The nation’s top infectious disease expert continued to heap praise on Republicans’ noticeable pro-vaccine shift in recent days, saying on Sunday that he was “very heartened” to see prominent conservatives encourage Americans to get vaccinated. Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked by anchor Jake Tapper if he shared Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey’s anger at unvaccinated people for causing a recent surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
“I could totally understand the governor’s frustration,” Fauci reacted. “I don’t have any problem with that. She has every right to be frustrated.” The Biden administration’s chief medical adviser went on to say that the best way to persuade people to get vaccinated in conservative states is to “get more people who relate well to the individuals who are not getting vaccinated to get out there and encourage them to get vaccinated.”
“I was very heartened to hear people like [Rep.] Steve Scalise come out and say we need to get vaccinated. Even Governor DeSantis in Florida is saying the same thing,” he added. Besides the examples Fauci added, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and several right-wing media figures have also urged vaccine-hesitant conservatives to get their shots recently.