Former President Donald Trump said that he recommends that people get the COVID-19 vaccine, even as a poll shows that about half of Republican men are reluctant to be inoculated.
A Fox News host on Tuesday asked the former president, who called in, whether he would “recommend to our audience that they get the vaccine,” noting that Trump himself had been vaccinated.
“I would, I would recommend it, and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly,” Trump said, adding that “we have our freedoms and we have to live by that, and I agree with that also.”
The most likely group to say they wouldn’t get the vaccine are Republican men, according to recent polling from PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist.
In a survey conducted in early March, people nationwide were asked whether they would choose to get vaccinated if a coronavirus shot were available to them. Nearly half of Republican men said no, the highest of any group.
By comparison, 30% of all U.S. adults surveyed said they would choose not to get the vaccine, including 11% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans. Only 10% of President Joe Biden’s supporters said they wouldn’t get vaccinated, versus 47% of Trump supporters.
Trump and his wife, Melania, quietly received the vaccine while at the White House in January, according to reports earlier this month. Other political leaders have been vaccinated in public settings in order to encourage more people to get the shot once they’re eligible.
Earlier this week, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told Fox News that if Trump encouraged people to get vaccinated, it “would make all the difference in the world.”
In Trump’s February speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he told attendees: “Everybody, go get your shot.”
Initial data has shown stark racial inequities among those who have been vaccinated in the U.S. so far, with Black and Latinx people being vaccinated at lower rates even as they face higher rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
While there has been much attention surrounding vaccine hesitancy among Black Americans, largely owing to systemic racism in health care, the recent poll showed only 25% of Black Americans said they wouldn’t get the vaccine, compared with 28% of white people.
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