Ron “Anon” Johnson is at it again. The conspiracy theory-loving Wisconsin Republican, who was infected with COVID-19 last October and refuses to get vaccinated, declared that he is “getting highly suspicious” of President Joe Biden’s push to have Americans get a coronavirus vaccine.In an interview with conservative Wisconsin radio host Vicki McKenna Johnson condemned the concept of “vaccine passports,” which would enable businesses to verify an individual’s vaccination status. Speaking with McKenna, who is a very vocal coronavirus vaccine skeptic, Johnson said he sees “no reason to be pushing vaccines on people,” adding that distribution of the vaccine should be limited to the portion of the population most vulnerable to the virus. Johnson also wondered, “If you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?”
Johnson’s comments run counter to the very public effort of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging Republican men to get vaccinated. Public opinion polling suggests they are the group least likely to do so.
Johnson is one of four Republican senators, along with Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Florida’s Rick Scott and Mike Braun of Indiana, who refuse to get vaccinated. In a March interview Johnson was asked if he would get the vaccine and responded, “No, I had COVID, so I don’t believe, you know, I think that probably provides me the best immunity possible, actually having had the disease.”
Infectious disease experts say Johnson’s opinion is completely invalid, noting that numerous cases of COVID-19 reinfection have been documented around the world since the pandemic began. A nursing intern in the Netherlands with no issues in her immune system contracted COVID-19 in the spring and again in the summer of 2020, with stronger symptoms the second time. A nurse in Ohio got the disease twice, seven months apart. Hundreds more cases have been reported worldwide, although experts say they are widely undercounted.