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Ex-Trump Health Secretary Says Trump Should Have Taken Vaccine On TV

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 3, 2021


Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Tuesday said former President Donald Trump should have taken his coronavirus vaccine on TV to instill trust in the shots among his supporters – who, polls show, are among the demographics most likely to remain unvaccinated.

Key Facts

Azar wrote in a New York Times op-ed that while he is “glad” Trump got the vaccine, it would have been “even better” if he had done it on national television.

Trump’s supporters should be able to “see how much trust and confidence he has” in the vaccines, Azar argued, calling them “arguably one of his greatest accomplishments.”

Trump’s team confirmed in March that he had quietly received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine two months earlier, despite many officials, including his former Vice President Mike Pence, having their inoculations televised.

Trump has consistently endorsed the vaccines and shied away from anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, but he has stopped short of more visible advocacy, such as appearing in a PSA with the three other living former presidents.

Azar, who also got his vaccine on TV, called for President Joe Biden to “acknowledge the historic achievement of the Trump administration” and find “voices that will be trusted in conservative communities” to endorse the shots and

Key Background

Azar’s comments come as the U.S. is in the grips of a resurgence of the pandemic due to the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant. The U.S. reported 200,000 new cases of the virus on Friday, the highest spike since mid-January, with hospitalizations and deaths also rising. Many states, businesses and government agencies have responded by reinstating mask mandates and also introducing vaccine mandates.

Crucial Quote

“Please also remember that it was the Trump Administration that produced the vaccine in less than 9 months—many years ahead of anticipated schedule,” Trump said in a statement last month, adding, “We get no credit for this.”

Big Number

36%. That’s the share of vaccinated respondents who said they blame Trump for the recent rise in coronavirus cases in an Axios-Ipsos poll of 999 U.S. adults released Tuesday, compared to 79% who blame the unvaccinated and 33% who blame conservative media. 27% of the unvaccinated blame Biden.


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