Former President Donald Trump sought the right tone during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, endorsing the COVID-19 vaccines but being careful not to offend those who oppose the process.
“I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it,” Trump told Fox News via telephone while discussing COVID-19 vaccination.
Trump acknowledged many who don’t want the vaccine “voted for me, frankly. But … again, we have our freedoms, and we have to live by that, and I agree with that also.”
The former president and his wife, Melania, received the vaccine in early January but did not announce it.
“It’s a great vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine, and it’s something that works,” Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
Although repeated trials show the vaccines to be safe, many fear side effects. Polls show Republican men and Trump supporters lead the lists of those who resist the vaccine.
During the interview, the former president took a shot at President Joe Biden for what Trump believes is an effort to take credit for Trump’s vaccine accomplishments.
He told Bartiromo his efforts in working with the Food and Drug Administration made possible the access to vaccines when, otherwise, Americans wouldn’t have received a vaccine for years.
“We have been working around the clock and what I got the FDA to do, this would have happened… in many, many years from now if I didn’t get involved,” he said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci had said Trump’s endorsement would make a huge difference.
“He’s such a strongly popular person. I cannot imagine that if he comes out that they would not get vaccinated,” Fauci said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“It would be very helpful to the effort for that to happen.”