x

Health

Fauci: Trump Should Urge His Followers to Get Vaccinated

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he wishes former President Donald Trump would use his popularity among Republicans to persuade more of his followers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a round of interviews on the morning news shows, the government's top infectious disease expert lamented polling showing that Trump supporters are more likely to refuse to get vaccinated, saying politics needs to be separated from “commonsense, no-brainer” public health measures.

Fauci said it would be a “game changer” for the country’s vaccine efforts if the former president used his “incredible influence” among Republicans.

“If he came out and said, ‘Go and get vaccinated. It’s really important for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country,’ it seems absolutely inevitable that the vast majority of people who are his close followers would listen to him,” Fauci told “Fox News Sunday.”

There was no immediate comment from the former president's office Sunday.

Trump has urged people to get vaccinated, doing so again two weeks ago at a conservative political gathering in Florida.

But he hasn’t been among former presidents and other public officials who have been vaccinated on camera to encourage others to get the shot. It was revealed only recently that he was vaccinated in private at the White House before leaving office in January.

Trump did not appear in a new public service campaign for the COVID-19 vaccine that included former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Polls have shown Republicans joining Black people and other groups in expressing greater skepticism than others about the safety of the vaccine.

Fauci said he doesn't understand the resistance.

“What is the problem here? This is a vaccine that is going to be lifesaving for millions of people,” he said on NBC's “Meet the Press.” He added: “I mean, I just can’t comprehend what the reason for that is when you have a vaccine that’s 94-95% effective and it is very safe. I just don’t get it.”

The number of vaccine doses distributed and administered each day in the U.S. is rising, with more than 2.5 million daily shots in arms on average in the last week.

About 1 in 5 Americans have received at least one dose, with about 1 in 9 fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The coronavirus is blamed for over 530,000 deaths in the United States. Deaths and newly confirmed infections per day have tumbled over the past two months. But cases are running at a still-troubling average of about 55,000 a day.

Fauci repeatedly warned against pulling back on public health measures too early, saying the virus could come surging back, endangering the goal of getting the country closer to normal by early July.

He pointed to Europe as a cautionary tale. Rising virus cases this winter followed rollbacks on restrictions on the continent.

___

By MICHELLE LIU Associated Press

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

RELATED

Robin Alderman faces an agonizing reality: Gene therapy might cure her son Camden’s rare, inherited immune deficiency.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

STUTTGART, Germany — A dramatic stoppage-time goal saw Hungary beat Scotland 1-0 at the European Championship on Sunday to wreck its opponent’s hopes of reaching the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time in its history.

HOUSTON  — Gerardo Arteaga scored from the edge of the penalty area in the 69th minute and Mexico beat Jamaica 1-0 on Saturday night in its Copa America opener.

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia's center-right leader secured parliamentary approval to lead a new coalition government in a vote late Sunday.

JERUSALEM — Leaders of major churches have accused Israeli authorities of launching a “coordinated attack” on the Christian presence in the Holy Land by initiating tax proceedings against them.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.