POLITICS

Mitch McConnell: I Had Polio, So Yes, I'm A 'Big Fan' Of Vaccines

02/03/2015 03:36 pm ET | Updated Feb 03, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday voiced support for vaccinations and spoke about the issue in personal terms.

"As a victim of polio myself, I'm a big fan of vaccinations," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.

McConnell was struck with polio when he was 2 years old, and the disease affected his left leg. He underwent physical therapy for two years before regaining normal use of the leg.

McConnell was one of several Republicans who voiced support for vaccinations on Tuesday. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that "all children should be vaccinated," and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) urged all parents to get their children vaccinated.

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) ignited a controversy when they suggested that vaccinations shouldn't be mandatory.

The GOP leader dodged a question as to whether he thought vaccinations should be mandatory. He said he would speak only for himself.

"If I were a parent who's had a child subject to any particular disease, I would come down on the side of vaccinations," he said.

The debate over vaccinations comes as there has been an outbreak of measles in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 102 reported cases of measles in 14 states.

Jennifer Bendery contributed reporting.

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