Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that he will take the coronavirus vaccine in the days ahead.
“Because of government continuity requirements, I have been informed by the Office of the Attending Physician that I am eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, which I will accept in the coming days,” McConnell stated on Thursday.
“Even with a vaccine, I will continue following CDC guidelines by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing my hands frequently,” McConnell said. “I would strongly encourage everyone to continue following these important guidelines. It is the only way we will defeat COVID-19 once and for all.”
McConnell explained his concerns about skepticism surrounding the vaccine or reluctance to take it, invoking his own history as a polio survivor.
“As a polio survivor, I know both the fear of a disease and the extraordinary promise of hope that vaccines bring,” he stated. “I truly hope all Kentuckians and Americans will heed this advice and accept this safe and effective vaccine.”
Former presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama have all announced that they would take the vaccine publicly to boost confidence in its safety. Vice President Pence has also said he will be vaccinated publicly, and Joe Biden is expected to receive it publicly.
McConnell has expressed interest about skepticism surrounding the vaccine earlier in the week.
“When you have about half of the population either skeptical or saying they won’t do it, that’s not good news, so I think all of us who do have at least some following in the country need to step up as the former presidents are and as I’m sure people in the entertainment world will, as well, to encourage people to do this,” he said.