The Biden administration said Monday it would “support” Donald Trump lending a hand with one of its biggest initiatives. And on Tuesday, the former president delivered.
Jen Psaki was asked about the possibility of Donald Trump spreading the word about the latest vaccine efforts on Monday.
“Every other living president… has participated in public campaigns. They did not need an engraved invitation to do so. So he may decide he should do that. If so, great,” Psaki said.
“If former president Trump woke tomorrow and wanted to be more vocal about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, certainly we support that.”
In a prime time interview on Fox News, Donald Trump did just that — but with a major caveat that most of the news media is downplaying.
“So, Mr. President, I know that you received the vaccine, Mrs. Trump also got the vaccine, would you recommend to our audience that they get the vaccine, then?”
“I would,” Trump replied. “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. But, you know, again, we have our freedoms. And we have to live by that. I agree with that, also.”
The president also touted his critical role in making sure the vaccines were available to Americans as soon as possible.
“But we got a vaccine done in 9 months,” he continued. “And fortunately, that’s not only going to save our country, it’s going to save the world.”
Donald Trump also weighed in on Biden failing to give him credit for the vaccine development, while slamming Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and other “experts” who were often wrong about COVID-19.
“We did a great job, we get very little credit for it,” he replied. “I closed the country far earlier, Dr. Fauci, and Birx, and all of these people that frankly made nothing but mistakes, they didn’t want to do it, they didn’t want to close it to China. I closed the border to China. I closed the border to Europe, Italy, and all these countries that were having tremendous problems, long before they wanted me to do it.”
“And if you look at Biden, he didn’t want to do it months afterwards,” he continued. “And he admitted that he made a mistake in saying that. If I didn’t do that, we would have had hundreds of thousands of more lives gone.”
“But the big thing… and I’ve always felt it was the most important, is the vaccine,” Trump went on. “The key was always going to be the vaccine.”
Trump also gave a ‘shot’ to Biden about his comment in January suggesting that he had forgotten that he had already taken the vaccine himself.
“And when Biden got the vaccine in December,” Trump pointed out, “And on January 20th, he made a statement that he doesn’t think we have vaccines. Now, I don’t know, did he make that statement as the statement, or did he not actually know that we had the vaccine. What’s going on there?”
Newsmax points out that Republican men have been particularly resistant to attempts to persuade them of vaccination efforts.
“A recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll showed that 49% of Republican men say they do not plan to get vaccinated, the largest number of those polled,” Newsmax reported.
“Many believe Trump’s influence could change their minds, perhaps leading to herd immunity more quickly,” it added.
Whether or not Trump’s recommendation changes anyone’s mind, the Democratic Party won’t be able to blame Donald Trump for not backing the vaccine now that Joe Biden is president. And Americans also cannot say that the former president does not respect their rights to decide for themselves what they think is best.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.