Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, was on Meet the Press on Sunday, where he was critical of senior citizens who did not get a COVID-19 booster shot. While discussing with host Chuck Todd senior citizens who have not received the booster shot, Marshall said “shame on you.”
“So, our plan is to be honest with Americans. About 30% of Americans right now have chosen not to get the vaccine. But what the biggest impact would be right now is to get boosters into seniors. That’s what’s going to stop hospitalizations and stop deaths. If you’re a senior citizen and haven’t got your booster yet, shame on you. Please go do that,” Marshall said.
While some may get angry over the “shame on you” quote, Marshall did explain his reasoning behind pushing for the vaccine. And, unlike most of the other politicians in the vaccine debate in the country, Marshall was previously a doctor. Moreover, his message was one of compassion, not of authority.
“If you have underlying healthcare conditions, if you’re diabetic, if you’re overweight, please go get the booster because you’re going to get the virus or be exposed to it, I guarantee it. If you don’t have that booster, we know that vaccines kind of run out after about five to six months. Natural immunity would help. And even those with natural immunity may want to consider getting the booster as well,” Marshall said.
He also took time to dismiss mandates and offer his opinion on why mandates don’t work.
“I think being honest with America is the plan. We know that mandates don’t work. From a practical standpoint, mandates are going to cause an economic shutdown, it’s going to exacerbate inflation, it’s going to cause brownouts, it’s going to cause supply chain disruptions, and national security issues,” Marshall said. “Think about this, half of the national guard is not vaccinated yet. What would be happening in Kentucky right now if we shut down half of the national guard? I support the vaccines but not the mandates.”
Of course, host Chuck Todd took this as an opportunity to try to criticize those who have not received the vaccine yet. Todd took Marshall’s words meant for seniors and tried to apply them to the unvaccinated.
“You said something interesting. You said ‘If senior citizens hadn’t gotten a booster, shame on you.’ Is that your attitude for any unvaccinated person in the hospital right now? Because 80% of hospitalizations, at a minimum, right now in the northern tier, where we’re hitting close to max, are the unvaccinated with COVID. Shame on them?” Todd asked.
“I think I’ve been one of the leaders from the start encouraging people to get the vaccine. I was leading the charge back in July of 2020 saying ‘we’re going to have a vaccine, let’s get it out the door.’” “In the summer of this year, I was encouraging people to get boosters. If the CDC could have pivoted sooner, we would have saved thousands of lives. I think being honest with people, the CDC needs to acknowledge natural immunity,” Marshall said.
“Look as a physician, I was never able to talk to anybody in stopping smoking by a mandate or by trying to argue with them. It was by being honest and communicating with them. I would just encourage all those folks who have not got the vaccine yet to talk to their doctor about it,” Marshall said. “And by the way, let’s talk about eating healthy and exercising every day, and getting seven hours of sleep and avoiding stress. Those are the things that we could all be doing to help minimize the impact of this virus.”
Vaccines aren’t 100% effective, but they are significantly better than not being vaccinated. And everyone should get vaccinated, in my opinion. And while Marshall is probably going to get some pushback because of the “shame on them” comment, objectively speaking, nothing of what he said here is bad. He was against the authoritarian-style rhetoric many on the political Left use about vaccines. Yet, Marshall explained why getting the booster shot and being vaccinated is important. And he offered these insights as someone who is currently a senator and was previously a doctor.