Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says there's 'no reason to be pushing vaccines on people' in interview with right-wing radio host

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Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says there's 'no reason to be pushing vaccines on people' in interview with right-wing radio host
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, one of the Senate's biggest science skeptics, promoted false and misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Johnson told a right-wing radio host that he sees "no reason to be pushing vaccines on people."
  • The senator is a close ally of former President Donald Trump, who recently urged him to run for another term.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has long embraced skepticism about science on issues from climate change to COVID-19. On Thursday, the Wisconsin conservative told a right-wing radio host that he sees "no reason to be pushing vaccines on people," Forbes first reported.

Johnson argued that COVID-19 vaccines should be "limited" to those particularly vulnerable to the virus and falsely argued that there's no reason everyone who's able to should get a vaccine. The senator said he's "getting highly suspicious" of the "big push to make sure everybody gets the vaccine."

"If you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?" he said.

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Johnson has questioned or outright rejected scientific consensus about COVID-19 mitigation measures and invited a series of panelists to testify before the Senate last year who rejected mask-wearing, social distancing, and quarantining to fight the virus.

Notably, Republican men have expressed the highest rates of skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccines.

The senator, who has controversially defended the violent rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, is a close ally of former President Donald Trump, who recently urged him to run for reelection after he said he's leaning toward retirement.

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"He has no idea how popular he is," Trump said in a statement earlier this month. "Run, Ron, Run!"

In his most emphatic endorsement of vaccinations yet, Trump called the COVID-19 vaccines "a miracle" and said he "strongly recommend[s]" people get vaccinated in an interview with The New York Post published Friday.

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