CORONAVIRUS

White House Would 'Support' Donald Trump Joining Vaccine Outreach Effort

The former president got his shot before leaving office, but has failed to join efforts encouraging Americans to get inoculated.

The White House on Monday wasn’t actively recruiting former President Donald Trump to join the vaccination push ― but said it would “support” outreach efforts by the former president.

“If former President Trump woke up tomorrow and wanted to be more vocal about the safety and efficacy of the campaign, of the vaccine, certainly we’d support that,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, per The Hill.

“Every other living former president … has participated in public campaigns,” Psaki added. “They did not need an engraved invitation to do so. He may decide he should do that. If so, great. But there are a lot of different ways to engage to reach out to ensure that people of a range of political support and backing know the vaccine is safe and effective.”

President Joe Biden said he was emphasizing community efforts to connect with hesitant Republicans.

“I discussed it with my team and they say the thing that has more impact than anything Trump would say to the MAGA folks is what the local doctor, what the local preachers, what the local people in the community say,” Biden said, per AFP. “So I urge all local docs and ministers and priests to talk about why, why it’s important to get that vaccine, and even after that, until everyone is in fact vaccinated, to wear this mask.”

A recent NPR survey revealed that nearly half of those who backed Trump in the 2020 election don’t plan to get vaccinated, compared with 10% of Biden supporters. Fox News personalities have been sowing doubt about vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Trump told followers at CPAC to “get your shot” and recently griped that Biden wasn’t giving him credit for the vaccine’s development, but has mostly been quiet in encouraging mass inoculation.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the disease expert who has served under Trump and Biden in the coronavirus pandemic, said Sunday that Trump encouraging Republicans to get the vaccine “would make all the difference in the world.”

Trump did not participate in a recent PSA featuring former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama urging citizens to get the shot.

The twice-impeached ex-president, under whose leadership the pandemic death toll skyrocketed to the hundreds of thousands, and former first lady Melania Trump were quietly vaccinated before they left the White House.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus