Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a rebuke of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisc.) on Friday, after the senator made waves by questioning the federal government’s “push to make sure everybody gets a [COVID-19] vaccine.”
What are the details?
During an interview with WISN-AM the day before, Johnson told host Vicki McKenna:
“The science tells us the vaccines are 95% effective, so if you have a vaccine quite honestly what do you care if your neighbor has one or not? What is it to you? You’ve got a vaccine and science is telling you it’s very, very effective. So why is this big push to make sure everybody gets a vaccine? And it’s to the point where you’re going to shame people, you’re going to force them to carry a card to prove that they’ve been vaccinated so they can still stay in society. I’m getting highly suspicious of what’s happening here.”
He added, “For the very young, I see no reason to be pushing vaccines on people. I certainly am going to vigorously resist any kind of government use or imposing of vaccine passports…that could be a very freedom-robbing step and people need to understand these things.”
Following backlash over his remarks, Johnson issued a statement Friday, saying:
Everyone should have the right to gather information, consult with their doctor and decide for themselves whether to get vaccinated. I strongly supported Operation Warp Speed, and celebrated its astonishingly rapid success. Now I believe government’s role (and therefore my role) is to help ensure transparency so that people have as much information as possible to make an informed decision for themselves.
It is a legitimate question as to whether people at very low risk of suffering serious illness from Covid, particularly the young and healthy, should be encouraged to take a vaccine that is being administered under an Emergency Use Authorization — in other words, before it has been fully tested and approved. I was the champion of ‘Right to Try’ legislation. A reasonable corollary to that is the right to choose or not to choose treatment. I also support health privacy laws and will vigorously oppose any efforts