By Melanie Zanona
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee deleted a tweet Friday morning that spread disinformation about Covid-19 booster shots.
The false tweet from the House Judiciary Committee Republicans’ official account, which was posted Thursday afternoon, read: “If the booster shots work, why don’t they work?” The tweet received a wave of backlash before it was taken down and came at a time when Covid cases are spiking across the US following the Omicron variant’s emergence, and public health experts are encouraging people to get boosted to protect themselves and others.
While most Republicans have said they support Covid-19 vaccines but oppose mandates, many members of the GOP — especially those on the far-right — have continued to spread disinformation, conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine sentiments. Elected Republicans have crusaded against mandates as part of their resistance to the Biden administration’s pandemic response efforts.
According to CNN’s latest polling, a 65% majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents report having received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. (By contrast, only about one-quarter see vaccination requirements as an acceptable way to increase the vaccination rate.)
As for booster shots, they do work. Multiple studies from multiple countries show that people who have received booster shots are much less likely to get infected with Covid-19, and if they do get infected, they overwhelmingly have mild illness.
The people filling hospital beds are mostly unvaccinated or were vaccinated months ago, and their immunity has worn off. The vaccines do not fully prevent infection, but they provide very good protection against it and severe disease and extremely high protection against death.
The GOP House Judiciary Committee is led by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who has been fiercely opposed to vaccine mandates and has declined to say whether has received a Covid-19 shot. Jordan also revealed during an interview with a local news outlet that he had Covid over the summer. The spokesperson who represents his office and the committee did not immediately return a request for comment.
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CNN’s Maggie Fox contributed to this report.