News reports revealed on March 1st that Donald and Melania Trump were inoculated for the Coronavirus in January, while he was still President. Not to be confused with shots heard round the world, their vaccinations were closely held information until a little more than two weeks ago. It’s almost as if he did not want his carefully cultivated mass of followers to know that he had gotten vaccinated for what he once referred to as the Democrats next big hoax, and what his zealous throngs passionately argued would go away on November 4th, the day after the Election.
Fast forward to yesterday; Trump, in a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo, urged Americans to get vaccinated to help curb the Covid-19 pandemic, calling it “safe and “something that works.”
He added, “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.”
“But again, we have our freedoms and we have to live by that and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works.”
All this adds up to Trump’s most energetic endorsement of vaccination, to date. It comes at a time when vaccine hesitancy among Republicans continues to threaten the US’ path to herd immunity. While 92% of Democrats either have gotten vaccinated or want to get vaccinated, Republicans weigh in at only 50%, a CNN poll conducted by SSRS shows.
President Biden, Vice President Harris, and their spouses, were vaccinated on live TV. The living former Presidents, minus Trump, were also vaccinated amid significant fanfare, in an effort to promote getting shots for the virus. Trump’s absence stood out. It was immediately contrasted with the recent news of his quietly being vaccinated on one hand, and with the widespread vaccine apathy of his supporters, on the other hand. As he endeavors to remain relevant in the GOP political spectrum, this pivot appears to be his next gambit to ensure that he retains his immense popularity and influence in the Republican Party. He has hinted at being a powerbroker for the 2022 midterms, and possibly running again in 2024, or positioning himself to be the key player in choosing the nominee.
The question of the hour is, will Trumpians, groomed to downgrade the importance of the virus, and to denigrate mask wearers, social distancers, and avid hand washers, be willing and able to make an abrupt about-face and embrace the vaccines? The smart money says they will make the adjustment. After all, heretofore, whenever he says jump, their axiomatic response has been to ask, how high? Why should this time be different? This time should be precisely like all the other times because, as much of a deviation from the norm as Trump’s new advisory is, it’s the right thing to do. For the sake of the health and safety of all Americans, let’s hope that’s enough. Trump Urges His Band of Compadres to Do the Right Thing; Will They?
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