‘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 preachers, what the local people in the community say,’ the president said answering a question on whether Trump should get involved Monday after delivering a speech implementing the COVID-19 relief package.
At the press briefing earlier, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about National Public Radio polling data that showed 49 per cent of Republican men answered no when asked if they’d choose to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
As it’s the highest number among the demographic groups polled, a reporter asked Psaki if Trump should get involved in the vaccine messaging campaign.
‘Well, if former President Trump woke up tomorrow and wanted to be more vocal about the safety and efficacy of the … vaccine, certainly we’d support that,’ Psaki answered. ‘Every other living former president, or most of them, not all of them, has participated in public campaigns, they did not need an engraved invitation to do so.’
President Joe Biden argued ‘local docs’ would have more influence than former President Donald Trump on getting ‘MAGA folks’ vaccinated
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Biden administration would welcome Trump’s involvement, but said he didn’t need an ‘engraved invitation’ to speak out
Former President Donald Trump has taken credit for the swift development of the COVID-19 vaccines, but got his vaccine quietly before leaving office
Psaki was referring to a recent PSA that showed the Bushes, the Clintons, the Carters and the Obamas getting their vaccines.
Trump was the only ex-president not involved.
He and former first lady Melania Trump were vaccinated quietly before leaving the White House.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris got both of their vaccine doses publicly.
Trump hasn’t been shy about taking credit for the vaccines’ swift development.
‘I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 … Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful “shot” for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all. I hope everyone remembers!’ he wrote in a statement sent out Wednesday.
At the press briefing, Psaki made the point that vaccine hesitancy isn’t the country’s main problem yet as ‘demand of the vaccine still outstrips supply.’
However, down the line, groups that are showing hesitancy will need to get vaccinated as well.
Both Biden and his press secretary pushed the idea that local influencers – doctors, members of the clergy, etc. – could change Republican minds.
‘Eighty-one per cent of Republicans said they would trust their own doctor or healthcare provider in some polling that came out this weekend,’ Psaki pointed out.
She said Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins would be hosting an event with evangelical leaders on Tuesday.
‘Dr. Collins has appeared on the “700 Club,”‘ Psaki also said.
Collins, the NIH director, is a devout Christian and so straddles both religion and science.
Fauci, on the other hand, was a target of Trump’s by the end of his White House tenure, with Trump even joking about firing the top infectious disease expert while out on the campaign trail.
‘Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election,’ Trump said, responding to a ‘Fire Fauci!’ chant that had broken out at a Miami rally, leading up to November 3.
Another reporter asked Psaki if it was a waste of time to have ‘the face of the people that many of these voters don’t trust’ being the ones talking to them.
‘I don’t mean to cut you off but I think I just answered this exact question earlier,’ Psaki replied.
The press secretary got frustrated during Friday’s briefing during a similar line of inquiry.
When Biden was asked whether Trump should play a role, he noted that he’d heard that line of questioning from several ‘serious’ reporters.
He also urged local officials to help out.
‘I urge all local docs and ministers and priests to talk about why, why it’s important to get that vaccine and even that until everyone is in fact vaccinated to wear this mask,’ the president said before walking off.