NIH Director Collins: Vaccine Mandates Should Not Be a Statement of Your Political Party

National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that coronavirus vaccine mandates would make a difference and should not be about politics.

Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked, “Is it time for more vaccine mandates?”

Collins said, “Well, that’s an obviously a hot topic for me as a non-political person, as a physician, as a scientist. The compelling case for vaccines for everybody is right there in front of you. Just look at the data. Certainly, I celebrate when I see businesses deciding that they’re going to mandate that for employees. As a person who runs the National Institutes of Health with 45,000 employees and contractors, I’m glad to see the president insisting we go forward requiring vaccinations, or if people are unwilling to do that, then regular testing at least once or twice a week, which will be very inconvenient. We ought to use every public health tool we can when people are dying. Death rates are starting up again.”

Stephanopoulos said, “Your sigh said it all. That was about as close to a yes as we could get. You clearly believe that vaccine mandates could make a difference.”

Collins said, “I do believe they can make a difference. I understand how that can sometimes set off all kinds of resistance, but isn’t that a shame, George? I mean, how did we get here? Why is it that a mandate about vaccines or about wearing a mask suddenly becomes a statement of your political party? We never should have let that happen. Come on, America, we can separate these, can’t we? We’re incredibly polarized about politics. We don’t really need to be polarized about a virus that’s killing people.”

He added, “We ought to be doing everything we can to save lives. That means get the vaccine. That means wear the mask when you’re indoors in a crowded space. If you’re unvaccinated, wear it all the time.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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