Former President Donald Trump pushed back on a questioner’s skepticism about the effectiveness and safety of the Covid-19 vaccine in a new interview, saying that the “vaccine works” and “people aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.”
“Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get (Covid), it’s a very minor form. People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,” he said in an interview with The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens that was released Tuesday.
When Owens began raising doubt about the vaccine efficacy, Trump interjected, saying, “Well, no, the vaccine works.”
“The ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take their vaccine. But it’s still their choice, and if you take the vaccine, you are protected,” he said.
It’s the latest endorsement by Trump, who has repeatedly declined opportunities to more forcefully urge Americans, and especially his supporters, about the importance of getting vaccinated. Cases and hospitalizations are presently surging across the US due to the Delta and Omicron variants, but reports largely indicate much milder outcomes for those who have been vaccinated and boosted as opposed to those who haven’t been vaccinated.
Trump, however, has frequently politicized the development and rollout of the vaccines and told The Wall Street Journal in September that he was unlikely to get a booster shot. He was also inconsistent on promoting science-backed recommendations to slow the spread of the virus and pushed disproven treatments for Covid-19.
In the interview with Owens, Trump championed his administration’s efforts to develop Covid vaccines.
“I came up with a vaccine, with three vaccines. All are very, very good. Came up with three of them in less than nine months,” he said.
Trump, however, called mandates requiring children to wear masks in school “a terrible thing.”
“I don’t like to see the kids with the masks on,” he said in his interview with Owens. “They’re sitting in school, they have a hard enough time sitting in school.”
During a recent speaking tour stop in Dallas, Trump revealed that he received his booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, an answer that prompted boos from a portion of the audience that he brushed off.
Last fall, Trump contracted Covid-19 and experienced such severe illness that he had to be hospitalized, treated with a number of drugs and vitamins and given supplemental oxygen. As President, Trump rarely discussed his own immunization and declined to receive his shots of the vaccine publicly to help boost confidence in vaccination. After he left the White House, it was reported that he and Melania Trump had quietly received their Covid-19 vaccines in January.