KENTUCKY — During this segment of In Focus Kentucky, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who also is Kentucky's longest-serving U.S. senator ever, comments on a variety of topics and issues, including his recent decision to become more vocal on the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Look, where we end this pandemic is for people to get vaccinated. I was a polio victim when I was a kid, and studied that disease and how long it took to develop the two vaccines that ultimately eliminated polio, actually, in the whole world. 50 years. We developed three effective vaccines in less than one year. A modern medical miracle. It never occurred to me that we'd have difficulty getting people to take the shots. I thought they'd be lined up and excited about it. So we clearly have a challenge here and convincing Americans to take the vaccine, and I think the best argument, not opinion, but fact, is that with this resurgence, 90% of the people in the hospital are unvaccinated. This is a crisis of the unvaccinated. So, that's not an opinion, that's a fact. And we know the only way we finally end this pandemic is to get enough Americans vaccinated to produce what we call herd immunity. Enough people to finally put this in the rearview mirror, and it's been a struggle," explained McConnell.

McConnell also shared his opinion on the American Rescue Plan Act, also referred to as the COVID-19 stimulus package that is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021.

"I think the rescue package that the Democrats did earlier this year actually made things worse. Bill Clinton's former secretary of the treasury said it was going to produce rapid inflation, and it has, and the price of everything is dramatically going up. We've made it so easy for people to stay home. We're not getting people back to work. We have an employment deficit. Every employer I've met with this past month is desperate for employees, and they can't get people to come back to work and the people have been pretty candid with the prospective employers about why and they've looked at the numbers and decided, 'My gosh, it's actually easier for me to stay home than go back to work,'" McConnell said.