LOUISVILLE, Ky -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his fellow Republicans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 during a visit to a western Kentucky hospital Thursday.
“As a Republican man, I wasn’t reluctant to get it when I was eligible and I would encourage everybody to do that,” he said. "The sooner we can get to 75%, to herd immunity, and get our economy up and open, the better."
Flanked by Owensboro Health Regional Hospital administrators, the senator also discussed COVID-19 relief and the state’s vaccine distribution.
A March poll from The Associated Press -NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 42% of Republicans say they probably or definitely will not get the shot, compared with 17% of Democrats.
Still, in stops across Kentucky this week, Sen. McConnell has been encouraging the Republican-leaning state’s residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Kentucky will open up vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older starting Monday. Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, has said that while demand in some parts of the state remains high, appointment slots in others continue to go unfilled.
Hudspeth Blackburn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.