Trump says COVID-19 vaccine safe, begs supporters to get jabs
Former President Donald Trump has urged his supporters to get their COVID-19 vaccine shots saying it is “safe” and “something that works.
“I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly,” Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
“But again,” he continued, “we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”
This was Trump’s most explicit endorsement for the national mass vaccination campaign since he left office in January.
All other living former presidents, including Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush, have delivered high profile public service announcements.
But Trump has largely been silent while the man who defeated him, President Joe Biden, masterminds the vaccine rollout.
Republican hesitancy about receiving the vaccine is strong, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research.
It found 42% of Republicans say they probably or definitely will not have the jab, compared with 17% of Democrats – a 25 point difference.
Trump urged those attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February to get vaccinated: “Everybody, go get your shot.”
However, he did not disclose that he had received a jab.
He and his wife Melania were vaccinated in private before leaving the White House in January, a Trump adviser revealed
Meanwhile, Trump remained non-committal about seeking to recapture the presidency following his one term in office.
“Based on every poll, they want me to run again,” he said. “But we’re going to take a look and we’ll see.”
Trump spoke a day after the White House suggested he shouldn’t be waiting for an “engraved invitation” to join the public campaign encouraging Americans to take Covid-19 vaccines.
“Every other living president… has participated in public campaigns. They did not need an engraved invitation to do so. So he may decide he should do that. If so, great,” Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki said.