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McConnell Urges Vaccinations to Reach 'End Zone'
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH - Senator Mitch McConnell spoke at Baptist Health Paducah on Wednesday about the vaccination process and the 2020 CARES Act that funded much of its progress. 

McConnell used a football analogy, saying we're, "in the red zone, but not yet in the end zone." He said what everyone has witnessed in the last year is a modern medical miracle. 

"Not one, not two, but three highly effective vaccines from start to finish in less than a year. That was financed by a series of bills we passed last year in Congress, the largest of which was called the CARES Act. It tackled both the  economic crisis and the health care crisis simultaneously," McConnell said. "But arguably, the most important part of it was the vaccine - how quickly can we get it and get it out?"

About 20 percent of the US population has been fully vaccinated, and McConnell cited experts saying we'll reach herd immunity when 75 percent of the people have received the vaccine. 

McConnell said, "These shots have to get in these arms as quickly as possible if we're going to finally put this thing in the rear-view mirror, and everybody wants to do that."

McConnell noted that relief the bills they passed in 2020 were bi-partisan, unlike the most recent American Rescue Plan Act. 

Prior to McConnell's comments, Baptist Health Paducah President Chris Roty praised his staff, saying they have treated over 700 COVID in-patients since March 27, 2020, and have vaccinated nearly 12,000 people. 

Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Brad Housman thanked those who volunteered to work in the testing clinic, the antibody infusion clinic, and the vaccination site, including some nurses who came out of retirement to help. 

Housman said, "A big thanks to both our medical community for being willing to do anything and everything that we've asked of them, and also our local community for supporting the hospital and supporting the staff.  It's been quite a long year and we're excited about where things are headed."

Published 04:17 PM, Wednesday Apr. 07, 2021
Updated 04:44 PM, Thursday Apr. 08, 2021

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