GOP sees widening rift over promoting Covid shots

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While top Republicans pleaded with people to get vaccinated, others downplayed the threat of a Covid-19 resurgence.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s false claim that Covid-19 was “not dangerous” for some people earned a suspension from Twitter — but little more than shrugs from her colleagues. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

By ADAM CANCRYN

07/23/2021 02:34 PM EDT

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The Republican Party is being torn apart by the debate over whether to more aggressively promote Covid-19 vaccines, pitting those alarmed by the virus’ resurgence against a faction that has spent weeks sowing fear about the immunization push.

The deepening divide became apparent this week on Capitol Hill and across the party, with a contingent of prominent conservatives vocally advocating for the shots — even as others emphasized the need for the GOP to stick to principles of “individual liberty” and stay out of Americans’ medical decisions.

While top Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey pleaded with people to get vaccinated, others downplayed the threat of a Covid-19 resurgence — wary of angering a GOP base that views the sputtering vaccination effort as a political blow to President Joe Biden.

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