AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – “Everyone needs to get on the same page” was Rep. Rick Allen (R- Augusta) main message when he visited the Charlie Norwood VA Wednesday.
“Now we’ve got this delta variant. The sense of urgency is back. I think this might encourage more folks to get vaccinated, but we know the vaccines work,” Rep. Allen said.
39 percent of Georgia’s population is fully vaccinated, and according to the Congressman, it’s not enough.
“We’ve got the ability to vaccinate the entire state. That’s not the problem. It’s getting folks to agree to do that,” Rep. Allen said.
He noted the mindset of “lets wait and see” as a reason some may not have gotten their shot yet.
Research shows those who are fully vaccinated are significantly less likely to contract the virus. Medical experts say if they do have a breakthrough case, the symptoms will be less severe.
“Senator Lindsey Graham, he thought he had a sinus infection,” Rep. Allen said. “Of course, 95 percent of the senate is vaccinated and 85 percent of the house of representatives are vaccinated. But Senator Graham has been vaccinated and he’s doing fine.”
Allen represents Georgia’s 12th district, which includes AU Medical Center, the VA, Doctors and University Hospitals, all of which are experiencing high volumes of COVID cases and are currently on diversion.
“Obviously our hospitals are full. Our ICUs are full,” Rep. Allen said. “Elective surgeries I think here we are reducing about 25 percent. We talked to our hospitals, particularly our safety net hospitals throughout the district, and some of them are having to drop elective surgeries all together.”
Allen says the district is experiencing a personnel problem, not just in healthcare, but in business in general.
“Nobody has the people they need for this economy to recover,” Rep. Allen said.