U.S. President Donald Trump, with bandages seen on his hand, takes off his face mask as he comes out on a White House balcony to speak to supporters gathered on the South Lawn in Washington, October 10, 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump says he received a booster vaccine shot for Covid-19 — but he doesn’t want to hear any criticism about it.
“Oh, don’t, don’t, don’t!” said Trump, waving his hand dismissively, as some people in an audience in Dallas on Sunday afternoon seemed to react negatively to the Republican saying he got the booster.
His comments come as a relatively large percentage of Republicans have refused to get even initial doses of the coronavirus vaccines, and as GOP governors resist vaccine and mask mandates. The Kaiser Family Foundation found in a recent poll that as of October, 60% of unvaccinated Americans are Republicans.
Research has shown that boosters appear effective against the surging omicron variant of Covid.
Before Trump spoke Sunday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, said at a conservative event in Arizona that, “It’ll be over my dead body that I get a [Covid] shot.”
“I will not. I won’t do it and they better not touch my kids either,” Palin said.
Trump’s disclosure came on the last day of a four-day tour of “The History Show” with Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host. O’Reilly was ousted from Fox in 2017 after allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women, who received a reported $13 million in total to settle their claims.
“Both the president and I are vaxxed, and, did you get the booster?” O’Reilly asked.
“Yes,” Trump replied.
O’Reilly then said, “I got it, too.”
When some in the Dallas crowd started hooting about that, Trump told them to stop. He then claimed that the negative noise only came “from a very tiny group over there,” as he pointed to his left.
Trump also reportedly said during the show, “We saved tens of millions worldwide by creating the vaccine.”
“It would have been like the Spanish flu without it. … We should take credit for it, and you play right into their hands” when you question the vaccine’s value, he added.
After a video clip of the exchange began spreading on Twitter, the spokesman for Covid communications from the Biden administration’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services retweeted it with the cheeky message: “Be like President Trump, and get your booster shot.”
More than 800,000 Americans have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic spread through the United States in March 2020.
Trump previously heard boos during an August rally in Cullman, Alabama, after telling supporters they should get vaccinated.
“And you know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. I do. You’ve got to do what you have to do,” Trump said. “But, I recommend: take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good. Take the vaccines.”
Trump previously has said he was vaccinated before leaving the White House in January.
But he was not photographed when he purportedly got the shot, unlike President Joe Biden, who has been photographed while getting both the vaccine initially in December 2020, and a booster in September.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds up his sleeve to receive his coronavirus disease (COVID-19) booster vaccination in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, September 27, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters