So far 232 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the United States. Nearly 142 million Americans (54.2 percent of adults over age 18) have received at least one dose, and almost 97 million (37.4 percent of adults) are fully vaccinated. However, the rate of vaccinations in the United States has recently dropped from the April 13 peak of 3.4 million doses to an average of about 2.7 million per day in the last week.
This slowdown might be because the vaccination campaign is running up against people who are more reluctant to take advantage of the protection offered by the vaccines. In a recent CBS News/YouGov poll, 30 percent of Republican respondents said that they would not take the vaccine and 19 percent answered that maybe they'd get vaccinated.
Ten Republican members of Congress with medical credentials have just released a public service announcement video that urges their fellow Republicans to get vaccinated. The GOP Doc Caucus argues that these are very safe and highly effective vaccines. And importantly, the more Americans who get vaccinated the faster we can all return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
"I look forward to the freedom that I along with my loved ones will regain once the vast majority of Americans are vaccinated," Sen. John Barrasso (R–Wyo.) says in the video. Maryland Rep. John Joyce observes, "Operation Warp Speed brought us safe and effective vaccines, and all in record time." Maryland Rep. Andy Harris declares that "the FDA did not skip any steps," while Texas Rep. Michael Burgess adds that they "cut bureaucratic red tape, not corners."
One Republican medical doctor is a no-show in the video. Perhaps Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) was not invited to participate or had other obligations that prevented him from joining his colleagues in this worthy endeavor. The senator's office did not respond to multiple calls asking those questions.
In any case, Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas is right when he says that once Americans are vaccinated, "we can throw away our masks and live life as free as we did before."