Sen. Mitch McConnell applauds Pike Co. in visit to Pikeville Medical Center

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PIKEVILLE, KY (WOWK) — U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell played a large role in the five bi-partisan COVID-19 rescue packages signed into law. Now, he wants to emphasize his efforts on vaccine distribution.

“The reason we are where we are now is because in those bills a year ago we put aside 48-billion dollars for operation warp speed,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R) Sen. minority leader.

That was the federal effort to pay for developing and then distributing the COVID-19 vaccines. He encourages everyone to get it, saying Kentucky needs 75% of its population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

“This county has done better than any other county in Kentucky…any other county,” said McConnell.

“It’s a great thing for Pike County to be first out of 120 counties in Kentucky, especially for vaccinations,” said Phillip Elswick, a city manager.

And in the wake of recent polls showing that nearly a third of white male republicans refuse to get vaccinated, McConnel has a message.

“I said I am a republican man…I took it as soon as I was eligible” said McConnell.

Money from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan is now making its way to Kentucky. McConnell and republican members of Congress and the Senate loudly oppose the plan…and still do.

“I didn’t vote for it because only one percent of it is for vaccines, only 9% is for health care and I thought that’s what the focus should be,” said McConnell.

But some Kentucky senators are grateful for the spending flexibility in the Biden plan.

“The 300 million dollars that we have dedicated to our broadband infrastructure is a great investment,” said Senator Phillip Wheeler, (R) District 31

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