Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday praised former President Donald Trump for showing his support of COVID vaccines and booster shots, and told of his shock at the backlash that Trump had received for doing so.
The former president was booed by some of his supporters during an appearance with Bill O’Reilly in Dallas, Texas last week, when he announced that he received his booster shot.
He later doubled down on his support of the vaccines in an interview with conservative pundit Candace Owens.
Trump is now facing some backlash from even some of his most staunch supporters, but received some support from an unlikely source on Sunday – Dr. Anthony Fauci.
‘We’ll take anything we can get about getting people vaccinated,’ Fauci said in an early morning interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.
‘I was a bit dismayed when former President Trump came out and made that statement, and his followers booed him, which I was stunned by that. I mean, given the fact of how popular he is with that group, that they would boo him, which tells me how recalcitrant they are about being told what they should do.
‘And I think that his continuing to say that people should get vaccinated and articulating that to them, in my mind is a good thing,’ Fauci said, noting: ‘I hope he keeps it up.’
Former President Donald Trump (left) was heckled in Dallas last week for confirming he received his COVID-19 booster shot alongside former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly (right)
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci praised Trump’s announcement and said he hopes the former president continues to speak out in favor of vaccines
In the interview with Owens last week, Trump told her that people unvaccinated against coronavirus are the ones getting ‘very sick’ and encouraged all Americans get the jab all while taking credit for its creation.
‘I came up with a vaccine – with three vaccines,’ Trump told the Daily Wire host, referring to the development of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines while he was still president. ‘All are very, very good. Came up with three of them in less than nine months. It was supposed to take five to 12 years.’
Owens interjected: ‘Yet more people have died under COVID this year, by the way, under Joe Biden, then under you and more people took the vaccine this year. So people are questioning how –’
But the former president then interrupted Owens, assuring: ‘Oh no, the vaccine work (sic), but some people aren’t the ones. The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine. But it’s still their choice.’
‘And if you take the vaccine, you’re protected,’ he continued. ‘Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form. People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.’
Trump also urged Americans to get vaccinated in an interview with Candace Owens, arguing: ‘If you take the vaccine, you’re protected. Look, the results of the vaccine are very good, and if you do get it, it’s a very minor form. People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine’
Candace Owens reached out to her followers on Instagram and told them that Trump only praised vaccines because he is not savvy enough to do better research
Trump’s praise of the vaccine goes against a large portion of his base, but in the interview with Owens he also opposed the increasing number of mandates related to masking and vaccinations.
‘Forget about the mandates, people have to have their freedom,’ Trump told Owens in the interview that aired Wednesday.
‘But at the same time, the vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of mankind.’
Imperial College London on Wednesday found the risk of hospitalization for an unvaccinated person was just 10 percent lower for Omicron than with Delta.
Other studies say the chances of being hospitalized with Omicron are up to 80 per cent lower.
Owens, however, has been one of the loudest Conservative leaders of the anti-vax movement and has said she will ‘never ever’ get the COVID-19 vaccine.
‘I have no issue with any person who wants to get the vaccine,’ she tweeted on Thursday. ‘I just will never ever let that vaccine into my body. I believe firmly that Big Pharma is the greatest evil on the face of the planet. I am healthy, young, in shape and simply unafraid of Covid-19.’
She also claimed on Instagram she didn’t think Trump’s support of the vaccines was nefarious, saying: ‘I think he genuinely believes that and he needs to sit down and have a conversation with someone, a larger conversation with someone to really understand what’s going on and why so many people are just horrified.’
Owens blamed Trump’s stance on vaccines on him only reading ‘mainstream media news’ instead of conducting research on ‘obscure websites,’ and said that the President, who in part won the presidency in 2016 because of his knowledge of social media, is not on the internet.
‘I do not believe Trump is on the internet, he just relies on typical mainstream sources,’ she said.
‘People oftentimes forget that, like, how old Trump is,’ she said. ‘He comes from a generation — I’ve seen a lot of people who are older, have the exact same perspective, like, they came from a time before TV, before internet, before being able to conduct independent research. And everything they read to them that was in a newspaper that was pitched to them, they believed that that was a reality.’
As of Thursday, 72.7 percent of all eligible Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 61.7 percent are fully vaccinated.
The numbers are higher for those 65 and older, 95 percent of whom have received at least one dose and 87.5 percent of whom are fully vaccinated.
Of those who are eligible for a booster shot, just 31.5 percent of the general population has received one, but that figures jumps to 56.6 percent of those 65 and older.