(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Former President Donald Trump risked alienating his conservative base by once again claiming that he saved millions of lives in pushing controversial gene-therapy experiments under the guise of COVID-19 vaccination.
The covid vaccine wasn’t a vaccine. It was gene therapy. Do you understand yet?
— Layah Heilpern (@LayahHeilpern) January 18, 2023
Host David Brody asked the former president if he would acknowledge that the vaccines “were not as safe or effective as we were told by the medical community at the time.”
In response, Trump ignored the primary question, suggesting instead that he saved 100 million lives.
“I was able to get something approved that, you know, that has proven to have saved a lot of lives,” he said. “Some people say that I saved 100 million lives worldwide.”
Trump proceeded to note that he was “able to get [the vaccines] done in nine months,” rather than the more typical “five years to 12 years.”
When pressed later by Brody, Trump offered more nuance.
“You have to understand, there are the pros and cons,” he said.
“Some reports [say] that it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened and we saved tens of millions of lives,” he added. “Then you’ll read other reports [that] say there were some problems with the vaccine…but relatively small numbers.”
Nonetheless, Trump made clear that, in his opinion, COVID was a potentially disastrous and very deadly disease that he and his administration curbed by ramming the jab through.
“Without the vaccines you would have had a thing…where perhaps 100 million people died,” he reiterated.
The former president did note, however, that he did not order federal lockdowns or vaccine mandates.
He further praised Republican governors who avoided lockdowns at the state level while sniping at Gov. Ron DeSantis for locking Florida down early in the pandemic.