Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) said he's against a vaccine mandate "unless there's some incredibly deadly disease." The senator also insisted that he is not downplaying the virus and is aware that the U.S. has "had 600,000 excess deaths over the last year."
During a Friday night interview on Fox, Johnson was asked if he could ever get behind a vaccine mandate for everybody.
"No," the senator said, adding, "Not unless there's some incredibly deadly disease. I mean much higher infection-fatality rates than we have with Covid."
Question: Could you ever get behind a vaccine mandate for everybody? pic.twitter.com/dySLgROgJK
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 31, 2021
Johnson then spread disinformation about the death rates of influenza as compared to the coronavirus.
"We don't know the final infection-fatality rate, but right now it's looking like it's not going to be much more than double a bad season of flu," Johnson said.
But according to a report this week from Johns Hopkins Medicine , health experts say that "at present, [the Covid mortality rate] is thought to be substantially higher (possibly 10 times or more) than that of most strains of the flu."
Johnson said he's not downplaying the virus, but that is a lie. Last year, the senator reacted to businesses closing down because of rising pandemic death rates by saying , "We don't shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways."
In April, the Trump sycophant senator railed against the efforts to get Americans vaccinated, suggesting that there are conspiratorial motives at play. Johnson said that he saw "no reason to be pushing vaccines on people," adding that the "big push to make sure everybody gets the vaccine" made him "highly suspicious."
And in June, Johnson was suspended from YouTube for one week after his account added a video of the senator spreading disinformation about the virus.
Dr. Richina Bicette, a medical director at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN on Saturday that although vaccinated people can "potentially be susceptible to contracting Covid," hospitalizations and deaths are overwhelming among the unvaccinated.
"The pandemic is not over," the doctor said. "Vaccines are still the best way that we have to win this war against Covid-19 . So, yes, while it may be true that you could potentially be susceptible to contracting Covid if you are vaccinated, that's not a reason not to get vaccinated. We talked about the outbreak in Massachusetts and how 74 percent of those people were vaccinated, but of the 351 people that tested positive, four of the vaccinated people had to be admitted to the hospital. That, by itself, is enough evidence that these vaccines are working and are helpful."
It's also worth noting that Massachusetts has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, so it is inevitable that more cases will be among vaccinated people because they make up a large portion of the population.
Bicette added, "If you look at the numbers, 99.5 percent of people who are currently dying of Covid-19 are unvaccinated. Of those who are hospitalized, 97 percent are unvaccinated."
In conclusion, the doctor said, "So again, you may have a little cough, you may get the sniffles if you contract Covid and are vaccinated. But you're not gonna wind up on oxygen. You're not wind up in a ventilator. And you're not gonna wind up in the grave like the over 613,000 other Americans who have succumbed to this illness."
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