For a while, some Republicans, seeing the hospitals in their states packing full of COVID-19 victims, have shifted to encouraging their constituents to get vaccinated and take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s a reversal from the covid-denial and ant-vax sentiments we saw throughout the past months.
However, Donald Trump, who got the vaccine in secret before leaving the White House in January, has tried to simultaneously take credit for the vaccines and not endorse their use at all. In fact, he’s been so reticent to speak in support of vaccination that nearly half of his supporters in a poll didn’t believe he’d actually received the vaccine!
At a rally in Alabama, the former president corrected the record — and his fans stopped cheering to boo and shout angrily.
A crowd in mid-cheer immediately goes silent and starts jeering Trump when he says that he recommends people take the vaccine. pic.twitter.com/wz7RTdysMh
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 22, 2021
“Take the vaccines! I did it! It’s good, take the vaccines…You’ve got your freedoms, but I happened to take the vaccine. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to know.”
Of course, departure from a previous message (and subsequent return to it) isn’t anything new for Trump. In fact, as Washington Post reported last week, he’d already spoken in support of vaccines on Fox News — only to do a u-turn and bash booster shots as a money-grab when host Maria Bartiromo pushed him in that direction.
It’s not clear whether Trump’s new support of vaccines will influence any of his supporters at all, especially since they’ve gotten upset at him before for taking credit for them, and the response at his rally wasn’t exactly hopeful.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com