Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a medical analyst for CNN, suggested Sunday that Republican lawmakers who are silent about receiving a coronavirus vaccine for political reasons should be disqualified from running for office.
Reiner’s comments came during a “Reliable Sources” segment about how the media, particularly Fox News, is covering vaccines. After CNN anchor Brian Stelter criticized the outlet for what he considered “not showing that leadership that the other networks are showing,” Reiner added that the pattern “mirrors what Congress is doing.”
“Fully, 25% of the House membership, largely GOP members, have not disclosed whether they’ve received the vaccine,” he said.
The CNN medical analyst said it’s “conceivable” that some of the lawmakers simply don’t want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, “which raises different questions about competence.”
“But it’s more likely that they have received the vaccine, but are reading the politics in their districts and not wanting to counter vaccine hesitancy by telling people in their districts they’ve been vaccinated,” Reiner continued, “which means they’re putting politics above the public health of their constituents, which should essentially disqualify them for running for office.” (RELATED: ‘If I Wasn’t President, You Wouldn’t Be Getting That Beautiful Shot’: Trump Credits Himself For Vaccine)
An Associated Press poll released last month showed that around a third of Americans are hesitant about receiving the vaccine due to safety concerns. Another more recent poll found that 47% of people who supported former President Donald Trump intend to skip the vaccine. Since then, the former president has openly recommended the vaccine to those who are skeptical about receiving it.