President Joe Biden has announced that all Americans are now eligible to receive the COVID19 vaccination. But Republicans who refuse the vaccines are actively “working against” efforts to lift the very coronavirus restrictions they insist are an infringement of their civil liberties, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert.
Fauci’s comments on Sunday came as the Biden Administration announced that half of all adults in the US had received at least one vaccine shot, marking another milestone in the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign. Almost 130 million people 18 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 50.4% of the total adult population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. Almost 84 million adults, or about 32.5% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.
Dr. Fauci, who was involved in a heated exchange over the issue with Congressman Jim Jordan (Q-OH) on Thursday, told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday he was frustrated by recent studies showing that up to 45% of Republicans would not take the vaccine.
“The fact that one may not want to get vaccinated, in this case, a disturbingly large proportion of Republicans, only actually works against where they want to be,” he said.
Dr. Fauci's saved countless lives in this pandemic.
Standing up to Jim Jordan? Just another part of his day job.
— Jeff Sites for Congress (@Sites4Congress) April 19, 2021
Fauci said the attitude displayed by the Republican vaccine deniers was “paradoxical”.
“On the one hand, they want to be relieved of the restrictions. On the other hand, they don’t want to get vaccinated, it just almost doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “This is a public health issue, it’s not a civil liberties issue.”
‘You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth’ — Rep. Maxine Waters came to Dr. Fauci and Rep. Clyburn’s defense during his head-to-head with Rep. Jim Jordan pic.twitter.com/VgnCCZCgEm
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 19, 2021
Dr. Fauci’s comments come amid a resurgence of Coronavirus across the US, with an 8% rise in new cases in the last two weeks even as the number of those vaccinated continues to grow. About one in four members of the House of Representatives had not been vaccinated by March, three months after shots were being made available. A list of those who are not vaccinated is not publicly available, but several Republican members of Congress have admitted they do not plan to get the jab.
The world needs more Fauci & less Jordan.
— Morgan J. Freeman (@mjfree) April 18, 2021
Dr. Fauci also said he was certain the Johnson and Johnson vaccine would return to circulation by the end of this week.