Vaccine misinformation debate has different perspectives across party lines

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The Delta variant is spreading rapidly from coast to coast, with the number of new cases up more than 11,000 from just a week ago.

Hospital admissions are also up more than 35% since last week.

Less than half of Americans are vaccinated, and Louisiana has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, who is a physician, blamed vaccine hesitancy on Democrats.

“We’re going to be partisan, but over here, you better trust us,” Cassidy said.

Sen. Cassidy encouraged people to see medical professionals for accurate information and said he’s trying to help share facts.

“You choose either to be vaccinated or to accept a higher rate of unnecessary death,” Cassidy said.

U.S. health officials say cases could have been avoided if more people were vaccinated.

Information found on social media platforms is also topic of contentious debate in Washington.

Last week, President Biden blamed social media platforms for allowing the spread of misinformation.

“They’re killing people,” Biden said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar defended President Biden’s comments.

“Two thirds of the people who have not gotten vaccinated say because they’ve got something off of social media,” Klobuchar said. “I really appreciate President Biden calling this out. And for months now I’ve been taking on the Dirty Dozen, 12 people responsible for something like 60% of this misinformation.”

The administration says social media companies must do more.

Facebook is pushing back saying it is promoting accurate information from sources like the CDC. The company says the administration is looking for a scapegoat.

Former Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who served under President Trump, says the current CDC guidance on masks is harmful. He says the agency should instead encourage people to continue wearing masks even if they’re vaccinated until the number of COVID-19 cases decreases.

NewsNation spoke with Dr. Timothy Quinn, a family physician in Mississippi, about the rise in cases. See the interview in the player below.

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