Former US President Donald Trump has shocked many of his supporters in recent weeks with his sudden new public support of COVID-19 vaccines and booster jabs. While the former US president has been touting the vaccine’s effectiveness as a win for his administration, other members of the GOP have been much more hesitant to publicly back vaccines.
Former US President Donald Trump, in an interview with One America News Network, laid into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and a host of other politicians for concealing their vaccination status.
Asked whether he considers his COVID-19 vaccine push a result of Americans’ questions, Trump reiterated his support for COVID vaccines and booster jabs, calling on others to do the same.
“I’ve taken it,” Trump said, referring to a COVID vaccine he received while in office. “I’ve had the booster.”
“I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed and one of the questions was, ‘did you get the booster?'” the former US president said. “The answer is yes, but they don’t want to say it. Because they’re gutless. You gotta say it.”
Trump’s comments have been widely viewed as a slight toward DeSantis, who dodged a question last month about whether he had received a booster jab.
“I’ve done whatever I did, the normal shot, and that, at the end of the day, is people’s individual decisions about what they want to do,” DeSantis told Fox News in December 2021. The Florida GOP governor received the single-jab Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April 2021, according to his office.
During his interview, Trump suggested that COVID-19 vaccines had saved “10s of millions of people throughout the world.” He also proclaimed that he experienced “no side effects” from the jabs.
Trump also discouraged “young healthy people” from receiving COVID-19 vaccines, a position counter to the recommendation of the medical community.
DeSantis and other Republican lawmakers—including Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)—have loudly voiced their opposition to vaccine mandates, arguing that vaccines and accompanying booster jabs should be a personal choice made after contacting a health care provider.
“This is radical government overreach,” Gosar said in a November 2021 memo on a resolution opposing the OSHA vaccine mandate. “As I have stated several times, there is nothing in the Constitution or the law granting the federal government the power to force anyone to inject medicine into their body as a condition of employment.”
Gosar, who has reportedly received the COVID-19 vaccine, recently came under fire for encouraging COVID vaccine skeptics to “stay the course.”