NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham urged people to get the COVID-19 vaccine after touring a vaccine clinic in North Charleston Monday.
“I’ve got a simple message: I’ve been vaccinated. I’m glad I did. If you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated,” he said. “As soon as we get all of our folks vaccinated as much as possible you hit about 80%, the quicker we can get back to normal. I think the vaccine is safe. I think is effective.”
He praised the workers at the Mall Drive clinic, many of whom are volunteers. He described it as an almost “military-like operation.”
“You don’t have to wait. You can get through this quicker than you get to Walmart,” he said.
Graham said those who are not vaccinated, the chance of getting COVID-19 is as high as it has ever been.
“If you’re vaccinated, you’re pretty well good to go,” he said. “For those who haven’t been vaccinated the infection rate is pretty darn high, you may be fine if you get it, but you may give it to somebody who will not be fine. So not only think about yourself but think about your neighbor.”
He said COVID “has been hell” on South Carolina and pushed the vaccine, saying he wants South Carolina " to lead the way in terms of vaccinations among the population and lead the way in terms of reopening and staying open.”
The Republican senator took his dose of the vaccine in February, saying he received many questions about the vaccine’s safety.
“Well, I like me. I’m a big fan of me,” he said, adding he would not take it if thought the vaccine was harmful.
Graham also spoke about former Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham’s announcement Monday he will run against incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, Graham described Cunningham as a hard worker and “a nice guy.”
“As a Republican, I would take his candidacy seriously,” Graham said. “I think he’ll take the state in a different direction than I would prefer it to go. I think his politics are different.”
Graham praised the job McMaster has done as governor and said McMaster would have his vote.
“Joe will be a formidable opponent but I think I’ve proven one thing. It’s still pretty Republican state,” Graham said, an apparent reference to his own re-election victory in November against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison.
The meeting and tour of the clinic was not open to the media.