Former President Donald Trump urged Americans to get vaccinated during an interview on Thursday which comes after American’s confidence in vaccines took a major hit after the Biden administration paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over potential risks.
“I’m all in favor of the vaccine,” Trump told the New York Post. “It’s one of the great achievements, a true miracle, and not only for the United States. We’re saving tens of millions of lives throughout the world. We’re saving entire countries.”
Trump said that he did not even have any “arm soreness” following his second vaccine shot, saying, “It’s pretty amazing stuff.”
“The vaccine is a great thing and people should take advantage of it,” Trump said, adding that “nobody should be forced, we have our freedoms. But I strongly recommend it because it’s a real lifesaver.”
A Economist/YouGov poll found that American’s confidence in the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine plummeted by 15 points following the Biden administration’s decision to pause it. The move by the Biden administration comes after coronavirus vaccines were developed in record time during the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
The poll stated:
Among those who started the survey before the announcement about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, about half (52%) considered the shot “very safe” or “somewhat safe” – twice the number who believed it “very unsafe” or “somewhat unsafe.” After the announcement was made, these figures had converged – just 37% called the vaccine safe, and 39% feeling it unsafe.
The Biden administration faced intense criticism across the political spectrum, including from members of his own party, over the decision to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A U.S. federal panel is scheduled to meet on Friday to potentially decide the future of the vaccine.
Trump also urged his supporters to get vaccinated during an interview with Fox News last month, saying that he recommended that they take it.
“I would recommend it,” Trump said during an interview on Fox News. “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. 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.”
Trump urging Republicans to get vaccinated comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, urged Trump to do so.
“He’s a very widely popular person among Republicans,” Fauci said. “If he came out and said, go and get vaccinated, it’s really important for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country, it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him. He’s such a strongly popular person. I cannot imagine that if he comes out that they would not get vaccinated. It would be very helpful to the effort for that to happen.”
“I mean clearly Operation Warp Speed started in the Trump administration. It was very successful in getting us the vaccines we have right now. It seems like an intrinsic contradiction, the fact that you had a program that was started during his presidency and he’s not out telling people to get vaccinated,” Fauci later added. “I wish he would. He has such an incredible influence over people in the Republican Party. It would really be a game changer if he did.”
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