans say they are not likely to get the vaccine, and 38 percent of them say they definitely won’t. That’s compared to just 6 percent of Democrats who say they are not likely to get the shot.
The data also shows that GOP-leaning areas in the US have lower vaccination rates than places that tend to vote Democratic.
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