U.S. Senate hopefuls won’t disclose vaccination status
With the start of a new year and our state and nation struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, voters are concerned about two candidates seeking to be elected to the U. S. Senate who are refusing to provide details on their vaccination status to the Georgia citizens they are courting for a vote.
The lead-off story on every news cycle is the pandemic with the numbers continuously climbing and hospitalization and death numbers at an all-time high. In the backdrop is the refusal by former football star Herschel Walker and businessman Kelvin King on saying whether they have received the coronavirus vaccine. Both have declined to confirm or deny that they have taken the shot, which leaves many to conclude that they have not.
The two senate hopefuls have both expressed concerns for turning the corner on the virus but say their vaccination status is a ‘private matter’ and not something the voters are entitled to know. Many disagree with their positions and have asked how either of the two can offer strong leadership on this subject for the good of the greater population of the state and nation when neither are vaccinated?
In an election year with a plethora of candidates lining up to run and plenty of issues to debate, no issue stands out more at this moment than stopping the pandemic.
Many say how can Walker or King be trusted to fix this problem given their refusal to be open with the voters on this issue. In addition, the two candidates for office stand out like sore thumbs amongst others such as U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and two other Republicans running in the Senate contest: Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and former Navy SEAL Latham Saddler, who are all vaccinated. This is in addition to candidates for governor — incumbent Brian Kemp, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, who have all confirmed their vaccination status.
As people continue to be hospitalized and many are succumbing to the virus, this continues to be a political football based on where you stand.
Recognizing that many Georgians are without insurance and primary care physicians, Democrat Abrams has repeatedly urged Georgians to get vaccinated, while GOP members Kemp and Perdue continue to walk a fine line on the subject saying such things as “they trust the people of Georgia to make their own decisions” and “no one should be forced by the government to take the vaccine”. This position is among the GOP talking points on Covid. It may sound admirable, however, if you have lost family members to this virus, you are not interested in political positioning.
While many on the left are urging Georgians to get vaccinated and obtain their booster shot, many on the right are suggesting that citizens should talk to their doctors and make their own decision regarding the vaccine.
Declining to offer advice on getting the shot, King leans towards natural immunity. As for Walker, his memoir sheds light on his position regarding vaccinations. It says he has “not taken any kind of medication in my life with the exception of a few mild over-the-counter pain relievers.”
In the middle of this topic is one of the nations’ top health professionals, Dr. Rochelle Walensky from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She says those who are vaccinated and boosted are 20 times less likely to die from the disease than those who have not received the shots. She advised vaccination and booster shots as the best prevention against death.
No one has a crystal ball when it comes to the Primary or General Election Day. However, a sure bet is that the handling of the COVID pandemic will be among the topics voters look at when they make their decision for elected offices in Georgia.
While the pandemic rages on, the question remains…will be an unvaccinated candidate, such as Walker and King, factor into decisions by the voters when they visit the voting booth.