Home Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) obtained 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.
Firstly of April, the Louisiana Republican had mentioned he would get vaccinated “quickly,” and gave the identical reply a month later. Scalise lastly bought his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine this previous weekend at a clinic in Jefferson Parish, according to NOLA.com.
“Particularly with the delta variant changing into much more aggressive and seeing one other spike, it was a very good time to do it,” the No. 2 Home Republican informed the outlet in explaining why it took him so lengthy to get vaccinated.
“If you speak to individuals who run hospitals, in New Orleans or different states, 90% of individuals in [the] hospital with [the] delta variant haven’t been vaccinated,” he continued. “That’s one other sign the vaccine works.”
Scalise additionally mentioned he waited partly as a result of he had examined constructive for COVID-19 antibodies and believed he had current immunity from what was probably a gentle case of the virus.
Whereas public well being officers have mentioned 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 Could due to the extraordinarily contagious delta variant. Instances have surged this month, with a mean of 35,547 new instances as of Monday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overwhelming majority of recent 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 Division of Well being 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 an average of 1,425 new cases per day, a stark improve 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 resolution. Nonetheless, 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 knowledgeable Dr. Anthony Fauci lined up the virus’ origin.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier this month, 86% of Democratic respondents mentioned that they had obtained not less than one vaccine dose, in comparison with 45% of Republican respondents. About 47% of Republican respondents mentioned they aren’t more likely to get vaccinated, in comparison with 6% of Democrats. Scalise mentioned that whereas he would encourage individuals to get vaccinated, he doesn’t consider it needs to be obligatory.
“It’s protected and efficient,” Scalise mentioned. “It was closely examined on 1000’s of individuals earlier than the FDA gave its approval. Some individuals consider that it may need been rushed. That’s not the case.”
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Join membership to grow to be a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter