Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) is refusing to say whether he has received the COVID-19 vaccine, because he doesn’t want to be “taking sides on it.”
The conservative congressman made his comments to a reporter from WKOW-TV in Madison after a town hall meeting on Wednesday. Asked what his message would be to people who aren’t vaccinated, Grothman said he didn’t have one.
“I think the message on the internet ― you can find all sorts of people saying different things,” Grothman said in comments that aired Sunday. “I would talk to people in the medical field ― not only doctors, but nurses as well ― and see what their opinions are.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other prominent health organizations, as well as an overwhelming majority of experts in the medical field, strongly urge vaccination and stress that the shots are safe and effective in reducing the dangerous effects of COVID-19.
The reporter then pressed Grothman on whether he believes it is safe, and he said there are clearly benefits for “older people,” but he wasn’t going to “play doctor” for everyone else.
“Are you vaccinated, congressman?” the reporter asked.
“I don’t like to get into taking sides on it. OK? So that’s ―” said Grothman as he then walked away from the interview.
During his town hall Wednesday, Grothman called the coronavirus vaccines “experimental” and said he is against mandating people get it.
Lately, there has been a push by some ― but clearly not all ― members of the Republican Party to encourage more people to get vaccinated, recognizing that much of the reluctance comes from their own supporters. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) recently said he regrets banning mask mandates in school earlier this year, as COVID-19 cases spike.
Grothman has long been known for his conservative views. As a Wisconsin state legislator, he introduced a bill that considered single parenthood a contributing factor to child abuse, advocated for rolling back protections ensuring that workers get a day off and sponsored a bill to repeal the state’s equal pay law.
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