Trump endorses COVID-19 vaccination as a 'miracle' and 'a real lifesaver' in interview with New York Post

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Trump endorses COVID-19 vaccination as a 'miracle' and 'a real lifesaver' in interview with New York Post
President Donald Trump speaks during an "Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit" on the White House complex, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Washington.Evan Vucci/Associated Press
  • Former President Trump gave his strongest endorsement of vaccines yet to the New York Post.
  • "It's one of the great achievements, a true miracle, and not only for the United States," he said.
  • Trump also confirmed that he and the former First Lady were vaccinated.

President Donald Trump called COVID-19 vaccines "a miracle" and said he "strongly recommend[s]" people get their shots in a new interview with the New York Post. It's the former president's most full-throated endorsement of vaccination yet.

"I'm all in favor of the vaccine," Trump told Post columnist Michael Goodwin. "It's one of the great achievements, a true miracle, and not only for the United States. We're saving tens of millions of lives throughout the world. We're saving entire countries."

Read more: All signs point to a Justice Department Trump investigation taking a backseat to efforts in New York and Georgia

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Trump confirmed to the Post that he and First Lady Melania Trump received their first vaccine doses at the White House in January and their second vaccine doses in Florida. It is unknown whether they received the Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

The former president said that both Trumps, who were sick with COVID-19 in early October 2020, didn't have any side effects to the vaccines, "not even a bit of arm soreness."

"The vaccine is a great thing and people should take advantage of it," Trump told the Post, adding, "nobody should be forced, we have our freedoms. But I strongly recommend it because it's a real lifesaver."

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Even while taking credit for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, Trump did not get his shot publicly, on camera, or participate in a PSA that included all living former Presidents and First Ladies.

And despite touting its own efforts to encourage vaccination, including an editorial board op-ed and front-page spread telling New Yorkers to "GET VAXXED" in all caps, the Post itself has recently published a number of stories that were widely criticized for irresponsibly raising doubt about vaccines.

One story (that has since been taken down) linked, without evidence, the death of a 21-year-old college student to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and another claimed that COVID-19 vaccines were linked to herpes while using a stock photo that appeared to show a person with shingles.

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The United States has administered nearly 219 million vaccine doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As of Thursday, about 52% of the US population over 18 has received at least one dose and 34% has been fully vaccinated.

After a four-month push to get the most vulnerable individuals vaccinated, all states opened up vaccination to everyone 16 and older on April 19, following guidance from the Biden administration.

With seven-day averages of vaccination rates beginning to slow, experts predict that the US will reach a "tipping point"of vaccine supply exceeding demand. Both public opinion polls and analysis of vaccination rates in counties that voted for Trump indicate that Trump's supporters, particularly white, Republican men, remain the most hesitant to get vaccinated.

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