White House, McConnell in rare agreement as vaccine distribution ramps up

By Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver

Bipartisanship has been hard to come by on major issues in the opening months of the Biden administration. However, there was a brief respite as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged Republican men to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a call that received plaudits from the White House.

McConnell, speaking to reporters in Kentucky on Monday, appealed to a bloc of Americans that have emerged as being more hesitant to receive the jab, complicating the U.S.’s push to reach herd immunity and help end the pandemic.

I saw on some program last week that Republican men, curiously enough, might be reluctant to take the vaccine.” Speaking outside a health care clinic in his home state, McConnell added, “I’m a Republican man and I want to say to everyone, we need to take this vaccine” (Yahoo News).

McConnell’s message contrasted with former President Trump’s quiet decision to be vaccinated before leaving the White House — with no public encouragement to his supporters to trust the inoculations his administration worked with drugmakers to invent (The Hill).

Hours after the GOP leader spoke, the White House tweeted a thank you “for his leadership” (The Hill). It was a rare moment of public communication and comity.

The virus is not gone. … Scripture tells us joy cometh in the morning. As we celebrate the renewal of this season we know that longed-for dawn is almost here. We will rebuild our nation. We will remake and reimagine what we can be,” President Biden said during an event at the White House’s Easter celebration.

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