Fauci: ‘Very nice’ that Trump told people to get vaccinated at CPAC
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Wednesday that it is “very nice” that former President Trump was encouraging people at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to get the coronavirus vaccine.
During an interview with Wired discussing the coronavirus, the vaccines and their effectiveness against different variants, Fauci commented on the widespread influence that Trump has in the U.S.
“I think that was very nice that he said that. I hope he continues to say that. He’s got a lot of influence,” Fauci said. “And I believe that if he tells people to get vaccinated, that will be very helpful.”
Fauci, along with other public health experts, lawmakers and state leaders, has encouraged Americans to take the coronavirus vaccine amid skepticism about how quickly the inoculation was developed. Last year, Fauci and other members of the Trump administration got their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on camera.
Public health experts including Fauci maintain that in order to return to a version of normalcy, more than three-quarters of the U.S. population will need to be vaccinated.
During the interview, Fauci was also asked if he could’ve changed minds about masks if he attended CPAC.
“I think that Donald Trump would have much, much greater influence on changing minds at CPAC than I would,” Fauci said.
Fauci’s comments on the former president come after the two shared a rocky relationship working together amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump was often criticized about sending conflicting messages to the American people regarding masks, reopenings and controversial treatments for the disease such as the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
Following Trump’s exit from office, the infectious diseases expert has said that it is “liberating” to work for President Biden after he felt “constrained” during the Trump administration.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine tracker, more than 80 million vaccines have been administered as of Thursday evening. The increase in vaccinations have prompted some states to begin lifting restrictions. The governor of Connecticut said Thursday the state would lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and other venues on March 19.
However, both Fauci and Biden have warned against states reopening too quickly with concerns that cases could rise again as the country is working to make the vaccine available to more people.
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