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Politics Fauci praises GOP encouraging vaccines: 'A very good thing'

23:21  22 july  2021
23:21  22 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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Anthony Fauci said Republicans who are now encouraging Americans to get vaccinated are doing "a very good thing" to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as misinformation about vaccines.

Anthony S. Fauci wearing a suit and tie: coronavirus COVID-19 community spread fauci business insider interview 2021 mid 2022 pre-pandemic normal levels vaccine public health protocols adhere moderna astrazeneca © Getty Images coronavirus COVID-19 community spread fauci business insider interview 2021 mid 2022 pre-pandemic normal levels vaccine public health protocols adhere moderna astrazeneca

In an interview with The Hill, Fauci said he was glad to hear some top GOP leaders be more outspoken in recent days about the importance of receiving a life-saving vaccine.

The top immunologist was especially pleased by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise's (R-La.) new remarks. Scalise revealed that he got his initial dose of Pfizer this past weekend, citing an uptick in cases linked to the delta variant. He called the shot "safe and effective."

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On Thursday, Scalise, the second highest-ranking GOP member of the House, went a step further by explicitly instructing people to protect themselves.

"I would encourage people to get the vaccine," he said during an outdoor press event with fellow Republican officeholders.

To Fauci, it was a welcome message.

"I was very pleased to hear Congressman Scalise ... make that statement about vaccines," he said. "That was very helpful."

For months, many Republicans have downplayed the public health benefits of getting vaccinated. Some GOP lawmakers have even been accused of spreading misinformation online. There is currently no unified message from the party.

Asked if Scalise's public posture might help persuade others who may have been reluctant to take their first or second dose, Fauci suggested it's a "positive" development in the dialogue.

"There's no doubt when you look at the distribution of unvaccinated people it certainly weighs very much more heavily towards Republicans in red states," he said.

"I think when they see a Republican leader like Congressman Scalise lean strongly towards people getting vaccinated, I think that's a very positive thing," he added.

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On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did what he has been doing for seven months: he called on Americans to get vaccinated for Covid-19. © AL DRAGO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing about worldwide threats, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 15, 2021.

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This is interesting!