The United States has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, fueled by the more infectious Delta variant, according to experts, but it appears to have been Monday’s stock market drop that encouraged more Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — to issue renewed warnings about the importance of vaccinations.
CNBC reported earlier this week:
U.S. stocks fell aggressively Monday on concern a rebound in Covid cases would slow global economic growth. The selling picked up as the session went on, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since last October.
The Dow dropped 725.81 points, or 2.1%, to 33,962.04 in a broad-based rout that sent all 30 members lower. At one point during the session, the Dow was down 946 points before recovering some ground into the close.
The S&P 500 fell 1.6% to 4,258.49. Energy, financials and industrials were the worst-performing sectors.
Covid cases have rebounded in the U.S. this month, with the delta variant spreading among the unvaccinated. The U.S. is averaging nearly 26,000 new cases a day in the last seven days through Sunday, up from a seven-day average of around 11,000 cases a day a month ago, according to CDC data. Cases were already flaring up around the world because of the delta variant.
On Tuesday, McConnell tweeted to Americans: “Get vaccinated!”
“These shots need to get into arms as rapidly as possible, or else we’re gonna be back in a situation this fall like what we went through last year,” he added, along with a video clip from his press conference, in which McConnell noted that “97 percent of the hospitalizations in the country for COVID are unvaccinated people.”
McConnell added that it “never occurred” to him that the U.S. would have such “difficulty getting Americans to take the shots.”
“But that’s obviously where we are,” he said, warning that if vaccination rates do not increase, Americans will be in trouble this fall.
Similarly, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) tweeted a plea for Americans to get vaccinated, acknowledging that he had gotten his shot and noting that the vaccine is “effective, safe, and doesn’t cost you a dime.”
The Atlantic noted that some in conservative media have also joined the urgent calls for vaccine-hesitant Americans to get their shots, a welcome change — even if it has arrived later than desired — as vaccination rates continue to drop.
Image credit: Screengrab / @LeaderMcConnell / Twitter