Earlier this week, former US President Donald Trump and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly were met with confusion and jeers after expressing positive views on the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine booster urgency. Trump, once prompted, also told the “History Tour” crowd in Dallas, Texas, that he had already received a booster jab.
Despite pushback by some within the GOP, former US President Donald Trump defended the efficacy of US-approved COVID-19 vaccines in a Tuesday broadcast of “Candace,” a late-night, weekly conservative commentary show hosted by GOP pundit Candace Owens. In posing a question to the former president, Owens suggested that while COVID-19 vaccines may be a “good thing,” some, in her estimation, are now being treated unfairly, including those in danger of being discharged from the US military for their failure to adhere to the Pentagon health mandate.
“The [COVID-19] vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of mankind,” Trump remarked before comparing the COVID pandemic to the Spanish flu, or 1918 influenza pandemic.
He also appeared to counter Owens’ earlier Pentagon vaccine argument, noting that a vast number of soldiers, including US troops, died during the 1918 influenza pandemic.
“It was a terrible thing. There were no vaccines, there was no anything,” Trump asserted. Trump went on to tout that his administration oversaw the development of three vaccines—Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson—and made them available at an “incredible speed” during the early days of the ongoing pandemic.
“Yet more people have died under COVID this year,” Owens retorted.”By the way, under Joe Biden, than under you,” she quickly added, seemingly trying to coach Trump’s answer.
“And more people took the [COVID-19] vaccine this year.”Without mentioning the sitting president, Trump rejected Owens’ narrative, assuring her that the vaccines, although temporary, were and are effective.“The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine,” Trump echoed.
“But it’s still their choice,” he qualified. “And if you take the vaccine, you’re protected.”
While not all Americans are on board with vaccines or the purported constitutionality of related mandates, it does not appear that Trump and US President Joe Biden have quarreled over whether to get the jab(s).
“I got my booster shot as soon as they were available,” Biden remarked in a White House address.“And just the other day, former President Trump announced he had gotten his booster shot. It may be one of the few things he and I agree on.”
While Biden rarely mentions Trump by name, his December 21 remarks lauded both the previous president and his administration for their efforts in acquiring a COVID-19 vaccine for Americans.
Trump, although “surprised,” welcomed Biden’s remarks, telling Fox News that he believes the latter “did a good thing” to help the US in “healing”.