Republican doctors and health pros in Congress promoted the COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday as safe and effective tools to wind down the pandemic and “end the government’s restrictions on our freedoms.”
The public-service announcement from Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas, John Barrasso of Wyoming, John Boozman of Arkansas and seven House Republicans does not mention former President Donald Trump by name but highlights his efforts to shepherd multiple vaccines to approval in under a year.
“Operation Warp Speed brought us safe and effective vaccines and all in record time,” Rep. John Joyce, a medical doctor from Pennsylvania, says in the two-minute video that rotates among the GOP participants.
“The process was rigorous and transparent, and a process that I personally followed very, very closely,” Rep. Brian Babin, a dentist from Texas, says.
The PSA is a notable addition to public efforts to spark widespread immunity and regain a sense of normalcy.
A series of polls suggest Republicans — especially GOP men —are among the most hesitant to get the vaccine, and red states are reporting a lag in demand that leaves vaccine appointments unfilled even though every U.S. adult is now eligible for the shots.
The Biden White House has acknowledged that it might not be the best messenger in getting Trump supporters vaccinated. Instead, it has tried to enlist trusted groups and local doctors to explain the vaccines and their benefits.
The Republicans’ PSA notes that Americans have the right to choose whether to get vaccinated but that doctors, nurses and pharmacists recommend the shots, and more than 90% of doctors in the U.S. have chosen to get vaccinated themselves.
Mr. Marshall asks Americans to join them in “choosing to receive the vaccine so we can throw away our masks and live life as free as we did before.”
Other Republicans involved in the effort are Reps. Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Michael Burgess of Texas, Andy Harris of Maryland, Greg Murphy of North Carolina and Buddy Carter, a pharmacist from Georgia.