McConnell hints at LOCKDOWNS if more Americans don’t get vaccinated

Mitch McConnell warns there could be LOCKDOWNS if more Americans don’t get vaccinated as the Delta variant continues to wreak havoc

  • McConnell made the comments to reporters on Tuesday as COVID cases surge
  • While he did not outright threaten health restrictions, McConnell hinted at ‘a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for’ unless more people get the shot
  • At 79 years old, the Republican leader is squarely within the ‘high-risk’ category
  • McConnell’s plea for Americans to be inoculated comes as the new Delta variant ravages the country and accounts for more than 80% of new infections
  • The majority of Americans hospitalized with COVID now are unvaccinated 

By Elizabeth Elkind, Political Reporter For Dailymail.Com and Mary Kekatos Acting U.S. Health Editor For Dailymail.Com

Published: 23:37, 21 July 2021 | Updated: 20:17, 22 July 2021

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is sending a grim message to unvaccinated Americans that the entire country could be locked down again as early as this fall if they don’t get their COVID shots.

‘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,’ the Kentucky Republican said on Tuesday.

McConnell, who at age 79 is squarely in the ‘high-risk’ category for the virus, has been urging Americans to get vaccinated for months. 

His latest warning comes as the U.S. recorded 42,706 new cases on Tuesday with a seven-day rolling average of 37,056, which is a 244 percent increase from the 10,771 average recorded three weeks ago.

McConnell said Americans would be back in a situation ‘we don’t yearn for’ if more people are not vaccinated

The Republican leader pointed out that 97% of people currently hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated.

Experts say the surge in cases is fueled by the Delta variant that originated in India and now makes up 83.2 percent of all new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

‘It never occurred to me – after three highly effective vaccines were developed in under a year – that we’d have difficulty getting Americans to take the shot,’ McConnell told reporters.

In the senator’s home state of Kentucky, just 44.8 percent of people are fully vaccinated and slightly over half (50.4 percent) have received one dose, according to the Mayo Clinic – putting it in the bottom half of US states by vaccination rates.

McConnell hints at LOCKDOWNS if more Americans don't get vaccinated

The Senate Minority Leader hinted that lockdowns could come as early as fall

McConnell hints at LOCKDOWNS if more Americans don't get vaccinated

His warning comes as US COVID infections surge nationwide – with those who are unvaccinated accounting for nearly all new hospitalizations

McConnell hints at LOCKDOWNS if more Americans don't get vaccinated

McConnell reflected on his experience as a polio survivor to plead with Americans to get their shots. 

‘I say this with some authority, as you all know, being a polio victim myself, and being very aware that it took seven decades to come up with two effective polio vaccines – this was done in one year,’ he said. 

The short timeline for the vaccines’ development is exactly what makes many people pause.

A Kaiser Health survey revealed in late May that about one-third of unvaccinated Americans would get inoculated if the vaccines received full FDA approval. But the rigorous standards for review set by the Food and Drug Administration mean this could take some time.

McConnell hints at LOCKDOWNS if more Americans don't get vaccinated

The Delta variant now makes up 83% of all new infections in the United States

McConnell hints at LOCKDOWNS if more Americans don't get vaccinated

Every single state – aside from Iowa – and the District of Coluimbia are reporting increases of COVID-19 cases this week

Pfizer and Moderna have already applied for full FDA approval. 

In light of the rising cases, the U.S.

Department of Homeland Security announced that land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed for non-essential travel until at least August 21. 

While officials haven’t indicated anything about a nationwide or even regional lockdown, places like Los Angeles County are responding to surging cases by reinstituting mask mandates.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and New Jersey Governor Chris Murphy, both Democrats, have also warned their residents about possible mask mandates if the rate of new cases does not slow.