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GOP caucus releases video encouraging people to get vaccine as some in conference still haven’t gotten the shot

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As Americans continue to get vaccinated daily, business is returning to normal on Capitol Hill — even though some lawmakers have not been vaccinated.

Republican House members who are physicians are trying to persuade Americans who may be hesitant to get vaccinated in a new public service announcement released Tuesday.

The PSA encouraging people to get the Covid-19 vaccine comes even as several members of their own conference have not disclosed whether they’re vaccinated.

“Each available vaccine is safe and effective,” Rep. Neal Dunn, a Republican from Florida, said in the PSA.

“To get these vaccines to Americans as fast as possible, they cut red tape, not corners,” GOP Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland said.

Probably the most high-profile Republican who hasn’t been vaccinated is House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who told a local Louisiana paper, The Advocate, that as of Friday he had not been vaccinated. Scalise does say he plans to get the vaccine.

CNN has reached out to Scalise for comment.

The PSA comes as vaccine hesitancy remains particularly high among Republican men.

An estimated 75% of lawmakers on the Hill have been vaccinated, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that if more members were vaccinated, the Capitol could open up faster.

Though not all House Republicans have disclosed whether they’re vaccinated, a spokesperson for the GOP Doctors Caucus, which made the PSA, said those who have not been vaccinated yet have plans to do it soon.

And when it comes to wearing masks in the Capitol, conservative Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas refuse to wear face coverings while indoors. A handful of House Republicans also have been spotted walking maskless outside the House chamber, despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which still says masks should be worn indoors, “in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially when indoors around people who don’t live in your household.”

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio slammed Paul for refusing to wear his mask during a Tuesday visit to a mass vaccination site in his home state, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

When asked about senators who don’t wear face coverings, Brown responded: “One of them that’s an M.D., isn’t, but he’s kind of a lunatic,” referencing Paul, who is an ophthalmologist.

Brown added, “He thinks he wants to be different but it doesn’t serve the public interest.”

In March CNN reached out to every House member’s office and asked if they had been vaccinated. Many did not answer.

Subsequently, CNN reached out again to House Republicans who had confirmed in March they had not been vaccinated.

Nine of those lawmakers did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for a follow-up comment this week about whether they’d been vaccinated: Reps. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Kat Cammack of Florida, Elise Stefanik of New York, Brian Mast of Florida, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Ken Buck of Colorado and Dan Crenshaw of Texas.

Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky said he would not be vaccinated, telling CNN in a statement, “The Pfizer and Moderna trials showed no benefit from the vaccine for those previously infected, so I will not be taking the vaccine.”

This story has been updated with new developments.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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