Story at a glance

  • Former President Trump reportedly said he would not mandate COVID-19 vaccines if he were still in office, noting he would “convince people” to take it instead.
  • “It was supposed to take five years and they said it wasn’t going to work. I did three vaccines in less than nine months and they do work, they work really well,” Trump said.
  • “I would convince people, take it. I don’t want to push it,” he added.

Former President Trump reportedly said he would not mandate COVID-19 vaccines if he were still in office, noting he would “convince people” to take it instead. 

“I wouldn’t say to anybody, ‘You have to.’ But I would sell it. Look, I’m very proud of what we did with the vaccines,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly in an interview scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Monday on The First TV.

“It was supposed to take five years and they said it wasn’t going to work. I did three vaccines in less than nine months and they do work, they work really well,” Trump added, according to The New York Post. 

Trump’s comments follow President Biden’s announcement in September that employees at companies with more than 100 people would be required to receive a vaccination or submit to regular testing. 

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“I would convince people, take it. I don’t want to push it … When I was president, there was no talk about mandates or anything,” Trump continued. “Everybody wanted the vaccine. Now a lot of people don’t want it.”

The 45th President has been criticized by former officials, including Trump’s head of Health and Human Services Alex Azar who said Trump did a disservice to skeptical Americans by not getting vaccinated publicly. Azar additionally called on Republican leaders to champion the vaccines as one of Trump’s defining achievements.

Yet some Republicans, including Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham, have met pushback when publicly promoting COVID-19 vaccines. 

“I believe totally in your freedoms. I do, you’re free, you got to do what you have to do. But I recommend taking the vaccines, Trump told an Alabama crowd in August to a chorus of boos. “I did it, it’s good, take the vaccines.”

Trump additionally lauded the efforts of his administration’s vaccine effort known as Operation Warp Speed, saying on the John Fredericks Show in September that the vaccines are effective, according to The Washington Post

“I’m very proud of it. I saved millions of lives — but people have to have their freedoms,” he added. 

Nearly 66 percent of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 57 percent are fully vaccinated, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows


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Published on Oct 18, 2021