Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) urged fellow Republican men to get vaccinated on Monday, when he spoke at a Kentucky event. “As a Republican man, as soon as it was my turn, I took the vaccine,” he said. “I would encourage all Republican men to do that… take the vaccination.” McConnell himself received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 18.
In his speech, McConnell discussed the efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines. “Two of ‘em are 90 percent effective,” he said. “One of ‘em is 70 percent effective, and I didn’t realize until this pandemic began that the flu shot is only 50 percent effective, and a whole lot of people get the flu shot. So there’s no good argument not to get the vaccination. I would encourage all men, regardless of party affiliation, to get the vaccination.”
Reports have shown that a large percentage of GOP men do not plan on receiving the vaccine. Indeed, a PBS NewsHour-NPR-Marist poll found that 49% of Republican men would not receive the vaccine. For context, around 87% of Democrats said they had either already gotten, or planned to get, vaccinated.