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Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell urges Americans to get vaccinated ASAP — or risk another shutdown

Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is imploring unvaccinated Americans to get the COVID-19 shot or risk repeating last year's shutdown.

What are the details?

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that McConnell urged Americans to ignore what he said was "demonstrably bad advice" from pundits and proponents of an anti-vaccine agenda.

During his weekly Capitol Hill news conference, McConnell said, "If there is anybody out there willing to listen: Get vaccinated. These shots need to get in everybody's arms 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. This is not complicated."

McConnell, a childhood polio survivor, added that it "never occurred" to him that "we'd have difficulty getting Americans to get the shot."

He tweeted a video of his remarks, and captioned it, "Get vaccinated! These shots need to get into arms as rapidly as possible, or else we're gonna be back in a situation this fall like what we went through last year."

At the time of this reporting, the video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

What else?

Last week, McConnell made similar remarks during last week's conference, saying, "I'm perplexed by the difficulty we have in finishing the job. We're in the red zone, but we're not in the end zone yet."

"We need to finish the job and part of it is just convincing the American people of the importance of doing this," he added.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Miss.) joined McConnell during the conference and added, "We are not nearly in as bad of a place as we were, but we're not nearly in as good a place as we would all like to be."

June polling from Fox News found that 55% of Republicans surveyed said that they received the vaccine compared to 78% of Democrats and 59% of independents.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Delta variant now accounts for 83% of known U.S. COVID-19 cases. The increase, the outlet reported, is "primarily occurring in areas with lower vaccination coverage."

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