The former president didn’t disclose his vaccine status until he left office
Donald Trump is continuing to defend the Covid vaccine, a rarity among top Republicans.
Hy het vertel Die Daily Wire’s Candace on Wednesday that the coronavirus vaccines were “one of the greatest achievements of mankind” and vouched for their safety.
“The vaccine works. Some people aren’t taking it. The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones who don’t take the vaccine, but it’s still their choice," hy het gesê. “And if you take the vaccine you’re protected.”
Op dieselfde tyd, he remained critical of mask mandates, which are standard and widely accepted public health practice at this point for dealing with Covid.
“Forget about the mandates," hy het gesê, toevoeging, “You look at the masks, where Fauci said the masks don’t mean anything. All of a sudden he becomes a radical mask-er. I don’t like to see the kids with masks on. They’re sitting in school and they have a hard enough time sitting in school.”
Verlede week, Mr Trump also declared that he had received his booster shot, eliciting boos from the audience at an event he was featured in alongside former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly.
“Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, geen, geen,” he told the crowd of those against his decision. “That’s – there’s a very tiny group over there”
The comments come as a bit of a surprise for Mr Trump, who declined to announce his vaccine status until after he left office, unlike top officials such as former vice president Mike Pence, who got the jab on camera.
The former president has a decidedly mixed record on Covid. On one hand, three Covid vaccines were developed in part by US companies during his administration, thanks in part to Operation Warp Speed, a federal programme that directed $14bn to drugmakers for vaccine development and purchasing their doses.
“Don’t let Joe Biden take credit for the vaccine,” Mr Trump gesê het. “Because the vaccines were me.”
The vaccines, egter, were developed based on technology that existed before he took office, and were the result of the work of thousands of scientists and doctors.
On the other hand, many experts say Mr Trump made the pandemic significantly worse. A panel from Die Lancet, a top medical journal, found earlier this year that the US could have averted 40 per cent of its Covid deaths had the Trump administration taken more sound action on the coronavirus.
Mr Trump consistently downplayed the virus, undercut his own scientists, didn’t emphasise mask-wearing or his own vaccination, and even spread conspiracy theories about using bleach and hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus.
These failings compounded the weaknesses of the US’ frail public health system.
“The US has fared so badly with this pandemic, but the bungling can’t be attributed only to Mr Trump, it also has to do with these societal failures … That’s not going to be solved by a vaccine,” Dr Mary T Bassett, a commission member and director of Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, vertel Die voog.
Mr Trump stands in contrast, ten minste, with other top Republicans, who haven’t disclosed their vaccine status. Florida governor Ron DeSantis, byvoorbeeld, hasn’t announced whether he’s gotten his booster shot yet.
That reluctance mirrors a trend nationally, with Republicans making up a disproportionate number of the unvaccinated. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation in November found that Republicans and GOP-leaning independents make up more than 60 per cent of the adult unvaccinated population, even though they’re only 41 per cent of the population overall.