Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rand Paul publicly feud over whether lawmakers should take the COVID-19 vaccine immediately
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D, New York MP makes a point during a pre-New York primary debate against opponent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on June 23, Wednesday, June 17, 2020 in the Bronx, New York.
Democratic MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Republican Senator Rand Paul argued over whether members of Congress should get a COVID-19 vaccine in front of healthcare workers and the elderly.
Paul argued that it was "inappropriate" to cross the line, while Ocasio-Cortez insisted that lawmakers should set an example to Americans and help build confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
The government has made vaccines available to members of Congress to ensure continuity of government and protect national security.
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Democratic MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday after Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, argued that Congressmen should not be vaccinated in front of health care providers and elderly Americans.
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"It is inappropriate for me - who has already got the virus / immunity - to step in front of the elderly / healthcare workers," Paul tweeted Monday about his decision not to get the vaccine right away. "The same goes for AOC or any young healthy person. You should be among the last, not the first."
The federal government has provided vaccines to senior government officials, including all members of Congress, to ensure continuity of government and protect national security. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen were vaccinated last week, and President-elect Joe Biden received the vaccine on Monday.
Ocasio-Cortez, who filmed herself receiving the vaccine last week, argued that she felt an obligation to receive the vaccine due in part to ubiquitous misinformation. Republicans helped spread the virus and contain it. She insisted that lawmakers set an example for Americans and ensure the safety of the vaccine.
"Perhaps if the GOP hadn't spent so much time undermining public confidence in science, masks, and COVID itself, I wouldn't have had to weigh the possible misinfo consequences of what would happen if the leaders [the people] would ask to take one. " new vaccine that we didn't take ourselves! "She tweeted in response to Paul's message.
She added, "Our job is to make sure the vaccine is not politicized in the way masks were politicized."
The position of the legislature on advanced access to the vaccine, however, has not completely split on party-political lines. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota progressive closely associated with Ocasio-Cortez, announced Sunday that she would not take a vaccine in front of health care workers and the elderly.
"We're no more important than frontline workers, teachers, etc. who make sacrifices every day," Omar tweeted. "So I'm not going to take it. People who need it most should get it. Period."
Recent polls have found that up to half of Americans either say they are not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or are unsure whether they would take it. During the pandemic, misinformation about the virus and damage control tactics, including wearing masks, was viralized online and promoted by Republican lawmakers and activists, including President Donald Trump. While Trump has been promoting the COVID-19 vaccine and trying to get its invention recognized, the White House has not announced any plans for the President to receive the vaccine.
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