Fauci on Trump getting booed: ‘Poisoning the well’ on vaccines has ‘lingering effect’
President Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci on Monday appeared to accuse former President Trump of “poisoning the well” on vaccines during his administration.
Fauci, during an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” said he was “stunned” after Trump spoke recently about getting a vaccine booster shot and was booed by some supporters.
“I was stunned by the fact that he’s doing that, and he’s getting booed in some places for doing that,” Fauci said in comments first reported by Mediate.
“Which means that you know, poisoning the well early on about — even not being enthusiastic or outright not pushing — vaccines or discouraging vaccines, now has a lingering effect,” Fauci added.
The top infectious disease official noted that some of Trump’s most ardent followers are not heeding his calls for people to get vaccinated.
“Really tells you the strength of the divisiveness in our society, which I’ve always said to me is the biggest stumbling block about getting this pandemic under control,” Fauci said.
He added that there “is no place for divisiveness politically when you have a classical historical, unprecedented pandemic. I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense.”
Trump, who openly sparred with Fauci and others at different points throughout 2020 as the federal government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, has urged supporters to recognize his administration’s efforts to promote vaccine development.
“This was us. We did this. And the distribution is moving along, according to our plan. And it’s moving along really well,” Trump said during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year.
Trump also touted his administration’s efforts on the vaccine during a recent speaking tour with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. During that event, Trump acknowledged that he had received a booster shot, sparking boos from some in the audience.
Fauci said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he was “a bit dismayed” when Trump’s supporters booed the former president for encouraging vaccination.
“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,” he said.
More than 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated, while just under 65 million have received a booster dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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