Home Republican leaders and doctors gathered on Thursday morning for apress conference ostensibly to urge Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus amid growing infections across the United States, but they used the event to attack Democrats who they said had covered up the origins of the virus .
The appearance of the Second and Third House Republicans, Representatives Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Elise Stefanik of New York, alongside a a dozen doctors suggested that a resurgence in the spread of the virus disease, driven by the more contagious Delta variant, had prompted the party to change its tone and face the reluctance of its constituents to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
"I would encourage people to get vaccinated," Mr Scalise said towards the end of the event, when in a hurry to get his job done. position on this. "I have great confidence in him. I have it myself. "
But he and other Republicans spent most of their time on Thursday discussing unproven claims that the Chinese released a virulent human-made virus onto the world and blaming Democrats for ignoring it.
The event in front of Capitol Hill was billed as a "press conference to discuss the need for people to get vaccinated, find out the origins of the pandemic, and keep schools and businesses open. "Still, the Republicans who attended, many of whom represent districts that refused to be vaccinated, could not bring themselves to hammer home the importance of doing so.
Even the doctors who have focused on vaccinations, Representative Andy Harris of Maryland and Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas, have soft pedals and qualified their statements.
"If you are at risk you should get this vaccine," said Dr Harris, adding: "We urge all Americans to talk to their doctors about the risks of Covid, talk to their doctors about the benefits of getting the vaccine, then make a decision that's right for them. "
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that anyone aged 12 or older - not just those at high risk - get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.
When p ressed Rep. Greg Murphy, Republican of North Carolina, objected: "This vaccine is a drug, and like any drug, there are side effects and it's a no-one decision.lle.
The emphasis on the theory of laboratory leaks was somewhat surprising given the upsurge in infections concentrated in the heavily Republican rural areas of the country .
Nationally, the average of new coronavirus infections increased 171% in 14 days, to more than 41,300 per day on Wednesday, and deaths - a lagging number - are up 42% from two weeks ago, to nearly 250, according to a database of Hfrance.fr . Yet new cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain at a fraction of their devastating highs. Vaccines remain effective against worst consequences of Covid-19, including data from the Delta variant . The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in late June that 86% of Democrats had had at least one chance, compared to 52% of Republicans. A an analysis of the Times in April revealed that the least vaccinated counties in the country had one thing in common: they voted for Mr Trump.
But Dr Murphy said the The idea that the Conservatives are reluctant to receive the vaccine is not just misleading; this is a lie.
Regarding the theory of laboratory leaks, Republicans have presented the problem one after another as practically resolved: research in virus lab in Wuhan, China created novel coronavirusthrough risky "gain-of-office" experiments, then released it to the world.
"The criminals were convicted on the basis of less circumstantial evidence than there is currently, and every day more evidence has come to light, ”said Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa.
Recently some scientists have requested that the possibility of a lab leak be taken seriously, alongside the possibility that the coronavirus emerged naturally , most likely from But more importantly, they are studying the possibility that a naturally evolved virus is present in the lab and escaped, not that the virus was created deliberately. Even some of the most vocal scientific proponents of one. possibility of fuThe laboratory does not claim that there is definitive evidence of the origin of the virus.
Rather than cover up the matter, President Biden has ordered at the end of May the American intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of the coronavirus and report in 90 days.