Sen. Johnson’s take on coronavirus fact-checked by The Washington Post, highlighting CBS 58’s exclusive one-on-one

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- After Senator Ron Johnson told CBS 58 he wouldn't be getting the vaccine because he already contracted COVID-19, The Washington Post fact-checked his claims. 

The article by Salvador Rizzo, says in part: 

"At a time when more than half a million people have died of covid-19 in the United States, Johnson’s comments are irresponsible and dismally uninformed.

Many Americans who had the disease are wondering whether they should get the vaccine. They may look to their elected officials for guidance. Imagine what could happen if vulnerable viewers took Johnson’s comments as advice and declined the shot.

Senators have staffs. They have access to the latest research and data, and to leading experts. They go to good doctors. They shouldn’t be making unscientific claims on television about coronavirus immunity."

The Washington Post article highlights CBS 58 Reporter Emilee Fannon's exclusive one-on-one with Johnson, where he said he won't get the vaccine because he believes he still has "immunity." 

“No, I had COVID,” Johnson said. “I think that probably provides me with the best immunity possible (for) actually having the disease.” 

Ben Voelkel, a spokesman for Sen. Johnson, responded to The Washington Post saying, “Until everyone who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine, Senator Johnson is happy to rely on the natural immunity he developed having tested positive for COVID-19.”

The Washington Post per the CDC says, people who had the disease do produce antibodies that provide immunity, but that immunity fades over time. And reinfections, both mild and severe, have been well documented since the coronavirus emerged in late 2019.

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