‘I would recommend it’: Trump tells supporters to get COVID vaccine after 50% of GOP voters refuse

Donald Trump has recommended that his supporters get vaccinated against COVID-19, speaking out as repeated polls show Republicans less inclined to take the shot than Democrats.

The former president, 74, was vaccinated before leaving the White House on January 20.

On Tuesday night he told Fox News that he thought everyone should take their chance to be vaccinated.  

Asked by host Maria Bartiromo if he would recommend the vaccination, he replied: ‘I would. I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly.’

Donald Trump appeared on Fox News on Tuesday night and said he advised getting the vaccine

Trump, pictured at CPAC on February 28, noted the vaccine was developed in record time

Trump, pictured at CPAC on February 28, noted the vaccine was developed in record time

Trump noted that ‘we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also.’

He continued: ‘But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.’ 

A third of Republicans said in a CBS poll that they would not be vaccinated, compared with 10 per cent of Democrats – and another 20 percent of Republicans said they were unsure. Other polls have found similar trends. 

Fifty per cent of unvaccinated Americans who voted for Trump last fall said they would ‘never’ get a vaccine in the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll, while 17 per cent said they were undecided and 24 per cent said they would get one as soon as it’s made available to them. 

By comparison, just eight per cent of respondents who voted for Joe Biden said they would never get vaccinated, 15 per cent were undecided and 68 per cent said they would do so as soon as possible. 

The number of Trump supporters who said they would never get a vaccine rose six points from the previous poll conducted in mid-February – making them the only demographic in the survey to see a downward trend in willingness to get vaccinated. 

Biden, who said last week that there will be enough vaccine supply for all Americans to sign up for shots in May, scoffed on Monday about Trump’s potential influence over his supporters.

The president, who rarely mentions Trump by name, said local doctors and religious leaders hold greater influence among ‘MAGA folks.’

‘I discussed it with my team and they say the thing that has more impact than anything Trump would say to the MAGA folks is what the local doctor what the local preacher what the local people in the community say,’ Biden said.

Dr Anthony Fauci, however, is among public health experts to have urged Trump to speak out to promote the vaccine’s benefits to his followers. 

Trump said he was proud of having pushed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the vaccines in record time, which he said was of global significance.

‘What I did with the FDA is I forced them to move quickly, and with the vaccine done in nine months instead of five years,’ he said.

‘I don’t think it ever would have been done, frankly, because according to the rules and regulations, they would have never had it. 

‘We got a vaccine done in nine months.

‘Fortunately, that is not only going to save our country, it’s going to save the world.’

Trump was asked about Joe Biden’s speech last week – his first primetime address to the nation – and Biden’s ‘taking credit’ for the vaccine.

‘We get very little credit for it,’ said Trump. 

‘I closed the country far earlier. Dr Fauci and Birxs and all of these people that frankly made nothing but mistakes, they didn’t want to do it. They didn’t want to close it. I closed the border to China. I closed the border to Europe, Italy, and all of these countries that were having tremendous problems long before they wanted me to do it.

‘If you look at Biden, he didn’t want to do it much afterwards and then ultimately he admitted that he made a mistake in saying that.’

Trump said his decision saved ‘hundreds of thousands of lives’, and claimed he ‘inherited an empty cupboard’ – despite the Obama administration leaving a pandemic playbook behind.

‘Biden failed very badly with the H1N1, with the, as you know, the – he had a chance to do something and they had a tremendous, tremendous failure. H1N1. It was a disaster,’ said Trump.

‘And now he is taking over this. 

‘What he has taken over, Warp Speed, we had it – our military, what they have done in terms of delivery has been incredible. Incredible.

‘And we gave up to 1.3 million shots a day before he even took over.

‘So, not only did we have the vaccine, and one thing we did, we took a big bet on this. We started manufacturing the vaccine before we really knew it worked.

We saved many months and millions of lives by doing that. You wouldn’t have the vaccine right now if we didn’t take that chance. We knew what we were doing. We felt strongly that it was going to work and we took a risk and the risk was spending billions of dollars to develop it before we knew and before we had the approval that it was going to work.’ 

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