Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical adviser, on Sunday said that he finds a large number of vaccine hesitancy among supporters of former President Trump to be “disturbing” and hopes that the former president will encourage his supporters to get inoculated against COVID-19.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Fauci was asked to respond to an NPR/PBS NewsHour poll showing 47% of Trump voters saying they refuse to get vaccinated, compared to 10% of Biden voters indicating their opposition to receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
Fauci replied that he hopes Trump pushes his voters to get vaccinated because the opposition among the former president’s supporters is “disturbing.”
Fauci: Trump voters choosing to not get vaccinated is "disturbing."
"We've got to dissociate political persuasion from what's common sense, no-brainer public health things. … [Vaccines have] rescued us from smallpox, from polio, from measles. … What is the problem here?" pic.twitter.com/TTligwKM1A
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 14, 2021
Fauci expressed his disbelief over how “a large proportion of a certain group of people” refuse to get vaccinated due to “political consideration.”
“It makes absolutely no sense,” Fauci said. “And I’ve been saying that for so long. We’ve got to dissociate political persuasion from what’s common sense, no-brainer public health things.”
Fauci pointed to vaccines helping the country fight smallpox, polio, measles and other infectious diseases throughout history.
“What is the problem here? This is a vaccine that is going to be lifesaving for millions of people,” Fauci said. “How some groups would not want to do it for reasons that I just don’t understand.”
Fauci added that with vaccines showing 94-95% efficacy, he can’t comprehend the reason for vaccine hesitancy.
Although the former president reportedly quietly received COVID-19 vaccinations in January before leaving the White House, Trump did not publicly urge Americans to get vaccinated until his remarks at CPAC last month, saying “everyone should go get your shot.”
Trump, however, did not get vaccinated on air — unlike former Vice President Mike Pence, President Biden and VP Kamala Harris. The former president’s refusal to get inoculated in public to set an example comes amid a number of Trump supporters signaling resistance to the vaccine.
The former president has instead expressed his concern with getting credit for vaccine development during his time in office, despite his repeated downplaying of COVID-19 throughout the past year and the Trump administration’s lack of vaccine distribution plans beyond “let the states figure it out.”
“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t president, you wouldn‘t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all,” Trump wrote. “I hope everyone remembers!”
Watch Fauci’s remarks below: