Former President Donald Trump encouraged Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday evening, touting the shot as safe and effective.
“I would recommend it,” Trump said during a Fox News interview. “And I would recommend it to a lot of people who don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly.”
“But again,” he added, “we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”
Trump lauded the vaccines in a statement last week and told supporters to get the shot during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“We took care of a lot of people — including, I guess, on Dec. 21, we took care of Joe Biden, because he got his shot, he got his vaccine,” Trump said during his CPAC speech.
“It shows you how un-painful all that vaccine shot is. So everybody go get your shot.”
The former president and Melania Trump reportedly received their first of two doses before leaving the White House in January.
Trump and his wife were omitted from a public service announcement featuring every living former president and first lady urging Americans to get vaccinated.
The vaccines were developed at a breakneck pace under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
Trump has called the effort “one of the most extraordinary scientific, industrial and medical feats in history.”
Even Trump’s political foes have commended his administration’s work on Operation Warp Speed.
President Joe Biden applauded the prior administration in remarks on Jan. 26. “We want to give credit to everyone involved in this vaccine effort,” he said. “That credit is absolutely due.”
Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a frequent critic of Trump, called Operation Warp Speed a “dramatic success” in December.
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