Fauci says he was ‘stunned’ by boos from Trump supporters over booster revelation
Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he was “dismayed” and “stunned” when former President Trump was booed by his supporters when he told them during a speaking tour that he has received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
“I was a bit dismayed when former President Trump came out and made that statement, and his followers booed him, which I was stunned by that. 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,” the chief White House medical adviser said in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday.
Fauci told co-anchor Jonathan Karl that he hopes Trump will continue to tell people to get vaccinated.
Karl noted Trump’s recent interview on an episode of the conservative show Daily Wire show with Candace Owens, that the former president “really pushed back on the idea that the vaccine is not protecting people.”
He added that Trump said that the people going to hospitals “are the ones largely that, that haven’t been vaccinated.”
“You don’t die if you get the vaccine — those were done with Donald Trump’s words. I mean, it’ll be interesting to see if his supporters listen to that,” he told Fauci.
“And I think that his continuing to say that people should get vaccinated and articulating that to them, in my mind is a good thing. I hope he keeps it up,” Fauci responded.
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Trump has maintained his support of the COVID-19 vaccines, which were developed during his administration.
“Oh no, the vaccines work, but some people aren’t the ones. The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine. But it’s still their choice. And if you take the vaccine, you’re protected,” Trump told Owens last week.
In a rare move, President Biden twice credited Trump last week where he outlined his latest plan to deal with a new surge in COVID-19 cases.
Biden acknowledged Trump by name for publicly revealing that he had gotten a booster shot, which had elicited boos from a crowd in Dallas.
Asked about the White House’s thinking on this, press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden was acknowledging that Trump sent an “important signal to many Americans about the importance of getting boosted.”
In response, Trump told Fox News that he was “surprised” to hear Biden’s comments, adding, “I think it was a terrific thing, and I think it makes a lot of people happy.”
Trump, however, has not expressed his support of vaccine mandates, which has little to no support among a contingent of his backers as he teases another possible run in 2024.
More than 64.5 million individuals in the U.S. have received a booster shot, according to the CDC’s vaccine tracker, which is 31.5 percent of the population of people who are fully vaccinated.
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