Former President Donald Trump said he would “convince people” to receive the COVID-19 shots by explaining their benefits, rather than politicizing them further through mandates. as President Joe Biden has done,.
“I wouldn’t say to anybody, ‘You have to.’ But I would sell it. Look, I’m very proud of what we did with the vaccines,” Trump said in an interview with Bill O’Reilly, according to the Right Side Broadcasting Network.
“I would convince people, take it. I don’t want to push it,” he continued. “When I was president, there was no talk about mandates or anything. Everybody wanted the vaccine. Now a lot of people don’t want it.”
Trump has fallen somewhat out-of-step with his supporters, who view the COVID-19 shots as experimental and dangerous—as well as part of a scheme to enlarge the federal government’s power.
But he has consistently opposed medical mandates, vaccine passports, or other fundamental changes to the American way of life.
“I believe totally in your freedoms. I do, you’re free, you got to do what you have to do,” Trump said at a rally in Alabama in August. “But I recommend taking the vaccines. I did it, it’s good, take the vaccines.”
Trump praised his administration’s accomplishments with Operation Warp Speed and talked about the approach he would have taken to get the nation inoculated.
Operation Warp Speed led to the creation of three new COVID-19 immunity boosters, which use a new mRNA treatment that trains the body’s cells to make a protein that triggers the immune response to COVID-19.
The FDA approved Pfizer’s BioNTech COVID-19 immunity booster in December 2020.
“It was supposed to take five years and they said it wasn’t going to work,” Trump said. “I did three vaccines in less than nine months, and they do work—they work really well.”
Biden’s administration has imposed the most aggressive federal vaccine mandate in the nation’s history.
The administration’s leaders directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to force all employers with more than 100 employees to ensure that their employees either have a COVID-19 shot or receive weekly negative COVID-19 tests to keep their jobs.