Even as they continue to oppose mandates and fight against measures that could reduce the spread of COVID-19, Republicans in leadership positions are beginning to shift their message. While the party says they won’t support mandatory vaccines, many individual elected officials are beginning to really urge their constituents to make the decision on their own to get vaccinated.
Governor Ron DeSantis, of Florida, for example, recently told Floridians that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was the best way to avoid ending up hospitalized with COVID-19, although at the same time, he enacted a ban that would forbid local school districts from mandating masks for students.
Now West Virginia Governor Jim Justice can be added to the list of GOP officials begging their constituents to make the decision to be vaccinated.
“More people will die.”
— Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) urges residents: “it’s time, absolutely, to be vaccinated.” pic.twitter.com/zbL977AD2I
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2021
“With 5,949 active cases in West Virginia, more people will die….It’s time to be on your toes, West Virginia. It’s time, absolutely to be vaccinated.”
Currently the Delta variant is hitting the nation hard, filling up hospitals and ICUs at the same time that schools are reopening to begin a new year.
Other Republican elected representatives have spoken out against their colleagues who ban mask mandates, and increasingly, they are urging their supporters to make a wise medical decision and protect themselves and those around them by taking available precautions.
However, these pushes have been decried as “too little, too late,” after right-wing politicians and media influencers have speaknt the past year pushing COVID-denial, anti-mask and anti-vax ideologies, and conspiracy theories.
What's Your Reaction?
Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com