Mitch McConnell has a message for America, and it is PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE America but mostly white Republicans, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get your COVID shots.

McConnell noted that 97 percent of the current hospitalizations for COVID are unvaccinated people. He said he really didn't think it would be so difficult to get people to take the shots. (Golly gee, how DID that happen!) He talked about how he had polio and how long it took to come up with those vaccines and how freaking awesome it is that we got these three safe and effective vaccines in less than a year. He warned that "These shots need to get in everybody's arm as rapidly as possible, or we're going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don't yearn for, that we went through last year."

Responding to a reporter's question about conservative talking heads literally killing people with their anti-vax bullshit, McConnell spoke directly to vaccine skeptics, telling people to "ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice."

So that happened. McConnell hasn't been a notable Republican vaccine skeptic, though. He's been fairly consistent on this from the get-go. It's the other Republicans suddenly changing their tune we're more curious about.


Over on the other side of the Capitol, GOP House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has been holding out on getting his damn shots forever. Every time somebody would ask him when, he'd say "soon," he just had to find the right time, because it's so hard to find "the right time" when you are a sitting US congressman. You have to find the Capitol's attending physician and say "give me shot" and then you have to sit in the chair and be a very good boy and what if Steve Scalise doesn't feel like being a very good boy for the doctor that day? You have to sit still and the doctor has a needle!

Steve Scalise got his first shot. He did it in Louisiana. Don't know if he was a good boy or not, probably not, he sucks:

"Especially with the delta variant becoming a lot more aggressive and seeing another spike, it was a good time to do it," he said in an interview. "When you talk to people who run hospitals, in New Orleans or other states, 90% of people in hospital with delta variant have not been vaccinated. That's another signal the vaccine works."

Look at that Republican saying science!

So that happened.

On Fox News, amidst all its other "just asking questions" vaccine disinformation -- a beautiful word, says Donald Trump! -- Sean Hannity spent 30 seconds the other night imploring people to get vaxxed, in consultation with their doctors. Steve Doocy said similarly and uncharacteristically smart things on "Fox & Friends." Vaccine realism hasn't taken over the network yet, something is afoot.

Over at Newsmax, run by Donald Trump's good and batshit pal Chris Ruddy, there's a piece written by Ruddy himself about how great the vaccines are and how Joe Biden has done such a good job inheriting Donald Trump's very safe vaccine, which is SAFE, SAFE, SAFE, DID HE MENTION SAFE? Ruddy notes that he himself has the Pfizer vaccine! Has Ruddy sprouted a whole new set of DNA? Is he a wi-fi hotspot now? Yes, and he loves it! No! He's fine!

All these things happened.

Again, McConnell has been fairly consistent in calling for people to get vaccinated. Back in March, he was specifically telling Republican men to get their damn shots, for example.

Steve Scalise, on the other hand, is an insurrectionist wingnut. He was holdin' out for a long time. But now all of a sudden, with the Delta variant surging, especially in Louisiana, which has seen a 376 percent increase in corona cases in the past two weeks, Scalise is like "NO BIG DEAL, I'M SAYIN' CHEESE FOR MY SHOT!"

Newsmax is, as we say in the journalism business, consistently full of shit. Fox News has been barely more responsible about COVID vaccines than some 64-year-old QAnon forum participant named Dale-Anne who lives in Abilene and is just pretty sure if she gets the shot, the government will implant a secret chip in her butt that'll conscript her into service digging Hillary Clinton's trafficking tunnels.

Lotta Republicans turning right now on this subject. What is going on?

Because we have a pulse and read the newspaper, we can rule out Republicans and conservatives doing this for good, humanitarian reasons, motivated by a desire that Americans don't die sad, lonely deaths. That's not it.

The stock market freaked out earlier this week, because of Delta variant fears. So that's likely part of it.

But also, we are going to guess there was some sort of internal Republican briefing, or somebody important in conservative politics and/or media saw some real numbers, and the message has gone out.

Millions of people are vaccinated, in blue cities and blue states. And sure, Fox might still be scaremongering about how the vaccines might not protect against the new variant, but while we have heard of breakthrough cases of the new variant in vaxxed people, know what we're not hearing much about? Breakthrough deaths among the vaxxed.

It mighta been a while since you did this, but go play with the New York Times COVID map. See where the hotspots are. Then check to see where people have actually gotten their shots.

"This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday. She offered the statistic McConnell stated above, that 97 percent of those hospitalized are unvaccinated. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said this weekend that 99.5 percent of current COVID deaths are unvaccinated people.

There are alllllll these unvaccinated Republicans in red states, and next year is an election year. Sure, Republicans have been working their asses off to ban voting for Democrats everywhere they can, because they're fucking white supremacist fascists, but that might not be enough if all their supporters are dropping like flies, or their families are dropping like flies.

By the way, one prominent Republican is clearly not on board with this new "please get your shots" campaign. The one the idiots listen to the most. Here's his contribution for the week:

"[P]eople are refusing to take the Vaccine because they don't trust [Biden's] Administration, they don't trust the Election results, and they certainly don't trust the Fake News, which is refusing to tell the Truth."

He's not going to make this problem better anytime soon, because as usual, he's making the problem entirely about him.

That doesn't do anything to solve the rest of the Republicans' problems we just discussed. Seriously, go look at those New York Times maps again. They're freaking out.

Can they get in front of their self-created problem? Guess we'll find out.

Thoughts 'n' prayers, Republicans!

[NOLA.com]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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