Former President Donald Trump urged Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine Tuesday evening, touting the treatments as safe and effective in fighting the virus.
“I would recommend it,” Trump said during a Fox News interview. “And I would recommend it to a lot of people who don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly.”
“But again,” he added, “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.”
Multiple polls have shown Republicans being less willing to receive the vaccine. Experts had previously urged him to endorse them in order to decrease some of the skepticism.
President Joe Biden had previously discussed asking Trump about convincing his supporters to get vaccinated as well.
Trump simultaneously lauded and took credit for the vaccines in an email last week, and told supporters to get the shot during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“We took care of a lot of people — including, I guess, on December 21st, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine,” Trump said during his CPAC speech. “It shows you how un-painful all that vaccine shot is. So everybody go get your shot. He forgot so it wasn’t very traumatic obviously, but he got his shot and it’s good that he got his shot.”
Trump had previously refrained from encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, though he and former First Lady Melania Trump had reportedly each received their first of two doses before leaving the White House in January.
Trump and his wife were also omitted from a public service announcement featuring every living former president and first lady encouraging Americans to get vaccinated in order to beat the pandemic and return to a sense of normalcy.
“We urge you to get vaccinated,” former President Barack Obama said in the video.
“Roll up your sleeve and do your part,” former President George W. Bush added.
“This is our shot,” said former President Bill Clinton, before former President Jimmy Carter closed: “Now, it’s up to you.”
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