TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With the COVID-19 vaccine in short supply, Florida Senator Marco Rubio was criticized on Twitter this weekend after tweeting a photo of himself getting vaccinated against the virus.
“I know I looked away from the needle And yes, I know I need a tan But I am so confident that the #Covid19 vaccine is safe & effective that I decided to take it myself,” Rubio said in a tweet Saturday.
The tweet drew the ire of critics from “Star Trek” actor George Takei to Daniel Uhlfelder, the Florida lawyer who protested the reopening of beaches by wearing a Grim Reaper costume.
“Marco Rubio spoke at several Trump Superspreaders last month. Yesterday he cut to front of line to get vaccine,” Uhlfelder wrote.
“Florida has a population of 21,480,000 largely made up of people over 65 with large nursing home population,” he added. “According to Florida Dept. of Health only 32,000 people have been vaccinated. One of them is Marco Rubio, a 49 year healthy corrupt, career politician @marcorubio.”
“There are very, very few instances of known allergic reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine, but Marco Rubio has always thought of himself as one in a million so there’s still hope,” said Takei.
Rubio is among several members of Congress to announce that they have been vaccinated, including both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who received the shot on Friday. Vice President Pence was vaccinated in a televised appearance Friday morning. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham posted a photo of himself getting the vaccine Saturday.
Although all members of Congress are eligible to receive the vaccine, some lawmakers, particularly Republicans who’ve been attacked for their handling of the pandemic, are being criticized for getting it so early on in the distribution process when many frontline healthcare workers still haven’t been vaccinated.
“I want to know why @marcorubio @senatemajldr @LindseyGrahamSC @VP all got vaccinations while denying the pandemic is real,” said another Twitter user.
Others praised Rubio for being an example to those who may be wary of the vaccine.
“Still, the fact that Rubio threw on a N95 mask and was photographed getting the #CovidVaccine possibly could persuade one or two anti-vaxers to do the deed when their turn comes,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Shaming Republican politicians for getting the vaccine on recommendation from PH officials is highly counterproductive,” another said.
In Florida, nearly 33,000 people have been vaccinated. The state is expected to receive 367,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
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