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Blunt Shares Stories from Missourians Impacted by COVID, Urging Vaccinations

July 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – At the weekly Republican leadership press conference today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) shared local news stories about Missourians who have become seriously ill or lost family members to COVID and are urging others to get vaccinated.

Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:

“Well, COVID continues to be a problem, obviously. I think the Centers for Disease Control is going to make some announcements on that later today. I hope that they'll be more forthcoming with information than we've had up till now during this pandemic. I don't know of any reason not to share the information that the Centers for Disease Control has. For instance, a lot of talk about people who've been vaccinated but then got COVID-19, the Delta variant, or some other kind of COVID-19.

“If you share those facts and figures right, that shouldn't be a big shock. As I recall, one of the vaccines had an 85% or so effectiveness rate. Another one had a 95% effectiveness rate. That would mean, you know, somewhere between five and 10 and 15 of every 100 people that get the vaccine are going to get COVID. But the good news is that the people that got the vaccine that got COVID have a very different circumstance than the people who didn't get the vaccine and got COVID.

“I had three stories I thought I'd share with you today—one in Monett, Missouri near my hometown of Springfield, a guy named Kole who is a married, 26-year-old father of two young children. His symptoms got really bad. He thought his family was losing him. It didn't work out that way. But here's what he said. He said, 'I just remember sitting in the hospital and just thinking to myself, ‘you could have avoided this.’ I just don't want anyone to feel the way that I felt.' That was Kole's quote.

“And then I saw in a Columbia, Missouri news report, a person who lost her youngest sister and her brother's wife to COVID. And having other family members battling that illness in the hospital, Marlene asked everyone to get a vaccine. Here's what Marlene said about her sister. This is her quote, ‘she didn't know what the long term effects of the vaccine would be. Well, COVID-19 was her long term effect, and she's gone.’

“Today in a St. Louis report on a national news network, Kimberle Jones in St. Louis talked about her daughter Erica Thompson who had died, leaving behind a husband and three sons, aged 8, 11, and [17]. Her mother, Kimberle Jones, speaking for the family said as she prepared for her daughter's funeral she hoped others would be convinced that they need to do the right thing for themselves and their family so that other people aren't preparing for their family's funeral.”

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