Too many Republican officials take aim at vaccines, not mandates

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About a month ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered floor remarks that summarized what we often hear from Republicans about Covid-19 vaccines. The Kentucky senator offered his full support for the vaccines, touted their efficacy and safety, and shared his own experiences as a survivor of childhood polio.

He then added the standard GOP caveat. “But here’s the thing,” McConnell added, “the United States of America is a free country.”

To be sure, there’s no shortage of Republican officials who have actively tried to undermine public confidence in the vaccines themselves. But broadly speaking, the party apparatus has tried to walk a fine line for much of the last year: The GOP isn’t against vaccines, they say, the party is only against vaccine requirements.

It’s long been a flawed argument for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that vaccine requirements…

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