WASHINGTON, DC (NEXSTAR) — States like Louisiana and Florida hit grim milestones this week: the most COVID-19 deaths in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
Nearly all of them were unvaccinated.
“This is not a political statement. This is not a game,” said Rep. Troy Carter, D-LA. “People are dying.”
“I have taken the vaccine as has my family,” said Rep. Mike Waltz, R-FL. “I think that’s our way out of this.”
Waltz and Carter say they are seeing promising upticks in vaccinations in their states since the FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer shot. With similar authorizations for the other vaccines likely on the way, the congressmen hope that only increases.
“I think a lot of people are going to be much more comfortable,” Waltz said.
“That’s how we’re gonna win this battle,” Carter said.
To encourage more Americans to get vaccinated, Carter also wants the Biden administration to declassify a new U.S. intelligence report on the origins of COVID-19.
“This is not some cooked up theory or scheme,” he said. “As long as people think that, they’re less likely to participate in a cure or a vaccination.”
But for Waltz, sharing the report with the public is more about accountability surrounding the now growing theory that the virus leaked accidentally from a Chinese lab.
“It’s clear the Chinese have covered it up,” he said. “What I want to know is who knew within the administration and when.”
When President Biden called for the investigation, he said he planned to make the findings public.
Virus researchers have not publicly identified any new evidence to strengthen the lab-leak hypothesis. They have said though it is unlikely that a definitive answer about COVID-19’s origins would soon be available. That work usually takes years or decades.