WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- In his Fox News interview on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump encouraged Americans to get vaccinated.
- Trump said that the vaccine is ‘safe’ and ‘something that works.’
- His latest statement marked his most active endorsement towards getting the shots.
Former President Donald Trump urged Americans on Tuesday to get vaccine shots in a bid to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, describing it as “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 said in his phone interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
“But again, 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,” he continued.
Trump’s decision to privately receive the vaccine without showcasing it in public earned criticisms and went against the move of present and former US leaders.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were vaccinated on live television last December. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all volunteered to document their inoculation to boost confidence in the vaccine’s safety.
Former President Jimmy Carter has already obtained the shots as well.
Trump’s former COVID-19 testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir called on his former boss and former Vice President Mike Pence earlier this week to encourage Republicans to get the shots amid the data that many GOPs have no plans of getting vaccinated.
“I think it’s very important for former President Trump — as well as the vice president — to actively encourage all their followers to get the vaccine,” Giroir told CNN’s Jake Tapper on The Lead.
When asked why Trump secretly opted to get vaccinated and whether that was wrong, Giroir said that he was not aware of it and just found it out on the news.
“But I think the point now is, and I think this is where we are, that we all have to get together and urge every American,” he noted. “The people who follow our former President are very committed to President Trump, and I think his leadership still matters a great deal, and I think we have to do a better job reaching the minority underserved communities that have been so disproportionately affected.”
Trump’s statement was by far his most enthusiastic support for vaccination. His comments came as vaccine hesitancy among his fellow GOPs continued to block the nation’s road towards herd immunity as only half of Republicans were vaccinated as of now, per CNN poll.