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Donald and Melania Got COVID19 Vaccine Before Leaving White House in January

It was slightly over a year ago when Donald Trump began his campaign of denial against the existence of the Coronavirus: he repeatedly called it a “hoax”, blamed the spread on China, lied about it “magically disappearing”, hired non-medical spokespeople like Peter Navarro to be his surrogate on news shows to downplay the impact the virus was having on America, and continued to lie about it even as he held superspreader campaign rallies despite admitting privately to Bob Woodward that he knew how bad it was.

Even after a COVID19 outbreak at the White House that began at the Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett felled both himself and his wife, Trump continued to treat the virus like an annoying flu despite getting the most advanced treatment not available to every day Americans. But Trump touted the vaccine rollout as if he was personally responsible, so it would stand to reason that when it was time for both him and Melania to get their shots, he would have made a big macho display of getting the virus he took credit for existing.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 23: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk on the south lawn of the White House on December 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Trumps are headed to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays with a government shutdown possible on Monday December 28. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

As the new COVID19 vaccines became available just before the new year, there were many public displays of people receiving them, from the first nurses and doctors on the front lines to then-President-Elect Joe Biden getting his on December 21st. Vice President Kamala Harris was also vaccinated on live television in December, and former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton volunteered in December to get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera to promote public confidence in the vaccine’s safety. Surprisingly, Trump–the man who never met a photo op he didn’t like or turned down a chance to puff himself up around his predecessors–didn’t make the same kind of claim. The Trumps got their vaccines privately at the White House just before they left for good, without fanfare or any publicity, at their request.

During his CPAC speech, Trump, who oversaw the rapid development of coronavirus vaccines through the Operation Warp Speed task force, said his administration deserves much of the credit for the current pace of vaccinations in America and repeatedly referred to Covid-19 using a racist term. “Never let them forget this was us. We did this,” he said of the vaccine development.

 

Trump urged his followers to get vaccinated for the virus during his speech on Sunday, telling the audience, “How unpainful that vaccine shot is, so everybody go get your shot.” That encouragement marked a notable shift as Trump, during his time in office, had long dismissed the gravity of the virus and eschewed practices like social distancing and mask-wearing.



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