"Here, we did — developed three highly effective vaccines in under one year. Honestly, it never occurred to me we would have difficulty getting people to take the vaccine," McConnell told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow on Wednesday.
"So, clearly, we have got a job to do to try to convince reluctant Americans of all types who seem to be holding back, unconvinced that this is the right thing to do," he added.
The comment comes after the United States failed to reach President Biden’s goal of getting 70% of the adult population at least partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July. Just over 60% of the population over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC on Tuesday updated its mask guidance over the threat of the delta variant of the virus, and now urges vaccinated people in some areas of the country with "high" or "substantial" COVID-19 transmission to mask up indoors. In May, the CDC announced that vaccinated people were not required to wear masks indoors, while saying the unvaccinated should continue wearing masks.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted Tuesday that vaccines "work," adding masks are an "extra step" to protect against the virus.