Republican United States Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who announced on Monday that he had tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19, told the Associated Press in an interview on Thursday that he had implored former President Donald Trump to encourage his vaccine-wary supporters to get inoculated.
“On Monday, Graham said he had tested positive days after gathering with a handful of Senate colleagues on [West Virginia Democratic] Senator Joe Manchin’s houseboat. That same night, Saturday, Graham said he began experiencing flu-like symptoms,” AP reported.
“Everybody there was vaccinated,” Graham, who was vaccinated in December, said of Manchin’s houseboat party.
Vaccinations, Graham said, are “the antidote to the virus that’s wreaking havoc on our hospitals” and that “I’ve urged him to be aggressive and say, ‘Take the vaccine.'”
Graham recalled that the coronavirus caused him to feel “achy and kind of yucky,” particularly on Monday and Tuesday, which he described as “pretty tough days” and that “it went from sort of a mild sinus infection until just a full-blown, feeling like crap.”
On Thursday, Graham said he had just gotten off the phone with Trump, who had been checking on him every day during his illness. He applauded Trump’s work to develop the vaccine and said he saw vaccinations as necessary for the country to regain its footing.
‘He’s very proud of that accomplishment,’ Graham said. ‘From a conservative person’s point of view, we should do all we can as a nation to get our economy back up and running and to protect our way of life.’
Recognizing that taking the vaccine might be a ‘sacrifice’ for some, Graham said the task paled in comparison with others that have been required of Americans in the past.
‘No one’s being asked to go off to fight radical Islam or fight a foreign enemy. We’re being asked to make responsible medical decisions,’ Graham said. ‘Take the vaccine.’
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.