Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he wants his supporters to take the “great” COVID-19 vaccines that were developed during his administration.
Trump said in a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo that he wasn’t pleased that many Republicans say they don’t want to get the shots.
“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.
“We have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it’s a great vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine and it’s something that works.”
A poll released last week by NPR, PBS and Marist found 41 percent of Republicans don’t plan to get a vaccine, versus 34 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats.
President Biden, who said last week that there will be enough vaccine supply for all Americans to sign up for shots in May, scoffed Monday about Trump’s potential influence over his supporters.
A nurse preparing at syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in Louisville, Kentucky on March 15, 2021.Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images
Biden, who rarely mentions Trump by name, said local doctors and religious leaders hold greater influence among “MAGA folks.”
“I discussed it with my team and they say the thing that has more impact than anything Trump would say to the MAGA folks is what the local doctor what the local preacher what the local people in the community say,” Biden said.
Trump as president led the federal Operation Warp Speed in pouring billions into coronavirus vaccine research and development and he bristled at Biden’s claims of credit for accelerating distribution. The first two vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, were approved while Trump was president.
“I wouldn’t say the FDA loves me but I pushed them very, very hard — harder than they’ve ever been pushed,” Trump said on Fox News.
“What I got the FDA to do — this would have happened in many, many years from now, if we didn’t — if I didn’t get involved and we didn’t get involved.”
A man getting vaccinated in Lynchburg, Virginia on March 12, 2021.Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images